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United States history is, like everywhere else, ultimately the narrative of those holding power, so those challenging authority are depreciated (i.e., marginalized) in value, or ignored. Perhaps the important person to the development of America as a distinct and separate nation was named James Otis. Otis held a title that made him essentially a royal Attorney General in Massachusetts. Otis resigned his position and argued against the colonial government on behalf of 63 merchants, that is, due to the colonial government’s overreach entailing the violation of English liberties. It was around Otis --after an attack upon Otis’s person-- that royal opponents seeking to thwart despotism arose—spearheaded by his brother-in-law James Warren and his sister Mercy Otis Warren. The following paper was researched in haste to meet a requirement for Colonial America History credits in my Master’s degree program. I read a dozen or so books in a less than a week and zapped this paper out; however, I was lucky enough to find something unique—which I often do. While I’m currently working in an attempt to solve macro economic problems, I intend in the next year to research this and write a book—having settled in Boston with access to original material. However, I put this material via Runboard into the public areana, that is, for anyone else to similarly consider and challenge or outdo this material. So…. here is my paper written about 15 years ago.


Two hundred and forty-four years have passed since 1776, and forty-four years have passed since America celebrated her bicentennial. The American republic was established through a long and bitter struggle. In general terms, Americans learn that our republic was spawned from disillusionment, leading to ideological revolt, leading to military conflict, and finally resulting in a distinct and separate nation. American history notes those notable gentlemen that lead the ideological revolt, those that fought and died and those who helped mold our unique form of democracy. The names of Washington, Madison, Franklin, Jefferson, Adams, and many other men of distinction are connected to these events. Far less does history remember the women’s contribution.

In a fairly thorough text, Harry M. Ward’s The American Revolution, a few feminine sacrifices are noted. During American’s revolutionary war, a few women fought as men or tendered assistance on the battle field. In actuality, however, few women participated on the battlefield. During the revolution, women primarily contributed to the war effort by maintaining the hearth, eschewing foreign products, or assisted through the production of clothing or other necessary war materials. (1)

Beyond this, however, American history has neglected (or briefly scanned) a truly pivotal revolutionary. This women of letters was at the epicenter the birth of our republic, and she made immense contributions to America’s establishment.

In Women of Colonial and Revolutionary Times, Alice Brown admits that “ s not easy to compute the influence of Mercy Otis Warren. By no public word of hers, no definite deed to be traced to her brain, can it be sufficient indicative.” (2) Mrs Brown may be partially correct that an estimation of Mercy’s revolutionary……...


Sources: Footnotes...

1. Ward, Harry. M. The American Revolution: Nationhood Achieved 1761-1788 (New York : St. Martins Press Inc. 1995) 199-211, 235

2. Brown, Alice Women of Colonial and Revolutionary Times : Mercy Warren. New York : Charles Scribner and Sons, 1896), 312


……...influence may be ceaselessly left to the imagination. Mercy Warren has received, at best, reflected distinction. She is noted as the sibling of James Otis and a correspondent to both John and Abigail Adams (3). At best, Mercy’s reflection is a slovenly created portrait.

The purpose of this paper is to both directly and hypothetically sketch (some of) Mercy Otis Warren’s unique and much neglected role in American history. I will primarily attempt to draw out the circumstances which point Mercy’s role in ---insuring if not---starting the American Revolution. However, I will also demonstrate that Mercy Otis Warren had contributed to America’s revolution by : (a) aiding the revolutionary structure, (b) contributing to the continental soldier’s morale, (c) and by giving direction to the Bill of Rights.

Mercy Otis Warren’s contribution to America is of epic proportions. In this connection, a motive closely aligned to the blood feud or vendetta is evident. The grain of sand which irritated the oyster of revolution grew amongst English impositions. Such impositions included: the American Duties At (Revenue Act), the Molasses Act, various Sugar Acts, the Stamp Act, the Townshed Acts, the Quartering Act, and the Declaratory Act. However, the agitation which brought the revolutionary peal to fruition did not solely involve the sand. Leaving aside these various British impositions on the colonists, one important step towards rebellion may be attributed to the Otis family’s hatred of Thomas Hutchinson.

