The Women of Early New York

Re-enactors portray women from the Revolutionary War period.


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News Release Date: March 25, 2009

Contact: Mindi Rambo, 212-668-2208

Join National Park Service Rangers and costumed re-enactors depicting 18th-century women from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 27.

Discover what day-to-day life as well as war was like for women in New York during the Colonial and Revolutionary period through talks such as:

• "Women of New York 200 Years Ago"

• "Remember the Ladies: 18th-Century Women in Song"

• "Sunday Schools as Primary Schools for African-American Girls, 1800-1830"

• "Well-Behaved Women Preserving History: The Colonial Revival in New York City"

• "Women and the British Navy"

• "Revolutionary Women in the Works of John Ward Dunsmore"

Period music will be performed from 2:30 to 4 p.m. in the rotunda. In addition, the National Archives and Records Administration will be on hand to offer information on and interpretation of documents relating to women and women’s issues during the 19th- and 20th Centuries.

There will also be informational displays from Old Stone House, Van Cortlandt House Museum and Fraunces Tavern.

Full Program Schedule — Times are approximate Presentations will be given in the second floor conference room.

10:00 a.m. Reading, Writing & Arithmetic: Sunday School as Primary School for African-American Girls, 1800-1830 By Marilyn H. Pettit, Ph. D., board member of the Old Stone House This lecture will discuss the women who created the earliest school of African-American females in Brooklyn and New York City.

11:00 a.m. Women and the British Navy By NPS Ranger Michael Callahan This presentation will discuss the lives of women aboard ships during the Colonial period.

Noon Women of 200 Years Ago By Linda Grant De Pauw, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of History at George Washington University Dr. De Pauw will be signing books immediately before and after her lecture Two hundred years ago, New York was, as it is now, culturally diverse. The city was dominated by the English, but was a culturally mixed, as seafarers from all over the world made it a port stop and sometimes stayed to live. The rest of the state was clearly divided. The oldest culture was that of the Indian Nations, whose land included all of the present state of New York west of Lake Oneida. The second oldest were the cultures of the Dutch and of their African slaves who lived in the Hudson River Valley. The youngest was that of the English. Each of these cultures had distinct roles for women and individual women who left a personal mark on history.

1:30 p.m. Remember the Ladies: 18th-Century Women in Song By Linda Russell, Historical Balladeer In this musical journey, visitors will hear songs of 18th-century women at work, in love, as patriots and in mourning. Interspersed with the songs are excerpts from women’s diaries and letters of the day, along with stories of Deborah Samson, who fought as a soldier in Washington’s army, Martha Washington and Abigail Adams.

2:30 p.m. Well-Behaved Women Preserving History: The Colonial Revival in New York City By Laura Carpenter, Van Cortlandt House Museum Discover how a group of women were instrumental in the earliest years of historic preservation and the Colonial Revival in New York City as Laura Carpenter reveals the social and political motivation behind the colonial revival and how the Van Cortlandt House came to become a museum.

3:15 p.m. Revolutionary Women in the Works of John Ward Dunsmore By Jennifer Patton, Director of Education, Fraunces Tavern Museum Learn about various women from the Revolutionary War as they are depicted in John Ward Dunsmore’s paintings, including Mary Hayes, Lydia Darragh and Mrs. Murray. This talk will explore their heroic stories as well as how their actions compared to their positions in society.

4:00 p.m. Programming ends

Ongoing Activities (1st Floor)
• Documents on display from the National
• Archives and Records Administration
• Informational display by Old Stone House
• Informational display by Van Cortlandt House Museum
• Informational display by Fraunces Tavern Museum
• Costumed re-enactment by the Brigade of the American Revolution
• 18th- and 19th-century music by Linda Russell (2:30-4 p.m.)

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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