Title page for ETD etd-11072008-063430


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Hulett, Elizabeth McLenigan
URN etd-11072008-063430
Title Elizabeth Drinker's Revolution
Degree Master of Arts
Department History
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Ekirch, A. Roger Committee Chair
Thorp, Daniel B. Committee Member
Tracy, Patricia L. Committee Member
Keywords
  • Quakers
  • American Revolution
  • gender
  • religion
  • women
Date of Defense 1996-04-05
Availability restricted
Abstract

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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