Mercy Otis Warren

Mercy Otis Warren, 1728–1814, American writer, b. Barnstable, Mass.; sister of James Otis and wife of James Warren, who was speaker of the Massachusetts house of representatives. An ardent patriot, she conducted a political salon during the pre-Revolutionary days and wrote two satirical plays, The Adulateur (1773) and The Group (1775), against the Tories. Well acquainted with many leaders of the Revolution, she urged, unsuccessfully, that equal rights for women be included in the U.S. Constitution, and outlined her objections to that document as originally drafted in Observations on the New Constitution … by a Columbian Patriot (1788). Many of her criticisms were met by the Bill of Rights and later amendments. Her history of the American Revolution (3 vol., 1805) is still important for factual information as well as for its sketches of contemporary figures.

See studies by K. S. Anthony (1958, repr. 1972) and J. Fritz (1972).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

The Muse of the Revolution: The Secret Pen of Mercy Otis Warren and the Founding of a Nation
Nancy Rubin Stuart.
Beacon Press, 2008
A Woman's Dilemma: Mercy Otis Warren and the American Revolution
Rosemarie Zagarri.
Harlan Davidson, 1995
Ladies for Liberty: Women Who Made a Difference in American History
John Blundell.
Algora, 2011
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "Mercy Otis Warren"
The Group. 1779
Mercy Otis Warren.
William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan, 1953
The Fair Sex: White Women and Racial Patriarchy in the Early American Republic
Pauline Schloesser.
New York University Press, 2002
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "The Philosopher Queen and the U.S. Constitution: Mercy Otis Warren as a Reluctant Signatory"
Theatre, Society, and the Nation: Staging American Identities
S. E. Wilmer.
Cambridge University Press, 2002
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Mercy Otis Warren's plays and poems begins on p. 39
American Women Writers to 1800
Sharon M. Harris.
Oxford University Press, 1996
Librarian’s tip: "Abigail Smith Adams (1744-1818, Massachusetts) and Mercy Otis Warren (1728-1814, Massachusetts)" begins on p. 239
Republicanism and Liberalism in America and the German States, 1750-1850
Jürgen Heideking; James A. Henretta; Peter Becker.
Cambridge University Press, 2002
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "Between Liberalism and Republicanism:'Manners' in the Political Thought of Mercy Otis Warren"
Mercy Otis Warren: Selected Letters
Mercy Otis Warren; Jeffrey H. Richards; Sharon M. Harris.
University of Georgia Press, 2009
The Language of the Constitution
Stuart B. Flexner; Douglas M. Arnold; Christopher Collier; Dominick Egan; Thurston Greene.
Greenwood Press, 1991
Librarian’s tip: Includes excerpts from Mercy Otis Warren's "Observations on the New Constitution" throughout
The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799
John C. Fitzpatrick.
U.S. Govt. Print. Off., vol.31, 1931
Librarian’s tip: "To Mercy Otis Warren, June 4" begins on p. 48 and "To Mercy Otis Warren, November 4" begins on p. 144
Worthy Partner: The Papers of Martha Washington
Joseph E. Fields; Martha Washington.
Greenwood Press, 1994
Librarian’s tip: Includes letters from Martha Washington to Mercy Otis Warren
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