During the American Revolution, not only did men have to face the struggles of war time atmosphere, but women had to as well. The country during the war was divided into three different groups of people; the loyalists, the patriots and the remaining people who did not care. Catherine Van Cortlandt, a loyalist had to endure different struggles then the patriot women Eliza Pinckney and Abigail Adams. However, parts of their stories are similar when it came to their family struggles.
Catherine Van Cortlandt was a loyalist. She raised nine children, for the most part alone, while her husband Philip was part of the British military. Soon after Philip left to go fight for the British, Light Horsemen rushed through the door of Catherine's mansion, frightening the family. The men asked questions regarding her husband and when he would be returning. One of the men waved his sword around while interrogating Catherine and saying "If he was to be found alive on Earth, I would take him or have his heart's blood" (Marcus 124). Catherine's children were terrified by this statement and one of them said "Oh my dear Pappa, they will kill him, they will kill him" (Marcus 124). The children rushed to the nursery to get away from these evil men. The Light Horsemen knew that Philip would return home soon since he could not stand to be away from his family for long. Every night, the Van Cortlandt mansion was surrounded by eighteen or twenty men. Catherine's female neighbors now only visit her out of curiosity of what is going on with the family. When workers such as farmers and people who work in the mills find out who she is, they do not perform their service for her. At one point, she ran out of food to provide to her family, and therefore, the children were very hungry. One of the sons saw a farmer milking cows and screamed that he wanted milk. When Catherine approached the farmer to purchase some milk, he asks who she is, and following her answer, he refuses. While still living...
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