God & Country Home Search Page


Picture of Mercy Otis Warren


Poet, Propagandist, & Historian of the Revolution

Biographical Data
Religious Views
References, Links, & Further Reading


Occupation: writer, historian

Political Affiliation:

Religious Affiliation:

Summary of Religious Views:

Views on Religion & Politics:


"In the cool moments of reflection, both humanity and philosophy revolt at the diabolical disposition, that has prevailed in almost every country, to persecute such as either from education or principle, from caprice or custom, refuse to subscribe to the religious creed of those, who, by various adventitious circumstances, have acquired a degree of superiority or power."
. . . .
". . .there may be danger, that in the enthusiasm for toleration, indifference to all religion take place. [Since these annals were written this observation has been fully verified in the impious sentiments and conduct of several members of the national Convention of France, who, after the dissolution of monarchy, and the abolition of the privileged orders, were equally zealous for the destruction of the altars of God, and the annihilation of all religion.] Perhaps few will deny that religion, viewed merely in a political light, is after all the best cement of society, the great barrier of just government, and the only certain restraint of the passions, those dangerous inlets to licentiousness and anarchy."
"It has been observed by an ingenious writer, that there are proselytes from atheism, but none from superstition. Would it not be more just to reverse the observation? The narrowness of superstition frequently wears off, by an intercourse with the world, and the subjects become useful members of society. But the hardiness of atheism sets at defiance both human and divine laws, until the man is lost to himself and to the world." -- The Rise, Progress and Termination of the American Revolution Interspersed with Biographical, Political, and Moral Observations, Volume One, Chapter One: Introductory Observations, 1805

"It is necessary for every American with becoming energy to endeavor to stop the dissemination of principles evidently destructive of the cause for which they have bled. It must be the combined virtue of the rulers and of the people to do this and to rescue and save their civil and religious rights from the out-stretched arm of tyranny, which may appear under any mode or form of government." -- The Rise, Progress and Termination of the American Revolution Interspersed with Biographical, Political, and Moral Observations, Volume Three, Chapter Thirty-One, 1805


References, Links, & Further Reading: Books, Articles, Links


Works by Mercy Otis Warren

The Adulateur: A Tragedy, as it is Now Acted in Upper Servia, 1772
The Blockheads, and The Defeat, 1773, 1776
The Motley Assembly, and The Group, 1775, 1779
Observations on the New Constitution, 1788
Poems, Dramatic and Miscellaneous, 1790
History of the Rise, Progress and Termination of the American Revolution, 2 vol., Larkin, 1805; reprint, History of the Rise, Progress and Termination of the American Revolution
Mercy Otis Warren: Selected Letters, Univ. of Georgia Press, 2009


Katherine Anthony, First Lady of the Revolution: The Life of Mercy Otis Warren,, Doubleday, 1958
Alice Brown, Mercy Warren, Scribner's, 1986
Jeffrey H. Richards, Mercy Otis Warren, Twayne, 1995
Nancy Rubin Stuart, The Muse of the Revolution: The Secret Pen of Mercy Otis Warren and the Founding of a Nation, Beacon Press, 2008
Rosemarie Zagarri, A Woman's Dilemma: Mercy Otis Warren and the American Revolution (American Biographical History Series), Davidson, Harlan, 1995


Nina Baym, "Between Enlightenment and Victorian: Toward a Narrative of American Women Writers Writing History," Critical Inquiry, Vol. 18, No.1, pp. 22-41, Autumn 1991
Nina Baym, "Mercy Otis Warren's Gendered Melodrama of Revolution," South Atlantic Quarterly, 90, pp. 531-54, 1991
Lester H. Cohen, "Mercy Otis Warren: The Politics of Language and the Aesthetics of Self," American Quarterly, Vol. 35. Iss. 5, pp. 481-498, Winter 1983
Lester H. Cohen, "Explaining the Revolution: Ideology and Ethics in Mercy Otis Warren's Historical Theory," William and Mary Quarterly Third Series, Vol. 37, Iss, 2, pp. 200-18, April 1980
Zoe Detsi, "The Metaphors of Freedom: Republican Rhetoric and Gender Ideology in Mercy Otis Warren's Romantic Tragedies, The Sack of Rome and The Ladies of Castile," American Drama, 8.1, pp. 1-25, Fall 1998
Zoe Detsi, "Mercy Otis Warren: Her Political Self and Her Personal Dilemma," Gramma, 2, pp. 35-45, 1994
Benjamin Franklin V, "A Note on Mercy Otis Warren's The Defeat," Early American Literature, 17.2, pp. 165, Fall 1982
Edmund M. Hayes, "Mercy Otis Warren versus Lord Chesterfield, 1779," William and Mary Quarterly, Third Series, Vol. 40, Iss. 4, pp. 616-621, Oct. 1983
Edmund M. Hayes, "The Private Poems of Mercy Otis Warren," New England Quarterly, 54.2, pp. 199-203, Jun 1981
Cheryl Z. Oreovicz, "Mercy Otis Warren (1728-1814)," Legacy, 13.1, pp. 54-63, 1996
Cheryl Z. Oreovicz, "Mercy Warren and 'Freedom's Genius'," University of Mississippi Studies in English, 5: 215-230, 1984-1987
Gerald Weales, "The Adulateur and How It Grew," Library Chronicle, 43, pp. 103-133, 1979
Gerald Weales, "The Quality of Mercy, or Mrs. Warren's Profession," Georgia Review, 33, pp. 881-94, 1979


Works by Mercy Otis Warren

Mercy Otis Warren, conscience of the American Revolution (B&R Samizdat Express)

Biographical Sites

Mercy Otis Warren from Elizabeth F. Ellet, The Women of the American Revolution (Three Rivers)
Mercy Otis Warren (1728-1814) Battle of Bunker Hill (Massachusetts Historical Society)
Mercy Otis Warren (1728-1814) (The Heath Anthology of American Literature)
Mercy Otis Warren (1728-1814) (PAL: Perspectives in American Literature)

God & Country Home Search Page