History is seldom clothed in clear cut motives. Beyond the resistance for his enactment of British policies, two important events occurred to remove Thomas Hutchinson from his post as Governor of Massachusetts. These two events included the lethal publicity following the release of the Hutchinson-Oliver letters, and the negative pamphleteering that vilified Hutchinson. Through Pamphleteering and the.............


(3) Polin, Raymond, “Mercy Otis Warren : Patriot Founding Mother, “Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine 132 (February 1989) : 105

(4) Ward, Harry M. The American Revolution : Nationhood Achieved 1763-1788 (New York : St. Martin’s Press. 1995) 31-49


..........release of the Oliver-Hutchinson letters, Hutchinson’s character was beyond repair, which undermined his authority, which in time introduced the less moderate General Gage and his military force in Boston. After Hutchinson was removed, the Battle of Lexington and Concord were fought. After Lexington and Concord, General Gage worried that civil war was not far off. While in Boston, Gage was forced to implement martial law and introduce to America shores the spectacle of foreign mercenary troops. Gage was amply correct in his assumption as to te impending civil war. The battle of Bunker Hill soon followed Lexington and Concord (5). However, before this this above casual chain occurred, on of the revolution’s key players was shaped for her role in history.

Mercy Warren was educated at the side of her beloved brother James. We need to keep in mind that “this was an age wen needlework and housewifely were all that could be expected of a woman.” (6) Apart from this seemingly inevitable fate, Mercy shared, second-hand, in her brother’s intellectual pursuits. While James prepared for college, Mercy was allowed to sit in on that preparation. During his time, both James and Mercy were versed in philosophy, politics, history, and they became beloved siblings. (7) Thus, the inquisitive Mercy was given, atypically, the rudiments of a formal education. Having being allowed to hone her intellect, Mercy was poised for her future role as agitator. Her pen would target Thomas Hutchinson. Mercy’s motives go far beyond Whigish concerns for liberty.

Hutchinson had reportedly stolen from the Otis family a house promised by Governor Shirley. (8) Another cause for an ill will towards Hutchinson may have stemmed from Hutchinson being appointed to the Superior Court over James father.


Sources: Footnotes...

5 Shy, John. A People Numerious and Armed : Reflections on the Military Struggle for American Independence. (Michigan : The University of Michigan Press, 1994), 110-111

6 Brown Alice. Women of Colonial and Revolutionary Times. (New York : Charles Scribner and Sons, 1896) , 22

7 Brown, Alice. Women of Colonial and Revolutionary Times (New York ; Charles Scribner and Sons, 1896) ,40

8 Ibid, 18-30


After his father was stepped over for a Judicial position in preference to Thomas Hutchinson, James Otis Jr. reputedly vowed “….that if his Father was not appointed a Justice of the superior Court, he would set the Province in the Flame if he died in the Attempt.” (9)

Whether James Otis Jr.’s hatred towards Thomas Hutchinson stemmed from his father’s loss of a residence, or it began as a result of his father losing an appointment as a Justice, Colonel James’s son vehemently began his opposition to royal government. James resigned his post as Advocate General for Massachusetts following the debate over English Writs of Assistance. (10)

Following James resignation, he argued that the imposition of writs denied colonists their rights as British subjects. The British writs (via the British parliament) sanctioned customhouse officials during hours of daylight to compel Constables or provincial officers to engage in general searches for items which were imported, but for which duties were not assessed. The fight against the monarchical imposition of general writs had two champions.

In 1763, John Wilkes was honored throughout the colonies for defending the rights of British subjects against the general writ imposition of King George II. (11) Three years before this event, (12) James similarly fought against the use of general writs in America. (13) In his fight, James served as chief council for sixty-three Massachusetts merchants. (14) However, this glory was tainted by his arguing the merchant’s grievances before his chief object of enmity: Thomas Hutchinson. Hutchinson served as chief magistrate. (15) During the proceedings, James’ momentous argument revolved around John Locke’s central thesis. (16) James Declared :



Sources: Footnotes...

