Tomorrow marks the 226th anniversary of the United States Constitution’s ratification when New Hampshire became the ninth state to approve. In honor of that occasion, today’s “feisty female” is a woman whose writings no doubt helped shape that historic document. Her activism both before and during the Revolutionary War served to rally the cause for liberty from British tyranny.
Mercy Otis was born on September 14, 1728 in West Barnstable (Cape Cod) to parents James and Mary (neè Allyne) Otis. Her father was an industrious and prosperous merchant, attorney and judge who fared well enough to send his sons to Harvard. While education was neither encouraged nor mandated in that day for girls, Mercy managed to receive an informal education, by accompanying her brothers who were tutored by their uncle Reverend Jonathan Russell. She was allowed to study side-by-side with her brothers all subjects except Latin and Greek.
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