Women's Lives in 1775

Women in colonial clothing bearning baskets and cloth bags walk through a wooded landscape
Women were key in the preparations for war in 1775 and their lives were greatly impacted by the fighting on April 19, 1775.

Photo by John Collins

Men and women alike were startled out of bed in Concord, Lincoln, and Lexington early on April 19, 1775. As the alarm spread through the towns, men gathered their guns and congregated with their neighbors and friends to meet the approaching British troops. Many of the stories about this historic day focus on the movements of the Minutemen and the British Red Coats throughout the Massachusetts countryside. Yet, behind the valiant actions of Concord, Lincoln, and Lexington’s Minutemen were the many women and children who watched over the contraband the Regulars searched for, prepared food for their fathers, husbands, and brothers, and waited anxiously to hear whether the British had succeeded and if everyone was safe.

Learn More!

In 2016 Minute Man NHP hired historian Alyssa Kariofyllis to write a series of papers about the women who lived along what came to be known as the Battle Road in 1775.

Who were the women in the households along the Battle Road in Concord, Lincoln, and Lexington on April 19th, 1775, i.e., number, age, status (free or enslaved), race, residence, household occupation, marital status, number of children, etc.?

What opportunities for education were available to women and girls in Concord, Lincoln, and Lexington, either provided by the town or in households? What opportunities for public roles were available, in the churches, town meetings, etc.? Did these opportunities differ for women of color, free or enslaved?

What role did women in Concord, Lincoln, and Lexington play in the social, economic, and political forces leading up to April 19th?

What role did women in Concord, Lincoln, and Lexington play in the social, political, and military needs of their communities on April 19th?

Did the roles and responsibilities assumed by women in Concord, Lincoln, and Lexington during the Revolution alter their status after the War?

Last updated: April 4, 2020

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