January 15, 2016
history has accredited james madison with penning the bill of rights, but has largely ignored that the precursor to this document was written 18 months earlier by mercy otis warren in her publication: observations on the new constitution.
how little we discuss mercy otis warren borders on the absurd once all her achievements are brought to the forefront. not only was she a powerfully influential writer (anonymously), but she shaped the social and legal constructs that we continue to abide by to this day. without mercy otis warren, freedom of speech, the right to a trial by jury, and freedom of the press would have had one less vocal advocate in a time when only the loudest voices were heard. compared to many of voices of the american revolution, mercy otis warren's was a decibel above the din.
she had a very close friendship with john and abigail adams, which allowed her to shape the malleable foundation of our young country. abigail adams and mercy otis warren had a friendship akin to that of john adams and thomas jefferson, both in terms of their differences in political affiliation as well as succession in our 45women reconstruction of history. their relationships were based on mutual respect and admiration of the other's character, affording them much needed guidance in uncharted territory.
mercy otis warren was capable of accomplishing incredible feats while remaining anonymous; where would we be if she was allowed to be as visible as she was heard?