When you think of the Founding Fathers, the common names George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin often come to mind. What many people don't realize, is there were many more significant people besides them that helped make America free and independent. Even more than this, there were many women and minorities that contributed to this change. The women and minorities males that I am going to talk about in this paper show true drive, determination, and passion. These people prove that it doesn't matter what your gender or race is for you to make a difference and have extraordinary triumphs.
There were countless women throughout history whose actions and sacrifices helped to establish our independence. The first story of these brave women is about Molly Pitcher in the Revolutionary War. From a young age, Mary Ludwig, nicknamed Molly, had wanted to be a soldier. This goal was looked down upon in girls, and would have been expected from a man or boy. She grew up on a farm, and in any weather condition, would be found outside working hard. This sense of determination gave Molly strength, and the ability to do whatever she attempted quickly and efficiently. Wanting to utilize this quality usefully, she went to live with a family friend, assisting her in household work. Molly then learned how to use her hand for anything, but her need for helping was not yet fulfilled.
Molly eventually married a comrade, John Hayes, who joined the Continental army when the battle of Lexington began. Proudly, Molly stood by her husband excited that he was able to serve his country. On January 3, 1777, the Continental army fought the British at Trenton, loosing thirty men, and then retreating to Morristown, New Jersey. When she was aware of this, she went to the fields to make sure there were no hurt men. Unfortunately, she found a wounded soldier, but was able to nurse him back to health. When June occurred, temperatures began to rise, scorching the fighters. Because of the heat and long hours of fighting on June 28, 1778, many of the man's tongues became swollen, and their bodies became exhausted. Molly decided to spend her time through the blistering heat going back and forth carrying water to the soldiers. “Molly Pitcher!” was a frequent exclamation they would say, thankful to see the water. The heat did get to her husband, causing him to pass out, but Molly was right by his side to help him in any way possible. Since her husband was not able to use the cannon, Molly took his place, loading and firing the gunner.
The courageous acts displayed by Molly played an important part of the soldiers' victory. General Washington praised her, and even awarded her “one of his gallant men”. Sticking by her husband's side, fighting for him when he couldn't, and even bringing water for the thirsty soldiers were valiant acts Molly portrayed. Molly was a prominent part in this battle and earned a spot in American history.
One year later another brave female helped gain America its independence, Penelope Barker. Back in their time, women were expected to stay home, cook, clean, and take care of their family. Penelope lived with her husband in North Carolina. Unlike how female were supposed to act, Penelope had a mind of her own and was interested and engaged in politics. Even though her husband was an agent of the English crown, Penelope believed that England had gone too far with the Tea Act of 1773. Once she learned about the Boston Tea Party, Penelope decided to have her own. Door to door Penelope went speaking with and convincing other women to boycott all British tea and clothing. Penelope was able to convince fifty other women to attend a meeting he held on October 25, 1774. By the end of the meeting, they wrote a letter proclaiming about their boycott, signed it, and published it in a London newspaper. The better known Boston Tea Party was conducted by men, wearing costumes to protect their identity, yet she rejected the notion...
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