9 Smith, William R. History as Argument : Three Patriot Historians of the American Revolution (The Hague-Paris : Mouton & Co. 1966), 181

10 Brown, Alice. Women of Colonial and Revolutionary Times : Mercy Warren. (New York : Charles Scribner and Sons, 1986), 41

11 Ibid, 27

12 Ward, Henry M. The American Revolution : Nationhood Achieved 1763-1788. (New York : St. Martin’s Press Inc, 1995) , 17

13 Ibid., 27

14 Ibid., 12

15 Brown, Alice. Woman of Colonial and Revolutionary Times : Mercy Warren (New York : Charles Scribner and Sons, 1896), 42

16 Gutek, Gerald L., Philosophical and Ideological Perspectives on Education (Boston : Simon and Schuster, 1988) , 172



It is the business of this court to demolish this monster of oppression, & tear into shreds this remnant of Star Chamber Tyranny. Every man was a natural sovereign, entitled to life, liberty, and property—inherent, inalienable, and indefeasible by any laws, pacts, contracts, covenants, or stipulations, which man could devise. Otis also states that an act against the constitution is void.” (17)


((Side Note: Just for fun… the last point was taken up, if memory serves, by Chief Justice John Marshall in the seminal case entitled Marbury versus Madison.))

The importance of the above speech is seen in John Adam’s description of Otis’s oratory. Adams said of James’ oratory : “Then and there the child Independence was born.(18) (Side Note: Read the last sentence 10 times for emphasis.)

At her Plymouth house, Mercy had basked in the glory of her brother’s oratory. (19) However, the pride that had reflected on James’ was soon mixed with despair. In 1769, several years following Jame’ momentous speech, several custom officials brained James a traitor to the British crown. These customs officials were close compatriots of Thomas Hutchinson. In retaliation, James shot back by admonishing the custom officials in private correspondence. Eventually, this correspondence was made known to the public. For his poignant penmanship, several customs officers (primarily Thomas Robinson (20) bludgeoned James in a British coffee house. During the ensuing struggle, the brilliant lawyer received a head wound (purportedly) that rendered him unable to function. (21)

This introduction sets the stage for Mercy Warren’s hatred of Hutchinson. Plausibly, Mercy might hate Hutchinson because her father lost a promised house; she may have brandished a hatred for the curtailment of English liberties under his Hutchinson’s stead. Moreover, she might have hated Hutchinson because her brother James was forced to close his legal practice following the general………..



Sources: Footnotes…

17 Ward, Henry M The American Revolution : Nationhood Acheived 1763-1788 (New York : St. Martin’s Press Inc. 1995), 12

18 Ibid., 12

19 Fritz, Jean. Cast for a Revolution : Some American Friends and Enemies 1728-1814 (Boston : Houghton Mifflin Company, 1972), 47.

20 Brown, Alice. Women of Colonial and Revolutionary Times :Mercy Warren (New York : Charles Scribner and Sons, 1986), 46

21 Ibid, 172



…………...imposition of English writs, (22) or because her husband James was a prominent merchant subject to those writs.(23) No matter which argument is made, in Mercy there was a special hatred for Thomas Hutchinson. One can see the pain she reflected in both her poems and correspondence. Below, the first poem primarily reflects her personal despair at her brother’s plight, and below Mercy’s correspondence adds to this despair a greater loss.



A spark stuck from effulgent light,

Transcendent, clear, divinely bright,

Thou has bestow’d lest man should grope

In endless darkness, devoid of hope ...(24)



While the pen of a sister, agitated by the tenderest feelings, can scarcely touch the outlines, history will doubtless do justice to a character to whom America is now indebted for the instigation of her rights and the defense of her liberties than perhaps any other individual. It was the masterly precision of his pen, and the early and vigilant exertion of a glorious revolution which will be recorded among the most interesting events in the annals of time. (25)


The pen of Mercy Warren may have failed to scarcely touch her brother’s loss; however, it was very successful when pointed in the direction of Thomas Hutchinson. To understand how apt her pen was in besmirching Hutchinson, it is necessary to cursorily examine her character and circumstances.



Sources: Footnotes...

22 Anthony, Katharine. First Lady of the Revolution : The life of Mercy Otis Warren (New York : Doubleday & Company Inc, 1958) 66.

