The Tory’s Wife: A Woman and Her Family in Revolutionary America

Jane Spurgin was a patriot who supported the Revolution. Her husband was a loyalist who fought for the king. When the war was over, William abandoned his family, leaving Jane to fight to keep the home she and her children were faced with losing because of his Toryism. That fight led her to demand “the common rights of other citizens”—a radical statement for a woman revolutionary America. Through the story of Jane Spurgin, historian Cynthia Kierner shows how the Revolution not only toppled long-established political hierarchies but also strained family ties and drew women into the public sphere to claim both citizenship and rights.

Dr. Cynthia Kierner is a professor of history at George Mason University. She has published widely in the fields of early America, women’s history, and the history of disasters. Her previous books include Scandal at Bizarre: Rumor and Reputation in Jefferson’s America and the award-winning Martha Jefferson Randolph: Daughter of Monticello, Her Life and Times. Cindy’s latest book is The Tory’s Wife: A Woman and Her Family in Revolutionary America. Her next book will be a biography of another notable woman, tentatively “Mother of the Mets: The Life and Times of Joan Whitney Payson.”

The content and opinions expressed in these presentations are solely those of the speaker and not necessarily of the Virginia Museum of History & Culture.

Event Details

Date & Time

Location

Virginia Museum of History & Culture

June 11, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
July 9, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
August 13, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum