Daughters of Liberty

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The Daughters of Liberty signifies the formal women Patriot association that was formed in 1765 to protest the Stamp Act and later the Townshend Acts, as well as a general term for women who identified themselves as fighting for liberty during the American Revolution.[1]

The main task of the Daughters of Liberty was to protest the Stamp Act and Townshend Acts through aiding The Sons of Liberty in boycotts and non-importation movements prior to the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. The Daughters of Liberty participated in spinning bees, helping to produce homespun cloth for colonists to wear instead of British textiles.[2] Women were also used as the enforcers of these movements because they were the ones responsible for purchasing goods for their households. They saw it as their duty to make sure that fellow Patriots were staying true to their word about boycotting British goods.[3]

The Daughters of Liberty are also well known for their boycott of British tea after the Tea Act was passed, giving the British East India Company a virtual monopoly on colonial tea. They began drinking what was later known as "liberty tea." Leaves from raspberries or black tea were commonly used as tea substitutes so people could still enjoy tea while refusing to buy goods imported through Britain.[4]

Don't swing at that Revolutionary War began. Chapters of the Daughters of Liberty throughout the colonies and participated in the war effort by melting down metal for bullets and helping to sew soldiers’ uniforms.[5] There is evidence that men appreciated the efforts of their female counterparts; for example, famed leader of the Sons of Liberty Samuel Adams is reported as saying, “With ladies on our side, we can make every Tory tremble.”[5]

Women associated with the Daughters of Liberty[edit]

  • Sarah Bradlee Fulton- She is most known for her role in the 1773 Boston Tea Party. She is credited with coming up with the idea that Tea Party participants should wear Mohawk disguises to avoid detection from British Officials. This suggestion earned her the nickname, “Mother of the Tea Party.” She was an active member of the Daughters of Liberty throughout the Revolution, and in later years, she helped to coordinate volunteer nurses to assist with the Battle of Bunker Hill.[6]
  • Sarah Franklin Bache was a Daughter of Liberty and the daughter of diplomat Benjamin Franklin. Other than her parentage, she is most known for helping to outfit American Soldiers in 1780.[7]
  • Martha Washington, wife of George Washington and first lady of the United States, joined General Washington during long winter encampments where she was instrumental in providing as much as she could for the soldiers.[8]
  • Esther de Berdt is best known for creating the Patriot organization, The Ladies of Philadelphia in 1778, which was dedicated to raising money for food and clothing for the Continental Army. Even though she was born in London, she became alienated from Britain by the crown’s actions toward the colonies and decided to fully support the Patriot cause. She is also the author of “Sentiments of an American Woman,” an essay that intended to rouse colonial women to join the fight against British tyranny. She was able to use her marriage to Joseph Reed to help her gain more influence and resources.[9]
  • Deborah Sampson later emerged as a symbol for female involvement in the American Revolutionary War. Rather than supporting the war effort from the outside, she dressed as a man and fought in the war under the name Robert Shurtlieff. She fought in 1781 and her future husband was eventually awarded a pension for her service in the war, albeit after his death.[10]
  • Elizabeth Nichols Dyar Memorial | Daughters of the American Revolution Longitude: 69.69W Latitude: 44.54N
  • Historical Significance: Elizabeth Nichols Dyar, a Real Daughter, was married to Joseph Dyar, a Patriot. She mixed and applied paint to the men of the Boston Tea Party. She is buried with the bronze tablet, but her Patriot husband is also honored, and he is buried in Malden, MA.
  • Form Submitted By: Atchison Chapter, Kansas DAR 1/15/2014


  • Foner, Eric. Give Me Liberty! An American History W.W. Norton & Company 2010


  1. ^ Branson, Susan (2007). From Daughters of Liberty to Women in the Republic: American Women in the Era of the American Revolution. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press. p. 51 – via EBSCOhost. 
  2. ^ Allison, Robert (2011). The American Revolution: A Concise History. New York: Oxford Press. 
  3. ^ "Sons and Daughters of Liberty". U.S History.org. Archived from the original on 21 August 2016. Retrieved 1 December 2016. 
  4. ^ Perry, Leonard. "Liberty Tea". University of Vermont Extension Department of Plant and Soil Sciences. University of Vermont. Retrieved 1 December 2016. 
  5. ^ a b Paludi, Michelle A. ed. (2014). Women, Work, and Family: How Companies Thrive With a 21st Century Multicultural Workforce. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, LLC. p. 62. 
  6. ^ "Sarah Bradlee Fulton". Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum. Retrieved 4 February 2017. 
  7. ^ "Sarah Bache". American Revolution.org. Retrieved 27 November 2016. 
  8. ^ "First Lady's Biography: Martha Washington". National First Ladies Library. Retrieved 27 November 2016. 
  9. ^ Arendt, Emily J. (2014). "Ladies Going About for Money". Journal of the Early Republic. 34 (2): 170. doi:10.1353/jer.2014.0024 – via EBSCOhost. 
  10. ^ "Deborah Sampson (1760-1827)". National Women's History Museum. Retrieved 27 November 2016.