Women, Too, Played Key Roles In Nation’s Birth

Observer-Dispatch, Utica, N.Y.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) “On this day when America celebrates its freedom, let’s remember the Founding Mothers like Catherine Petrie Herkimer, Tyonajanegen (Two Kettles Together) and Sybil Ludington, without whom our nation would not be what it is.”

Observer-Dispatch, Utica, N.Y.

As we celebrate our nation’s freedom today, names like Thomas Jefferson, cousins Sam and John Adams, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Paul Revere come to mind.

But rarely, if ever, do we hear about Catherine Petrie Herkimer, Tyonajanegen or Sybil Ludington.

We should. After all, giving birth without women would be a formidable challenge indeed.

Herkimer, Tyonajanegen and Ludington all had important roles in our nation’s founding. But as was often the case, women were usually relegated to the back pages of history — if mentioned at all — despite the fact that without them, wars may never have been won. Or started, for that matter.

Here are three strong women — there are many more — we should remember today.

Catherine Petrie Herkimer
Without her, there would have been no Nicholas. She was his mother.

In fact, Catherine was married to Johan Jost Herkimer, and together they would have 13 children, one of whom would grow up to command the Tryon County militia at the Battle of Oriskany.

Jane Sullivan Spellman, former director of the Herkimer County Historical Society who has worked tirelessly to give women their place in history, touted Catherine’s accomplishments in the book, “Women Belong in History Books.”

Clearly, Catherine was a woman to be reckoned with.

“Catherine’s job was to have the children, prepare meals, see food and flax were grown, convert flax and sheep’s wool into clothing, know enough about herbs to keep 15 people healthy, care for cattle and chickens to provide for the family and be principle teacher as the children grew,” wrote Spellman.

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