American Women's History: A Research Guide
American Revolution
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Reference/Primary Sources Featured Digital Document

View full-size images of
Sentiments of An American Woman
at the Library of Congress site,

An American Time Capsule:
Three Centuries of Broadsides
and Other Printed Ephemera


Gephart, Ronald M., comp. Revolutionary America, 1763-1789: A Bibliography. Washington: Library of Congress, 1984.

Gundersen, Joan R. "Bibliographical Essay." In To Be Useful to the World: Women in Revolutionary America, 1740-1790. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1996.

Biographical Sources

Claghorn, Charles E. Women Patriots of the American Revolution: A Biographical Dictionary. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1991.

Faragher, John Mack, ed. Encyclopedia of Colonial and Revolutionary America. New York: Facts On File, 1990.
In addition to its topical coverage [see below], this encyclopedia includes short biographical sketches of 60 women.

Purcell, L. Edward. Who Was Who in the American Revolution. New York: Facts On File, 1993.


Faragher, John Mack, ed. The Encyclopedia of Colonial and Revolutionary America. New York: Facts On File, 1990.
In addition to the general entry, "Women," the following applicable topics are covered: "Abortion," "Bundling," "Casket Girls," "Contraception," "Daughters of Liberty," "Demography, Historical," "Divorce," "Dress," "Edenton Ladies Tea Party," "Household Industries," "Population," "Social Welfare," "Witchcraft," and "Women, Legal Status of Common Law."

Greene, Jack P., and J.R. Pole, eds. The Blackwell Encyclopedia of the American Revolution. Cambridge, Mass.: Basil Blackwell, 1991.

Historical Overviews

Gundersen, Joan R. To Be Useful to the World: Women in Revolutionary America, 1740-1790. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1996.

Hoffman, Ronald, and Peter J. Albert, eds. Women in the Age of the American Revolution. Charlottesville, Va.: Published for the United States Capitol Historical Society by the University Press of Virginia, 1989. 516p.

Norton, Mary Beth. Liberty's Daughters: The Revolutionary Experience of American Women, 1750-1800. Boston: Little, Brown, 1980.

Networking Tools: Associations

International Seminar on the History of the Atlantic World, 1500-1800 []

Primary Sources: Archival Collection Guides

See the general Archival Collections section for additional information sources.

The David Library of the American Revolution []

Koenig, William J., and Sydney L. Mayer. European Manuscript Sources of the American Revolution. New York: Bowker, 1974.

Manuscript Sources in the Library of Congress for Research on the American Revolution. Washington: Library of Congress, 1975. 372p.
The index indicates that over 90 of the collections described in this guide have significant content about women.

Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher. "Of Pens and Needles: Sources in Early American Women's History." Journal of American History 77 (June 1990): 200-207.

Primary Sources: Digital Collections

Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive [online]. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2003.
Includes correspondence between John and Abigail Adams.

Dublin, Thomas, and Kathryn Kish Sklar. Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1830-1930 [online]. 1997- [cited 4 May 2001]. Available from:
This collection of primary source documents is organized around numerous topical areas. Each of these different sections includes an introduction to provide context, and an annotated bibliography. The following section includes material about women in the American Revolution:

Commercial Digital Collections

North American Women's Letters and Diaries. Alexandria, Va.: Alexander Street Press, 2001- . Overview from the publisher.
See "Table of Contents: Historical Events" for quick access to sections of documents that mention the American Revolution or specific battles.

Primary Sources: Microfilm Collections

Judith Sargent Murray Papers. Jackson, Miss. : Mississippi Dept. of Archives and History, 1989. 7 microfilm reels.
An excellent overview of this collection can be found in Sheila L. Skemp, "The Judith Sargent Murray Papers," Journal of Mississippi History 53 (1991): 241-50.

Primary Sources: Selected Books

Kierner, Cynthia. Southern Women in Revolution, 1776-1800: Personal and Political Narratives. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, c1998.

Talking About Women's History

Masquerade: Deborah Sampson, Continental Soldier [online]. Old South Meeting House, Boston, 29 September 2004. Available from:
"Join historian Alfred Young, author of Masquerade, and Pulitzer Prize winning historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, in examining Americans' public memory of Sampson and other Revolutionary-era women. Performer and storyteller Joan Gatturna brings Deborah Sampson to life in a dramatic first-person performance."

American Women's History: A Research Guide

Ken Middleton
Middle Tennessee State University Library