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Mrs. Robert Murray entertaining British officers, while Putnam escapes / E.A. Abbey (1801-ca. 1886)

How could one woman stop the British army without any weapon? Without firing a single shot? Well, by being charming. Mary Lindley Murray had an unusual situation. While she was a supporter of American independence, her husband was loyal to the British. Knowing that British troops had landed to trap retreating Americans, Mary invited the British commanders to tea. Her hospitality stalled the British long enough for the Americans to pass by New York safely. Thus, another woman, using her brains instead of her brawn, helped to defeat the British and hasten independence.


From a journal kept by a surgeon in the Continental army:
"It has since become almost a common saying among our officers that Mrs. Murray saved this part of the American army"
Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation
by Cokie Roberts