Ideological Origins of the American Revolution
Mercy Otis Warren (1728-1814) was an American poet, historian, and dramatist whose brother James Otis was an important activist in the American Revolution. Though Mercy received no formal schooling, she benefited from her proximity to political leaders and managed to glean some knowledge from her brothers' tutors. She married James Warren, who was speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Her 1773 play, Adulateur, satirized Massachusetts Governor Thomas Hutchinson and foretold the War of Revolution. Her second work, The Group (1775), targeted the Tories. She also published essays representing female support for the war effort.
Mercy corresponded with her friend Abigail Adams, to whom she conveyed her belief that women suffered not so much from inferior intellect as from insufficient opportunities to develop their capacities. She urged, unsuccessfully, that equal rights for women be included in the U.S. Constitution. Her Observations on the New Constitution ... by a Columbian Patriot (1788) outlined her objections to the Constitution, most of which were satisfied with passage of the Bill of Rights.