23 Brown, Alice Women of Colonial an Revolutionary Times : Mercy Warren (New York : Charles Scribner and Sons, 1896), 37

24 Maud M. Hutchinson, “Mercy Warren, 1727-1814.” William and Mary Quarterly 20 (1958) , 382.

25 Anthony, Katherine First Lady of the American Revolution : The life of Mercy Otis Warren (New York : Doubleday & Company Inc., 1958) 146


     Before the revolutionary sentiments occurred in Boston, Hutchinson was a man who was both completely trusted and cherished; (26) furthermore, Hutchinson had the tastes of a country squire. Hutchinson would spend his free time experimenting at budding and grafting fruit. (27) An early description of Hutchinson was that of a “...good citizen, a public-spirited and generous man.” (28) If Thomas Hutchinson’s character was that not genuinely thoughtful, it was at least that of a prudent man. In 1765, during the Stamp Act Riots, Hutchinson’s Boston residence was torn asunder by an angry mob. The damage was assessed at 25,000 pounds. (29) Putting aside his personal loss, Hutchinson issued a general pardon. (30) If Hutchinson could have been smeared by the general populous, it may have stemmed from his reverence for a hard currency system, (31) his control of political patronage, (32) the funding of Judicial officers by fees collected by custom officials, (33) or his close association with his brother-in-law who served as Stampmaster for the colonies. (34). However, concerning the circumstances surrounding Hutchinson, “...neither his appearance, nor his putative vanity, nor anything else in his character or actions sufficiently explains the passion that he inspired in the patriots.” (35)

     During the early colonial revolts of British impositions, Hutchinson’s great worry was that if he did not act, the colonies would be with one stroke crushed by Britain.(36)

     The attack placed on Hutchinson was later intermixed with regret. John Adams was an argent enemy of Thomas Hutchinson. However, Adams’ angry correspondence towards the Massachusetts governor would shift from anger to perverse empathy. (37)


Sources: Footnotes...

26 Brown. Alice Women of Colonial and Revolutionary Times : Mercy Warren (New York : Charles Scribner and Sons, 1986) 270

27 Ibid., 270

28 Ibid., 270-271

29 Ward, Harry M. The American Revolution : Nationhood Achieved 1763-1788 (New York : St. Martin’s Press Inc. 1995) , 36

30 Anthony, Katherine First Lady of the American Revolution : The life of Mercy Otis Warren (New York : Doubleday & Company Inc., 1958) 63.

31 Shaw, Peter. American Patriots and the American Revolution (Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, 1981), 28.

32 Richards, Jeffery H. Mercy Otis Warren (New York : Twaiyne Publishers 1995), 90.

33 Ward, Harry M. The American Revolution (Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, 1981) , 28.

34 Richards, Jeffery H. Mercy Otis Warren (New York : Twaiyne Publishers 1995), 90.

35 Shaw, Peter. American Patriots and the American Revolution. (Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, 1981) , 27.

36 Fritz, Jean. Cast for Revolution : Some American Patriots and Enemies 1728-1814 (Boston : Houghton Mifflin Company 1972) , 98.

37 Shaw, Peter. American Patriots and the American Revolution (Massachusetts : Harvard University Press. 1981) , 125


(Side Note: if you read Tudor’s The Life of James Otis, of Massachusetts and other similar material, a favorable look at Hutchinson can be lessened, so my argument in terms of emphasis of Mercy Otis’s unique role is, perhaps, in needs greater qualification; however, this opinion is given years later having read more on this subject while hanging out at the library near the homeless shelter in Quincy MA—from which I learned quite a bit.)



     Much later in life, John Adams would be even more  sympathetic. In postwar America, strangely enough, Adams would often remark about his wish that Thomas Hutchinson would return to America. Why? Adams believed that Hutchinson could fix the colony’s financial woes. Furthermore, most of Hutchinson’s most virile enemies acknowledged his ability to straighten out finances. (38)

     To add to this drama, a bitter twist ensued during Hutchinson’s exile in London. In London, Thomas Hutchinson moved into the home formerly owned by John Wilkes. Hutchinson joked that he was possibility influenced by popular notions.(39)

      Hutchinson’s sympathetic actions are seemingly analogous to President Johnson at the end of his Presidency. Johnson’s hair resembled that of the beatniks he earlier rallied against. One might expect Johnson would show empathy for Hutchinson, if only symbolically. However, no such sympathy was given to Hutchinson at his former residence purchased by James and Mercy Warren. At the time of purchase of Hutchinson’s former estate, Arthur Less wrote the Warrens to inform them of his great pleasure that such persons of virtue had purchased the home of their nemesis. (40) Much later, Mercy Otis Warren wrote of Thomas Hutchinson as that dark, insinuating, haughty, mediocre, and Machiavellian character (41) Unlike Mrs. Warren, the other patriots who stood against Hutchinson would suffer crisis’s of conscious over his treatment the colonies. Many revolutionaries whose eyes were ablaze with hate ended their careers with uncertainty concerning Hutchinson. (42)

