IntroductionMercy Otis Warren was probably the most influential writer of all the famous American Revolutionary War women. She was a woman who came from a prominent family that immersed themselves in political activism. She had a passion for learning, reading and later writing, although she received no formal education when she was young. Her poems, plays, writings and quotes are what she used to voice her opinions about the Revolutionary War. Below you will find interesting facts and information on the life of Mercy Otis Warren including where she was born, why her longtime friendship with John Adams deteriorated, and how old she was when she died. You'll also find a short biography and some fun facts for kids.
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Mercy Otis Warren Brief Biography
- Mercy Otis Warren was born in September of 1728 on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, to James Otis and Mary Allyne.
- Mercy Otis Warren was one of thirteen children, not uncommon for the time period.
- Warren's intense interest in learning caught the eye of a local minister. Feeling bad that she did not have a formal education, he provided her with books, learning materials and advice.
- In 1754, she married a politically minded man named James Warren. They had five sons together.
- Mercy Otis Warren died at the age of 86, in Plymouth, MA, not far from her hometown.
Interesting Facts about Mercy Otis Warren
- Warren's father, Colonel James Otis Sr. was both a successful lawyer and merchant who outspokenly opposed British rule of the American colonies.
- Her brother went on to become one of the nation's earliest American patriots. He is known for his famous quote, "Taxation without representation is tyranny."
- Mercy Otis Warren used her writing skills to produce several plays during the revolutionary war period, the first of which was titled "The Adulateur a Tragedy". The objective of her plays was to promote American opposition to the British.
- Her most popular play was called "The Group". The name referred to British loyalists who were born in the United States. She felt they were a detriment to their country.
- Warren had a longtime friendship with John Adams which eroded when she published unpopular opinions about him in her post revolutionary war book titled, "History of the Rise, Progress and Termination of the American Revolution". He felt she was overstepping her boundaries as a woman by being so vocal about her political opinions. Mutual friends eventually stepped in to save the friendship.
- Mercy Otis Warren corresponded with many important historical figures in history including John Adams, Samuel and Abigail Adams, Hannah Winthrop, John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and even Martha and George Washington.
- Most of her writings were originally published anonymously.
- Mercy Otis Warren is a descendant of a passenger on the Mayflower named Edward Doty.
- Many years after her death, in 2002, Mercy Otis Warren was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.
Mercy Otis Warren - List of Plays
- The Adulateur: A Tragedy (1773)
- The Group (1775)
- The Sack of Rome
- The Ladies of Castile