Heroines of the New Revolution

Liberty Leaders, Liberty Fighters, Liberty Lovers, Liberty Ladies

Attending the CNN Tea Party debate was a very interesting experience.  I have to congratulate Amy Kremer for elevating this event to a level that allowed the Tea Party people, the heartbeat of this nation, a respectable forum for debate.  I am very proud that Billie Tucker was able to show the world the spirit of the strong, educated, and God emboldened women that make up the Tea Party movement. Anyone who would argue that the Tea Party is not a movement of the women hasn’t been watching very closely the last two years.

I had every intention when I sat down to write, to give my impressions of the candidates in the debate.  I suppose I’ll leave that to the pundits, because seeing Amy, Billie, and many other lady patriots in this movement do what they do, reminded me of the great women who were involved in the founding of our great nation.

Too many times we get fixated on the men, but that phenomenon is nothing new.  But the women that founded our nation suffered just as much, if not more.  The women that founded our nation sacrificed just as much, if not more.  Yet, what do we know about them?  Why do we write volumes upon volumes about Samuel Adams, yet hear very little of Elizabeth, his wife?  We are constantly reminded of Thomas Paine and his writings, but I have met very few that have ever heard of Mercy Otis Warren.  Why do we, even in the Tea Party movement, loudly and proudly proclaim the victories of Samuel Adams, yet I meet a miniscule portion of the population that have ever heard of Penelope Barker?  I am not a women’s libber, so I’ll not jump to various conclusions to answer these questions.  I do believe there are certain principles inherent in the nature of men and women that underpin our behaviors.  I believe that the women are the “heart” of our societies, whereas the men are the “brawn”.  It is a lot easier to recognize the muscle in the action, than the heart that drives it.

Regardless of human nature, throughout time, women have taken up the “sword” to fight for Liberty. Women have often recognized a principle that has become popular again through Sarah Palin’s vocalization of the understanding that women are naturally, extremely protective of their children.  Where men might fight for the temporal; land, money, family — women will fight more often for posterity.  They see attacks upon Liberty not as attacks on themselves, but as attacks on their children, their grandchildren, and generations to come.  This is the nature of the woman’s heart.

When I see my friends, Amy Kremer, Chair of the Tea Party Express and Stephanie Scruggs, co-founder of the National 9/12 movement, I think of my hero Penelope Barker.  Penelope Barker was the leader of the second Tea Party push.   Just ten months after Sam and his boys dumped tea all along the coast, Penelope Barker brought the women together with this statement:

“Maybe it has only been men who have protested the King up to now.  That only means we women have taken too long to let our voices be heard.”

Penelope Barker was so grieved at the way her mother country was treating the colonies, that she could stay silent no longer.  She had to make a statement.  She had to share that statement with the world, and did so with an unyielding boldness that so identifies the women of the founding of our nation and the women reclaiming our nation today.  She continues:

“We are signing our names to a document not hiding ourselves behind costumes like the men in Boston did at their tea party. The British will know who we are”.

Penelope could not effectuate a movement on her own; she had to have friends to help.  She found women who shared her passion and who were willing to give their lives and their homes to the holy cause of Liberty. Elizabeth King gave her home and her life to share in the battle for Liberty.  In the home of Elizabeth King, over 50 women met and signed an oath, pledging their lives to Liberty:

“We, the aforesaid Ladys will not promote ye wear of any manufacturer from England until such a time that all acts which tend to enslave our Native country shall be repealed.”

These women, so outraged at the oppression of an overbearing, Liberty-robbing, government, did not concern themselves with direct consequences.  These women were willing to put their lives and reputations on the line for their children.  But an even greater sacrifice is not well known.  A good number of the women who signed this pledge had husbands who were English Merchants.  They had to know that once word of their boycott got to England, their husbands would suffer the consequences.  These women decided that Liberty- the battle against tyranny- was more important than their husbands’ paychecks, or even their lives.

Our Penelopes have friends as well.  I assure you, every one of us knows women whose gift is to connect people, bring people together, and organize.  What about those who work diligently without that name recognition?  What about Debbie Ringhaver-Lane and the ladies of the Abigail Adams Project?   What about Barbara Samuells and the women of the 9/12 Super Seniors, Patricia Sullivan and the ladies of the Florida Tea Party Network, Linda Harper and the women of North Carolina, or Toby Marie, Katrina Pierson and all the ladies working so hard in Texas?  There are so many women who carry the spirit of our founding mothers.  I cannot possibly name them all.   They populate every state, every city, and every town. They have decided that Liberty is more important than a paycheck.  Just like our founding mothers before them, they have decided that they fear not what any man can do to them; Liberty belongs to their children, and they will not see it go without a fight.

I would be terribly grieved to not recognize one of my greatest heroes of the Revolution. Please, let me introduce you to Mercy Otis Warren.  Mercy had a passion that I can relate to that was sparked by a love that I share.  Mercy was the heart and the writer of the founding mothers. Although Mercy’s friend, Abigail Adams wrote many letters to the love of her life, John Adams, Mercy wrote many documents about the love of her life – Liberty – and the colonies that embodied it.

Mercy was a prolific author of anti-British propaganda plays and essays and an historian of the American Revolution.  Her friend, Abigail Adams, said in 1773 that Mercy was “a sincere lover of [her] country” It was said that Mercy was so grieved by Great Britain’s actions that she wept over the knowledge that the colonies were “oppressed and insulted”.   Mercy wrote:

“America stands armed with resolution and virtue; but she still recoils at the idea of drawing the sword against the nation from whence she derived her origin. Yet Britain, like an unnatural parent, is ready to plunge her dagger into the bosom of her affectionate offspring.”

Mercy’s heart was wounded at the idea that England would enslave the very people that loved her most.  I know many out there have wept with me in the spirit of Mercy Otis Warren.  My dear friend Debbie Gunnoe (Lt.Col, USAF ret.) and I have had such moments in conversation.  My dear friend, Carmen Reynolds (Lt.Col, USAF ret.) and I have spent so much time weeping and writing over the dagger being plunged in the bosom of American Exceptionalism.

But like the great women of the Revolution, we know the true strength of the America Spirit. We know the true source of Liberty. Mercy proclaimed they were…

“ready to sacrifice their devoted lives to preserve inviolate, and to convey to their children the inherent rights of men, conferred on all by the God of nature, and the privileges of Englishmen claimed by Americans from the sacred sanction of compacts.”

We understand that when God gives a gift and His people embrace and fight for that gift, victory is certain.  Even though victory is certain, we women must be acutely aware of the fears that we hold. I do believe Mercy said it best:

“I have my fears. Yet, notwithstanding the complicated difficulties that rise before us, there is no receding; and I should blush if in any instance the weak passions of my sex should damp the fortitude, the patriotism, and the manly resolution of yours. May nothing ever check that glorious spirit of freedom which inspires the patriot in the cabinet, and the hero in the field, with courage to maintain their righteous cause, and to endeavor to transmit the claim to posterity, even if they must seal the rich conveyance to their children with their own blood.”

Our founding mothers KNEW that they were engaged in a battle not just for themselves but for their children’s children.  They KNEW that nothing was too much to sacrifice so that gift of Liberty could be passed to their posterity.  They KNEW that if they did not stand, their children would bow.

So let me cry loud and clear the words of another great founding mother, Hannah Withrop:

“And be it known unto Britain, even American daughters are politicians and patriots, and will aid the good work with their female efforts.”

I would like to humbly dedicate this article to ALL the great women in the movement to restore America, to its founding principles and to the women of our Armed Forces who fight every day for Liberty.  God bless you and God bless America! ~once a Beachnut…~