Brief Biographies of a Few Female Leaders We Should Have Learned about in School
Appendix 2 in The Secret Life of Lady Liberty: Goddess in the New World by Robert R. Hieronimus, Ph.D., and Laura E. Cortner, available from amazon.com.
This appendix is intended as just a sampling to get you started. We urge you to look up the full biographies of these women and follow the trails to learn about even more inspirational women like them who are hidden behind the lines of standard history textbooks. Many famous notable women are not included here in this list because we briefly mentioned them earlier in the book itself.
Cockacoeske (circa 1640–1686) was one of the female leaders of the Pamunkey, part of the Powhatan confederacy in the Virginia area. These are the people of the Pocahontas legend who kept the Jamestown settlers alive during their first winter of 1607. Cockacoeske herself was recorded in the Virginia colony history as a female diplomat who tried to negotiate terms with the British after the border disputes that led up to Bacon’s Rebellion in 1675 when frontiersmen were pushing to expand into Indian lands. As leader of her people, she tried to work within the British legal system to maintain peace and protect and strengthen their intertribal confederacy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cockacoeske
Edmonia Lewis (1844–1907) was a remarkable artist and a contemporary of Thomas Crawford and Auguste Bartholdi. An African American/Native American woman, she studied sculpting in Rome and gained recognition and large commissions for her neoclassical statues. Many of her most famous works feature the broken chains of slavery. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmonia_Lewis
Lucretia Mott (1793–1880) was a preacher of the Quaker faith who sermonized against slavery and was one of the first woman suffrage activists. Together with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, she organized and coauthored the Declaration of Sentiments for the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucretia_Mott
Eliza Lucas Pinckney (1722–1793) ran her father’s vast South Carolina estate from the time she was a teenager. Given unusual freedom and education by her family, she experimented with the crops until perfecting an innovation in the cultivation of indigo, which led to indigo becoming one of the most lucrative exports of the colonies. Eliza Pinckney also raised her children to be active patriots. Two of her sons became influential leaders in the new federal government: Thomas Pinckney was ambassador to Great Britain and envoy to Spain and nominated for vice president in 1796; Charles Cotesworth Pinckney was a signer of the Constitution and nominated as vice president in 1800, and for president in 1804 and 1808. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eliza_Lucas
Wetamo, or Wetamoo (circa 1635–1676) was a female leader of the Wampanoag warriors in Metacomet’s campaign. She fought against the colonists in Rhode Island in what is known as King Philip’s War. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weetamoo