Browse Exhibits (2 total)

Women in Taverns

GW Papers Series 5, Payment to Mrs. Campbell.png

Taverns were at the forefront of the American Revolution in terms of the spread of ideas and motivation throughout the colonists. Taverns provided food, drink, and comfort for travelers to the courthouses and cities. The founding fathers played important roles in the taverns in Boston and Philadelphia. However, women are forgotten in this seemingly masculine environment.

The role of women during this time focuses on the maintenance of the home and family. Most women that received land deeds during the 18thcentury were likely widows, yet many were also mothers and daughters that worked in taverns, public houses, inns, and shops. For instances, in Petersburg, Virginia, a woman named Ann Forbes, “held the town record for liquor sale violations” and about 30% of all violations and failures to obtain liquor license were by a woman.[1]This raises the interesting question about how many women were active participants to local economies and governments. Historic Taverns are knowns as breeding ground for revolutionary thoughts as well as the operation of governments.

A complete history of women in taverns is important to the understanding of cultural traditions and the work of women in a public setting other than a mother, wife, or daughter, but as a businesswoman. This research will explore the way in which females ran taverns and the relevance of their establishments in society. The analysis of women in the workplace would provide insight to the social constructs between genders and the female influence on public life and drinking.

[1]Lebsock, Suzanne. The Free Women of Petersburg: Status and Culture in a Southern Town,

1874-1860. New York: W.W. Norton &, 1990. 177.



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Kate Mason Rowland: Bias and Historical Contributions

Kate Mason Rowland, later referred to as Kate Mason, was known as a historian and many other professions such as an author and more. She is best known for her biography on her ancestor, George Mason IV. Rowland served as a nurse in Richmond, Virginia during the American Civil War. After her involvement, she went on to become a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy which championed the idea of the Lost Cause. Her views were sympathetic to the Confederate States of America and she supported the idea of secession since she subscribed to the idea of the war’s primary cause being the issue of States’ Rights. Rowland's published works, primarily her biography on George Mason IV, exhibit the views she held and what she hoped to attempt by recounting the story of one of America's Founding Fathers. Given her strong and controversial views, was Kate Mason Rowland a true historian? Did her views manifest themselves in her work?

This exhibit examines what views Kate Mason Rowland held alongside how she conducted and wrote her works centered on history. Furthermore, this exhibit also explores public perception and reviews on Rowland's works as well as her views regarding the South. It is the aim of this exhibit to explore the colorful and interesting character of Kate Mason Rowland and how that translated in her writing. Not many speak of Rowland and her visibility has died down. Many times, she is only briefly mentioned as a descendent of George Mason IV. Rowland does not get enough attention even though her ideas and involvement in the American Civil War only add to the depth of this nation’s history.

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