Wednesday, August 4, 2010
America's favorite heroine...may be a myth - Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History
While the majority of our "Founding Mothers" during the Revolutionary War supported the cause by running the households and businesses while the men were away fighting, there were also a fair share of women on the battlefield.
But the most well known of these women, Molly Pitcher, may have never even existed.
According to the story, a woman named Molly brought water to the soldiers during the Battle of Monmouth. They would say, "Molly, Pitcher," calling her for water, and that is how her name became Molly Pitcher.
Then Molly saw her own husband shot on the battlefield. I cannot even imagine the horror...but she just continued the fight and took his place firing the cannon.
Some say that Molly Pitcher is just a generic name for all the women who were water carriers on the battlefield, but there is sufficient historical evidence by eyewitness accounts that there was a woman at the Battle of Monmouth working the cannons.
A woman by the name of Mary Hays was also accounted for at the battle, and she is believed to have been Molly Pitcher, because Molly was a common nickname for Mary at the time (I know right, don't ask me why, but anyway, it was). Mary even received a pension for her services in the Revolutionary War.
Sounds like good enough evidence for me - I'd say Molly Pitcher was real, let's not dilute her to mere folklore.
And that's my two cents.