     If there was any man who would seek a compromise with the colonists it was Thomas Hutchinson. Leaving aside being chided by the colonists during his exile in England, Hutchinson sought to remove the dreaded tax on tea. (43) Hutchinson dreaded one thing, and that was to die in London. From London, he sent letters to his son in America.


Sources: Footnotes...

38 Fritz Jean. Cast for a Revolution : Some American Friends and Enemies 1723-1814. (Boston Houghton Mifflin Company, 1972) , 205.

39 Shaw, Peter American Patriots and the American Revolution (Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, 1981) 45.

40 Richards, Jeffery H. Mercy Otis Warren. (New York : Twayne Publishers 1995) , 16

41 Ibid, 132

42 Shaw, Peter American Patriots and the American Revolution (Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, 1981) 47.

43 Fritz, Jean Cast for a Revolution : Some American Friends and Enemies 1723-1814 (Boston : Houghton Mifflin Company, 1972) , 136


     Towards the end of his life, Hutchinson left specific instructions to protect the body of his wife in America, and to ensure space for himself. (44) It is another strange irony that Benjamin Franklin had esteemed Hutchinson, and found that he removal was an illogical break in public trust. (45)

To break this trust, Hutchinson’s character (and power) was assailed on two fronts. First, he was beset by derogatory revolutionary pamphlets. Secondly, Hutchinson’s incendiary correspondence was made public. In both circumstances, Mercy Warren’s pen and the probability of her advice foretold Hutchinson’s exile.

     The first salvo from Mercy’s fierce pen which directly landed upon Thomas Hutchinson was the Adulateur. In 1772, the Adulateur was published in the Massachusetts Spy. In characteristic form, The Adulateur pitted Mercy’s brother James against the hated Thomas Hutchinson. (46) To give a sense of the Adulateur’s impact, Kathleen Anthony states: “No public attack made on ...Hutchinson equaled the damage done to him by the name Rapatio.” (47) Rapatio was the fictional name given to Thomas Hutchinson. Samuel Adams was considered by Jean Fritz to be the master of revolutionary propaganda (48) Yet, even Samuel Adams would often use the name Rapatio when referring to Hutchinson amongst his revolutionary circle. (49)

     Moreover, eventually The Adulateur was expanded to directly link Hutchinson to the events surrounding the Boston Massacre. Although she later denied it, Mercy (purportedly) linked Hutchinson to the Boston Massacre through the use of a voluntary but secret collaborator. (50) In 1773, the second attack on Hutchinson’s character was printed in the Boston Gazette. The second attack (script) was entitled The Defeat. Mercy turned away from the bloodthirsty character of Hutchinson in the….



Sources: Footnotes...

44 Fritz, Jean. Cast for a Revolution :Some American Friends and Enemies 1728-1814 (Boston : Houghto & Mifflin Company Inc., 1972) , 137

45 Shaw, Peter. America Patriots and the American Revolution. (Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, 1981) , 27.

46 Anthony, Katherine First Lady of the Revolution: The life of Mercy Otis Warren (New York : Doubleday & Company Inc., 1958) , 84

47 Ibid, 84

48 Fritz, Jean. Cast for a Revolution :Some American Friends and Enemies 1728-1814 (Boston : Houghto & Mifflin Company Inc., 1972) , 52

49 Brown, Alice Women of Colonial and Revolutionary Times : Mercy Warren New York : Charles Scribner and Soncs 1896) , 169.

50 Anthony, Katherine First Lady of the Revolution : The life of Mercy Otis Warren . (New York : Doubleday & Company Inc., 1958), 84



…….Adulateur, but proceeded to relegate Hutchinson to the portrait of an exceedingly greedy and repugnant man (51). However, around the same time the Defeat appeared, the Hutchinson-Oliver correspondence appeared. During this time, the feud that had been brewing was made doubly hot, and this may explain why the Hutchinson-Oliver letters appeared.

