The 1st Recorded Women’s Demonstration In America took place during the American Revolution.
Lead by Penelope Barker (1728-1796), considered to be the “mother of Women’s Political Liberation”. A loyal patriot of the American Revolution, Penelope Barker organized the famous Edenton Tea Party, rallying 50 other women in Edenton, North Carolina to sign a resolution boycotting British tea. The move was made in response to the 1773 Tea Act, passed by Parliament, which gave the British East India Tea Company a monopoly in the colonies and was the last in a series of taxes and policies that colonists fiercely resented.
Throughout the colonies, Patriot leaders urged women, in their role as consumers, to support the rebellion by boycotting British imports such as cloth and tea, in keeping with the nonimportation resolutions passed by the First Continental Congress in 1774.
Therefore…On October 25, 1774, Barker gathered 50 women in the home of Elizabeth King, where they signed a resolution supporting the boycott as they drank tea made from mulberry leaves, lavender, and other local herbs. The event – dubbed the Edenton Tea Party — is significant historically because it is the first recorded women’s political demonstration in America. Their resolution stated: “We, the aforesaid Ladys will not promote ye wear of any manufacturer from England until such time that all acts which tend to enslave our Native country shall be repealed.”
The reaction to the Edenton Tea Party, demonstrated a common lack of respect for the voices of women. A reaction that reminds me of some of the conversations I have had, via social media, and in person, with people who have a tendency to attempt to distract from the need for the Equal Rights Amendment, by tearing women down. The political cartoon which was circulated in the London Press at the time mocked the women, showing them as bad mothers and women of loose morals.
Interestingly enough to note, the articles in the colonies were more supportive than those back at home in England. Where did the renegade support for its own women go in this country?
See the full article here on the National Women’s History Museum website here… https://www.nwhm.org/education-resources/biography/biographies/penelope-barker/
As always, feel free to contact me via social media, or to comment here, and I will respond! Engagement on the subject of the ERA is an important part of doing something good that will move our country forward! #EqualMeans Equal