The prime object of these memoirs is to conserve the memory of the women of Connecticut in the Revolutionary period. It is a worthy object. The men who set their hands to the Declaration or to the Constitution, who spoke and wrote for the cause or commanded the “embattled farmers” to “fire the shot” which, according to Mr. Emerson, was heard at such great distances, were naturally much in the public eye. Their names have become “familiar in our mouths as household words.” The women who sustained the cause at no less sacrifice — perhaps more — than their husbands and sons had made, rendered as valuable service with comparatively little prospect of promotion. No great social struggle can be brought to a successful issue without the active support of women, not necessarily organized into societies or clubs but at least sustaining and encouraging as individuals. Men fight for what women believe in. Our Revolution was a community interest; the great body of the unknown soldiers were in it not because they were paid nor for the love of adventure but because they believed in the necessity and propriety of it. Except in the strongest characters, like Washington, such faith needs to be strengthened by sympathy from others. As a state, Connecticut had less reason to complain of the mother-country than had Massachusetts. Its charter made it substantially a self-governing, free state and its rights were not threatened, and, after the repeal of the stamp act, there was no overt act at which it could take alarm for itself. Its people joined the cause largely from principle and sympathy, yet it furnished as large a quota in proportion to its population as did any other state. The characteristic of the Revolutionary spirit in Connecticut, that it was more than elsewhere a matter of principle — even of sentiment — makes the part that women bore in it more significant in our own state than it was elsewhere.
For us, their descendants, however, these memoires of the dignified and executive dames of old Connecticut have much more than a merely historical value. To know what noble and devoted women our great-grandmothers were can hardly fail to increase our self-respect and our rational patriotism and to strengthen our ambition to be worthy of our heritage. As Burke says, “Our liberty becomes a noble freedom. It has its bearings and its ensigns armorial.” The simplicity of life and the stately but gracious formality of manner that marked the 18th century has not only a singular attraction for us but it is “good unto edification.” This book is for Connecticut what the roll of Battle Abbey is for England and it is far more a reason for sober pride to find an ancestress in it than it can be for an Englishman to read his surname in the list of William the Norman’s predatory captains. Not that it establishes an aristocracy of blood — we recognize nothing of the sort, and the great body of unheralded women who in humbler spheres cheered and sustained their husbands and sons in the Revolutionary army are no less to be honored than those who are commemorated in this book — but it establishes a standard of womanly character; it shows us that whatever is creditable and of good report in our citizenship has a past in which it was rooted. We are degenerate if such a past, though “not very remote,” is not an inspiration.
Though memoirs of the kind which make up this book are not history in the ordinary sense, they throw a great deal of light on history. They disclose manners and general tone of thought far more than state papers or narratives of military campaigns can. They recall the thousand little events that make up life, which are set in the great movements that make up history like the coloring inside the lines of a picture. History proper can be read with especial interest after a study of the private lives of the people and the households of the period. It then becomes far more intelligible and far more real. We come almost to know the characters personally. Possibly some of the figures seem less austere and ideal but they are much more human. We begin to understand that men and women in the past were actuated by fundamentally the same motives that actuate them today. Then we come to understand the “spirit of the age,” or that set of motives which has more power in one century than in another. For this reason this book may be said to have a permanent value as history since it serves to interpret history. But it is primarily a collection of material and a tribute to the Connecticut women of the Revolution from their descendants in the 20th century. As such, it has its propriety and its chief interest.