     Three months before the Hutchinson-Oliver letters infuriated the patriots, James Otis, the beloved brother of Mercy was on a downward spiral. James’ mental condition had worsened to the extent that he was declared non-compos-mentis. Otis was bound hand and foot and driven away in a carriage. (52)

     During his convalescence, James forgave the suit against Robinson, that is, while Robinson appealed the court ruling in Jame’s favor. Robinson wished to reclaim the money that the Massachusetts court had given James, that is, for the beating James had taken in the British coffee house. Mercy was outraged, and she quite angrily said: “he forgave the murderous (Hutchinson) band, only asking for a written apology plus legal and medical expenses.” (54)

     In Europe, the ever inventive and clever Benjamin Franklin came into the possession of letters belonging to Thomas Hutchinson and his brother-in-law, Oliver. The original letters became the private property of Thomas Whately’s brother, that is, upon Whately’s demise. (55)

     The Hutchinson-Oliver letters attempted to assure the ministers in Britain that the small faction of disgruntled colonials could not hold out. (56) Franklin sent the letters to Thomas Cushing in Boston, a friend of James Warren. Franklin strictly enjoined Cushing that the letters be held in the strictest confidence, and that by no circumstantial should copies or the original letters be made pubic (57) Eventually the letters were passed to James by Thomas Cushing.



Sources: Footnotes...

51 Richards, Jefferey H. Mercy Warren (New Yor, : Twayne Publishers, 1995), 92.

52 Fritz, Jean. Cast for a Revolution : Some American Friends and Enemies 1728-1814. (Boston : Houghton Mifflin Company., 1972) , 94

53 Ibid, 95.

54 Ibid, 95.

55 Ibid, 100.

56Anthony, Katherine. First Lady of the American Revolution : The life of Mercy Otis Warren

(New York : Doubleday & Company Inc., 1958) , 86

57 Fritz, Jean. Cast for a Revolution : Some American Friends and Enemies 1728-1814 (Boston : Houghton Mifflin Company, 1972) , 100.


     Warren assembled a crowd at his Plymouth home and he read the correspondence to those who attended. The assemblage gave little or no thought toward heeding Franklin’s plea for secrecy. (5) Not soon after Adams laid the letters before the legislature and published them in the Boston Gazette. (59) In the Gazette, the letters went through 10 printings. (60)

     One striking note in this event is that while the letters were passed secretly amongst the group, John Hancock proclaimed that the letters were mysteriously thrust into his hands. Furthermore, copies of copies were produced, so Franklin’s injunction was not technically disobeyed. (61).

     The biographer Kathleen Anthony sees the Hutchinson-Oliver letters, when coupled with the Defeat, as the primary reason for Thomas Hutchinson’s downfall. If there were any shreds of his popularity left, it soon disappeared from Massachusetts after the above mentioned events (62) In the confines of the Warren house, where the group pondered on Hutchinson’s fate, one can only imagine Mercy Warren’s advice.

     Mercy Warren additionally wrote the (scripted) play entitled The Group. The Group similarly berates General Gage’s stead in Boston, but it does so primarily with reference to Hutchinson’s allies (63). Before The Group was printed in the Boston Gazette, the tea on the ships at the Boston port was thrown into the sea by Whigs dressed as Indians. Furthermore, individuals were forced to take sides between rebel and loyalist forces, the port of Boston was closed, and the colonists were stripped of their ability to appoint members to the Massachusetts upper legislative body. So bitter was the opposition to loyalists that only 10% of appointed members of that body took their sets. Many of these men fled Boston and never returned. (64)


Sources: Footnotes...

58, Anthony, Katharine First Lady of the American Revolution: The life of Mercy Otis Warren (New York : Doubleday & Company Inc., 1958) , 89.

59 Ibid., 86.

60 Ward, Harry M. The Ameircan Revolution : Nationhood Achieved 1763-1788. (New York : St. Martin’s Press 1995.) , 44.

61 Fritz, Jean Cast for a Revolution : Some American Friends and Enemies 1728-1814 (Boston : Houghton Mifflin Company, 1972 ) , 102

62 Anthony, Katherine First Lady of the Revolution : The life of Mercy Otis Warren. (New York Doubleday & Company Inc. 1958) 87

63 Richards, Jeffery. Mercy Otis Warren (New York : Twayne Publishers 1995) , 99-102.


     The seeds of revolution have been sown, and (it certainly seems) Mercy Warren had a very large share in this venture!

