About the Book
The Spurgin family of North Carolina experienced the cataclysm of the American Revolution in the most dramatic ways―and from different sides. This engrossing book tells the story of Jane Welborn Spurgin, a patriot who welcomed General Nathanael Greene to her home and aided Continental forces while her loyalist husband was fighting for the king as an officer in the Tory militia. By focusing on the wife of a middling backcountry farmer, esteemed 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―as Jane Spurgin did with a dramatic series of petitions to the North Carolina state legislature when she fought to reclaim her family’s lost property after the war was over.
While providing readers with stories of battles, horse-stealing, bigamy, and exile that bring the Revolutionary era vividly to life, this book also serves as an invaluable examination of the potentially transformative effects of war and revolution, both personally and politically.
About the Author
Cynthia A. Kierner is a professor fo history at George Mason University and a specialist in the fields of early America, women and gender, and early southern history.
She is the author of Martha Jefferson Randolph, Daughter of Monticello: Her Life and Times (a finalist for the 2013 George Washington Book Prize); Scandal at Bizarre: Rumor and Reputation in Jefferson’s America, and Inventing Disaster: The Culture of Calamity from the Jamestown Colony to the Johnstown Flood.
Kierner is an OAH Distinguished Lecturer and past president of the Southern Association for Women Historians (SAWH), and she has served on several editorial boards. Her research has received support from the American Historical Association, the Virginia Historical Society, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the American Antiquarian Society, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Dr. Kierner worked on The Tory's Wife as a member of the Washington Library's 2020-21 class or research fellows.