Abbott, Abel, Abell, Abercrombie, Adams, Adgate, Alden, Allen, Allyn, Amherst, Anderson, Andre, Andrews, Andross, Andruss, Arnold, Atkins, Attwood, Atwater, Austin, Avered, Avery, Backus, Badger, Bailey, Baker, Balcom, Baldwin, Bancroft, Barber, Barber, Barlow, Barnes, Bartlett, Beach, Beebe, Beers, Belden, Bell, Bellows, Bemis, Benedict, Benjamin, Benham, Bennett, Benton, Belts, Betts, Bidwell, Bigelow, Bingham, Bird, Birge, Bishop, Bissell, Blakeslee, Bolton, Booth, Bosswell, Bostwick, Bouton, Bowers, Boyd, Bradford, Brainerd, Brewster, Briant, Bridgeum, Brintnall, Bronson, Brooks, Brown, Bruen, Bryant, Buckland, Buckminster, Budd, Buel, Bugbee, Bulkley, Bull, Bunce, Burgoyne, Burke, Burleson, Burnham, Burr, Burroughs, Burts, Bushnell, Butler, Cadwell, Caldwell, Calhoun, Calkins, Camp, Campbell, Carey, Carleton, Carlton, Carpenter, Carrington, Carter, Carver, Case, Cass, Castellux, Caulkins, Chandler, Chapin, Chapman, Chaucer, Chauncey, Cheney, Chester, Chichester, Child, Clap, Clarendon, Clark, Clarke, Clarkson, Clinton, Coe, Cogswell, Cole, Collins, Colton, Comstock, Congdon, Cook, Cooley, Cooper, Copley, Cornwallis, Cowles, Crabb, Crane, Crow, Cummings, Cunningham, Curtis, Daggett, Dana, Daniels, Danielson, Danielson, Darling, Davenport, Davies, Davis, Dawes, Day, Deane, Decatur, Deming, Denison, Dennie, Dennison, Denton, Devotion, Dewey, Dexter, Dibell, Dickenson, Dimon, Dodge, Dolphin, Douglas, Downer, Downs, Drake, Dudley, Dunbar, Dunster, Dwight, Dyer, Earle, Earl, Eaton, Edwards, Eels, Eggleston, Elderkin, Eldridge, Ellery, Ellsworth, Eliot, Elmer, Elwood, Ely, Endicott, Eno, Evans, Evarts, Evens, Everitt, Fairchild, Fanning, Feaks, Fergurson, Fessenden, Filley, Fillmore, Finch, Fish, Fisher, Fiske, Fitch, Flagg, Flint, Floyd, Forman, Fowler, Fox, Francis, Franklin, French, Frisbie, Frost, Fuller, Fyler, Gage, Gaines, Gale, Gardiner, Garth, Gates, Gay, Gaylord, Geer, George H., Germain, Gillett, Gilman, Gilmore, Glover, Goff, Goffe, Gold, Goodale, Goode, Goodrich, Gorham, Grant, Green, Greene, Gregory, Griswold, Guernsey, Gunn, Hale, Halford, Hall, Hallet, Hamilton, Hancock, Hanford, Harden, Harding, Hardy, Harmer, Harris, Harrison, Hart, Hartwell, Hatch, Hatfield, Hathorne, Hawkins, Hawley, Hawthorne, Haxtun, Hayden, Haydon, Haynes, Hempstead, Hewlett, Hickox, Higginson, Hill, Hills, Hine, Hinman, Hinsdale, Hoadly, Hoar, Holcombe, Hollister, Holloway, Hooker, Hooker, Hopkins, Hoskins, Houlton, How, Howard, Howe, Howland, Hoyt, Hubbard, Hull, Humaston, Humphrey, Humphreys, Hunter, Huntington, Hurlburt, Inman, Irving, Ives, Jacklin, Jackson, James, Jameson, Jay, Jefferson, Jennings, Johnson, Jones, Judd, Judson, Keeney, Kellogg, Kelsey, Kent, King, Kirtland, Knapp, Knowlton, Knox, Kosciusko, Ladd, Lafayette, Lamb, Langdon, Larned, Latham, Lathrop, Laurence, Lauzun, Law, Leach, Leavitt, Ledyard, Lee, Leete, Leffingwell, Lewis, Lincoln, Littell, Livingstone, Lockwood, Loomis, Lord, Lossing, Lothrop, Lounsbury, Loveland, Lowell, Ludlow, Lyman, Macon, Madison, Marlboro, Marsh, Marshall, Marvin, Mashupano, Masters, Mather, Matthews, McKee, McLean, McLellan, Mead, Meeker, Meigs, Miles, Millard, Miller, Mills, Miner, Monroe, Montcalm, Montgomery, Moody, Moore, Morris, Mott, Muirson, Mullens, Murphy, Murray, Muzzy, Neale, Neely, Newberry, Newbury, Newell, Newton, Niccola, Nicoll, Nichols, North, Norton, Noyes, O’Connor, Ogden, Olcott, Olmsted, Orcutt, Osborne, Otis, Owen, Pabodie, Paine, Palmer, Parker, Parris, Parsons, Patrick, Paulding, Peabody, Peale, Pease, Peck, Pelton, Pennoyer, Perkins, Perley, Perry, Peters, Pettibone, Pettibone, Phelps, Phillips, Pierson, Pill, Pitkin, Platt, Pomeroy, Pope, Popham, Porter, Porter, Phineas, Pratt, Prescott, Prichard, Pulsifer, Putnam, Pyle, Quincy, Read, Redington, Relyea, Richards, Riggs, Ripley, Risley, Robbins, Roberts, Robinson, Rochambeau, Rockwell, Rogers, Root, Rose, Rossiter, Rowland, Roys, Russell, Sage, Savage, Sayre, Schenck, Schuyler, Scofield, Scott, Scudder, Seaward, Submit, Sedgwick, Selleck, Sention, Seymour, Sharp, Shaw, Sheldon, Shepard, Sherman, Sherwood, Shirley, Silliman, Sillimandi, Skinner, Slauson, Sloper, Smalley, Smedley, Smibert, Smith, Southworth, Spark, Sparks, Spencer, Sperry, Squire, Standish, Stanley, Stark, Stebbins, Stedman, Stephens, Steuben, Stevens, Stiles, St. John, Stocking, Storrs, Stoughton, Stow, Strong, Stuart, Sturges, Styles, Sullivan, Sumner, Swift, Symonds, Talbot, Talcott, Tallmadge, Tarramugus, Tarbox, Taylor, Tecumseh, Terry, Thaxter, Thompson, Throop, Tibbals, Tiernay, Tilley, Todd, Tomlinson, Trask, Trevelyan, Trumbull, Tryon, Turner, Tyler, Underbill, Upham, VanBuren, Vanderpoel, VanWert, Vinal, Wadhams, Wadsworth, Wakeman, Wales, Walpole, Ward, Warner, Warren, Washington, Washington, Waterbury, Watkins, Watson, Webb, Webster, Weed, Welles, Wetmore, Whalley, Wheeler, Whitehead, Whiting, Whitmore, Whitney, Whittier, Whittlesey, Wickham, Wilcox, Wildman, Willard, Willard, Williams, Willink, Wilson, Winchell, Winchester, Wiswall, Wolcott, Wood, Woodall, Woodbridge, Woodhull, Woodruff, Wooster, Wright, Wyllys, Young, and Youngs,