     Mercy Warren also contributed to the American revolutionary war through the probability of her advice regarding the structure of dissent and governance. Out of the Warren home, the basic structure for the revolution was born. In 1772, The Committees of Correspondence united common action throughout the colonies. The committee severed as centers throughout which intelligence of British actions could be gathered and transmitted. Samuel Adams implemented the committee system throughout Boston, and later he and James Warren led the committee plan in the First Continental Congress. The committee system soon spread throughout the Colonies (65)

     When British rule fell apart n the colonies, it was the  committee system that took on the responsibility for government. James Warren is almost unanimously given the credit for inventing the committee system. However, Katherine Anthony states: “...Without assuming any authority, the writer would like to suggest that in any discussion which went on in the woman's house, Mercy Warren always had her say. Any political idea of James Warren was, as likely not, the result of a collaboration with his wife. (66) In a time when a woman was expected to life in anonymity, it would have been absurd to name a woman as collaborating in an extraordinary dangerous political invention. (67)

     Mrs. Warren purportedly countered British propaganda efforts during America’s revolution. An egg was found in Plymouth which proclaimed that General Howe shall conquer. Mercy’s satirical wit served as a strong counter-blast to the depressing sign of providence. (68) While it might seem ridiculous to believe that colonists might....



Sources: Footnotes...

65 Smith. William R. History as Argument : Three Patriot Historians and the American Revolution. (The Hauge-Paris : Mouton & Co., 1966) , 83

66 Anthony, Katherine. First Lady of the Revolution: The life of Mercy Otis Warren (New York : Doubleday & Company, 1958) , 78.

68 Brown Alice , Women of Colonial and Revolutionary Times : Mercy Warren (New York : Charles Scribner and Sons, 1989) , 189.

.......fear a silly egg. Alice Brown reminds her readers that this was a time not so distant form the Salem witchcraft trials. (69)


     Similarly, when the Bostonian's were under General Burgoyne’s blockage, Mrs Warren reportedly wrote a script entitled The Blockheads. General Burgoyne had written; in how own satirical wit, a satirical skit entitled The Blockade of Boston. In his script, colonial soldier were the ridiculed. Mrs. Warren’s retort used Barracks-room humor to make fun of the British soldiers. In Mercy's satirical skit, a British soldier would state: “I would rather s—t my breeches than go without these forts to ease myself.”


     Alice Brown comments that the dialogue delighted the American soldiers. Mrs. Warren’s play was passed from hand to hand and tent to tent. (70). Douglas Krystal has examined suggests that the patriotic author was Mercy Otis Warren. (71) Mrs Warren’s writing has often been criticized. However, she acted much like the minute man of long ago. Alice Brown states:


     There was little time for considered literary effort, but her great will for polemical fireballs, and they flew thick and fast…. There were other anonymous correspondents as powerful as fervent, who can never now be traced. And through the entire struggle Mercy Warren hung upon the enemies flank and harassed him without cessation. She was on of the great gadflies of the war. (72)


Mrs. Warren was a powerful influence on the direction of the Continental Congress. The first Continental Congress met September 5, 1744. After England had passed the Intolerable Acts, the First Continental Congress was formed to petition the …………..


Sources: Footnotes...

69 Ibid, 21

70 Anthony, Katherine. First Lady of the American Revolution : The life of Mercy Otis Warren. (New York : Doubleday & Company. 1958.) , 110.



NOTE: I have to find the last couple of pages to complete the paper. I also have to review my typing. Since I’m dyslexic when I type, I oft put things aside and return to them to find mistakes, or corrections I think I made were only in my head.

I thought of spending a summer at the University of MN and knocking together a script for Kate Mulgrew on par with Kingsleys Gandhi. Kate was at a Star Trek convention in the Twin Cites. I was simply going to hand her an outline to see if she was interested, which is so might have interested me in writing a script. I had some dork all but push me back off a public street, so I nixed the whole venture. It would have taken a Summer, but oh well… I hope you had some fun in reading this.