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Unrecognized Females that Contributed to the United States of America's Advancement: Anne Bradstreet, Nancy Hart, Sarah Josepha Hale

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Anne Bradstreet was born in 1612 to a nonconformist former soldier of Queen Elizabeth, Thomas Dudley, who managed the affairs of the Earl of Lincoln. In 1630, he sailed with his family for America with the Massachusetts Bay Company. The ship carried Puritans to New England, where Anne and her family emigrated to America. The Puritans fled Great Britain’s monarch to avoid and escape persecution. During this time, as the Puritans were new colonists at the time, the British colonies were attempting to get settled in the Americas alongside attempting to get ahold of the natives and their property. Although she had not gone to school, Anne was well tutored in literature and history in Greek, Latin, French, Hebrew, as well as English. Anne was highly intelligent and independent. She appreciated the love and security of a man, but she believed that any woman who sought to use her wit, charm, or intelligence in the community at large, found herself ridiculed, banished, or executed by the Colony’s robust group of male leaders. Her domain was to be domestic, separating herself from the aligned church and state relations.

In her Untitled poem that was written in 1643, Anne Bradstreet is discussing the Puritan concern of many religious aspects along with the concern regarding morality, character, prayer, duty, and death. Her work reflects the rough time she had gone through, alongside other women in similar positions as being a Puritan woman. Because Puritan women were not allowed to express their opinions and outlooks, her work came as a shock to many. She was sought out to be striking. Bradstreet was the first woman to be recognized as an accomplished New World Poet. She was the most prominent of early English poets of North America and the first writer in England’s North American colonies to be published. She is the first Puritan figure in American Literature and notable for her well written and impactful poetry, as well as personal writings published posthumously. Her work did not get the recognition that it deserved because, just like many women at that time, Anne was one of the underrated females during the development of the United States of America. Thus, Bradstreet was a woman from the 1600s – a Puritan woman from the 1600s – which contributed to the lack of recognition earned.

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Nancy Hart was born in 1735 in North Carolina. She was a muscular, six-foot woman who was fearless and intimidated many. Hart was one of the more successful known spies. She married Benjamin Hart at the age of 36 and had six sons and two daughters while they settled in Georgia. During the early 1770s, Nancy, Benjamin, and their family left North Carolina and migrated into Georgia, settling in Broad River valley of the northeast Piedmont area. There she drew on her many frontier skills, including herbalism, hunting, and shooting. Through family ties, Hart had connections to other prominent figures in early American history. Such as the Revolutionary War general Daniel Morgan who was her cousin. He commanded victorious American forces at the Battle of Cowpens in South Carolina in 1781. Nancy Hart was known as the rebel heroine of the American Revolutionary War noted for her exploits against Loyalists in the northeast Georgia backcountry. She repeatedly outsmarted Tory soldiers and killed some outright. Hart was also a spy. Throughout her missions, she would always be in positions that included her getting information from British and returning it to the Patriots. The British troops would often stop by her home to monitor the Patriotic woman, although Hart would always catch them in the act and send them to the Patriots.

There was a time when she killed a guy, wounded another, then the others surrendered. During the time Hart was forming herself into a hero, America was involved with fighting in the Revolutionary War and attempting to gain their independence. The U.S. had to figure out how to make themselves economically stable and form their government to be powerful when they won the war. Nancy Hart had many accomplishments throughout her life due to her incredible skill and intelligence that comes with being a spy. She was a legendary hero of the American Revolution who made it her mission to rid the Georgia territory of British Loyalists. According to various accounts, Nancy captured six, killed one, and oversaw the hanging of five others. Hart did not receive the recognition she deserved due to the fact that she was a spy and had to keep her identity a secret. Nobody could know her actions, which could be an attribute as to why she was not well known. Even though Hart was a strong woman who pursued her violent actions, she might not have stuck out as much as other Revolutionary heroes have. She had to refrain from gaining recognition due to her job, having to keep that part of her life hidden. Therefore, she was fulfilling her duty and continuing with her life and did not seem to want recognition. Sarah Josepha Hale was born in Newport, New Hampshire on October 24th, 1788, and was mostly known for her work on creating the children nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and working on the magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book. During this period, America had declared independence on July 4th, 1776, and was working on establishing a better government, military, and public institutions such as a national bank.

Sarah Josepha Hale was educated due to her parents being compelling advocates for the education of both genders. Sarah embarked on a job as a writer and editor to support her family. She went on to anonymously write The Genius of Oblivion and several other original poems. Years later, Hale released the novel Northwood: A Tale of New England (1827). Hale was a staunch advocate of schooling for girls as well as women, pushing for entry into professions like teaching and eventually medicine. She helped create the Troy Female Seminary and finance Vassar College and campaigned for girls to join the association’s faculty. Sarah made many accomplishments throughout her lifetime. She established the Troy Female Seminary, financing Vassar College, and advocating for women to join the institution. She also pushed for Thanksgiving Day to be recognized as a national holiday in America. During that time, women did not have equal rights as men and were treated unequal. It is believed that Sarah Josepha Hale did not get the recognition she deserves, mainly due to her gender. Her different opinions on such movements can also be another reason as to why she did not get the recognition she deserves. There is a chance that many would not agree with her views and believe that she did not change or impact the nation.

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Unrecognized Females that Contributed to the United States of America’s Advancement: Anne Bradstreet, Nancy Hart, Sarah Josepha Hale. (2022, August 12). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 3, 2023, from
“Unrecognized Females that Contributed to the United States of America’s Advancement: Anne Bradstreet, Nancy Hart, Sarah Josepha Hale.” Edubirdie, 12 Aug. 2022,
Unrecognized Females that Contributed to the United States of America’s Advancement: Anne Bradstreet, Nancy Hart, Sarah Josepha Hale. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 3 Feb. 2023].
Unrecognized Females that Contributed to the United States of America’s Advancement: Anne Bradstreet, Nancy Hart, Sarah Josepha Hale [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Aug 12 [cited 2023 Feb 3]. Available from:
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