"...when Law, humanity, nor justis is Sufferd to take place__"
The final post in our Women's History Month series picks up the theme from our previous installment, charting the experience of Loyalist women behind American lines in eastern Massachusetts. Today's letter by Sarah Dering Thomas, the aunt of Elizabeth Dering (the recipient of both letters), continues the story from where Anna Winslow's note left off. Writing in May 1781, Sarah left no doubt that the Loyalists in her area were still suffering from persecution from their Whig neighbors. Like Winslow, Thomas looks to religious imagery to help contextualize the problem, hoping "to loose an earthly inheritance for an heavenly one." Of particular note in this letter is a possible reference to Loyalist flight: Dering's Cousin Charles is preparing for a voyage, which one can easily imagine meant an escape from the increasingly ascendant Whigs, during a period of the war where British fortunes were beginning to ebb. Of particular note in this letter is the fact that Elizabeth Dering, despite her family's political affiliations, seemed to enjoy freedom of movement and socialization in Boston, a hotbed of Revolutionary fervor. For the full story, please see the complete transcript of the letter below.