Title page for ETD etd-11072008-063430
|Type of Document
||Hulett, Elizabeth McLenigan
||Elizabeth Drinker's Revolution
||Master of Arts
|Ekirch, A. Roger
|Thorp, Daniel B.
|Tracy, Patricia L.
- American Revolution
|Date of Defense
A central concern in the field of women's history has been what effect, if any, did the
American Revolution have on the lives of women. One way to further our knowledge of
women in the eighteenth century is to study individual women. Elizabeth Drinker is an ideal
individual to study in this regard because of the diary she wrote from 1758-1807. The first
chapter concentrates on the entries she wrote before the American Revolution, the second,
on the years during the war, and the third, on the years immediately following the war.
Chapter one portrays a wealthy Quaker women leading a privileged life whose main concern
was the health and happiness of her family. She has little contact with matters outside of her
immediate concern. The second chapter finds Elizabeth surrounded by tumult that the
American Revolution brought to her home in Philadelphia. She did her best to be as little
affected by the war as possible, but was forced to act as head of her household after her
husband, Henry, was imprisoned by the American government. She became a political being
when she lobbied Congress for her husband's release. The third chapter finds Henry safely
home and Elizabeth happily returned to her former position as homemaker. The American
Revolution had no lasting effect on Elizabeth's life because of her status as a Quaker. She
already had the education and high status that Quaker women enjoyed, and which most other
women had to wait until after the war to receive.
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