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MERCY WARREN (1728—1814)

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Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 330 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MERCY WARREN (1728—1814), American writer, sister of James Otis (q.v.), was born at Barnstable, Mass., and in 1754 married James Warren (1726—1808) of Plymouth Mass., a college friend of her brother. Her literary inclinations were fostered by both these men, and she began early to write poems and prose essays. As member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives (1766—1774) and its speaker (1776—1777 and 1787—1788), member (1774 and 1775) and president (1775) of the Provincial Congress, and paymaster-general in 1775, James Warren took a leading part in the events of the American revolutionary period, and his wife followed its progress with keen interest. Her gifts of satire were utilized in her political dramas, The Adulator (1773) and The Group (1775); and John Adams, whose wife Abigail was Mercy Warren's close friend, encouraged her to further efforts. Her tragedies, " The Sack of Rome " and " The Ladies of Castile," were included in her Poems, Dramatic and Miscellaneous (179o), dedicated to General Washing-ton. Apart from their historical interest among the beginnings of American literature, Mercy Warren's poems have no permanent value. In 18o5 she published a History of the American Revolution, which was coloured by somewhat outspoken personal criticism and was bitterly resented by John Adams (see his correspondence, published by the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1878). James Warren died in ,8o8, and his wife followed him on the 19th of October 1814. See Elizabeth F. Ellet, Women of the Revolution (1856; new ed., 1900) ; an article by Annie Russell Marble in the New England Magazine (April 1903); Alice Brown, Mercy Warren (New York, 1896).
End of Article: MERCY WARREN (1728—1814)
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