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									Founding Mothers
Author: Cokie Roberts

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Cokie Roberts comes New York Times bestseller Founding
Mothers, an intimate and illuminating look at the fervently patriotic and passionate women whose tireless
pursuits on behalf of their families–and their country–proved just as crucial to the forging of a new nation
as the rebellion that established it. While much has been written about the men who signed the
Declaration of Independence, battled the British, and framed the Constitution, the wives, mothers, sisters
and daughters they left behind have been little noticed by history. #1 New York Times bestselling author
Cokie Roberts brings us women who fought the Revolution as valiantly as the men, often defending their
very doorsteps. Drawing upon personal correspondence, private journals, and even favoured recipes,
Roberts reveals the often surprising stories of these fascinating women, bringing to life the everyday trials
and extraordinary triumphs of individuals like Abigail Adams, Mercy Otis Warren, Deborah Read Franklin,
Eliza Pinckney, Catherine Littlefield Green, Esther DeBerdt Reed and Martha Washington–proving that
without our exemplary women, the new country might have never survived.

Before 1775:The Road to RevolutionStirrings of DiscontentWhen you hear of a family with two brothers
who fought heroicallyin the Revolutionary War, served their state in high office, and emerged as key
figures in the new American nation,don't you immediately think, "They must have had a
remarkablemother"? And so Charles Cotesworth Pinckney and Thomas Pinckney did. Today Eliza Lucas
Pinckney would be the subject of talkshow gabfests and made-for-TV movies, a child prodigy turned into
a celebrity. In the eighteenth century she was seen as just a considerate young woman performing her
duty, with maybe a bit too much brainpowerfor her own good.George Lucas brought his English wife and
daughters to South Carolina in 1734 to claim three plantations left to him by his father.Before long,
however, Lucas left for Antigua to rejoin his regiment infighting the war against Spain, leaving his sixteen-
year-old daughterin charge of all the properties, plus her ailing mother and toddler sister.(The Lucas sons
were at school in England.) Can you imagine asixteen-year-old girl today being handed those
responsibilities? ElizaLucas willingly took them on. Because she reported to her father onher
management decisions and developed the habit of copying herletters, Eliza's writings are some of the few
from colonial women thathave survived.The South Carolina Low Country, where Eliza was left to fend
forthe family, was known for its abundance of rice and mosquitoes. Ricesupported the plantation owners
and their hundreds of slaves; mosquitoessent the owners into Charleston (then Charles Town) for
summermonths of social activities. Though Wappoo Plantation, the Lucashome, was only six miles from
the city by water, seventeen by land,Eliza was far too busy, and far too interested in her agricultural
experiments,to enjoy the luxuries of the city during the planting months.The decision about where to live
was entirely hers (again, canyou imagine leaving that kind of decision to a sixteen-year-old?), asEliza
wrote to a friend in England in 1740: "My Papa and Mama'sgreat indulgence to me leaves it to me to
choose our place of residenceeither in town or country." She went on to describe her arduouslife: "I have
the business of three plantations to transact, whichrequires much writing and more business and fatigue
of other sortsthan you can imagine. But least you should imagine it too burdensometo a girl at my early
time of life, give me leave to answer you: Iassure you I think myself happy that I can be useful to so good
a father,and by rising very early I find I can go through much business."And she did. Not only did she
oversee the planting and harvesting ofthe crops on the plantations, but she also taught her sister and
someof the slave children, pursued her own intellectual education inFrench and English, and even took to
lawyering to help poor neighbors.Eliza seemed to know that her legal activities were a bit overthe line, as
she told a friend: "If you will not laugh immoderately at me I'll trust you with a secret. I have made two
wills already." Shethen defended herself, explaining that she'd studied carefully whatwas required in will
making, adding: "After all what can I do if a poorcreature lies a dying and their family taken it...
Author Bio
Cokie Roberts
Cokie Roberts is a political commentator for ABC News and a senior news analyst for National Public
Radio. From 1996 to 2002, she and Sam Donaldson coanchored the weekly ABC interview program This
Week. In addition to broadcasting, Roberts, along with her husband, Steven V. Roberts, writes a weekly
column syndicated in newspapers around the country by United Media. Both are also contributing editors
to USA Weekend, and together they wrote From This Day Forward, an account of their now more than
forty-year marriage and other marriages in American history. The book immediately went onto the New
York Times bestseller list. Roberts is also the author of the bestsellers Founding Mothers and its
companion volume Ladies of Liberty. A mother of two and grandmother of six, she lives with her husband
in Bethesda, Maryland.

Roberts has uncovered hundreds of personal anecdotes and woven them together in a single, suspenseful
narrative with great skill.

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