Promo graphic for the event, featuring the cover of Dr. Tillman's book.
Stripped and Script: Loyalist Women Writers of the American Revolution
Kacy Dowd Tillman
Tuesday, April 23, 2024
1-2 pm EDT


Female loyalists occupied a nearly impossible position during the American Revolution. Unlike their male counterparts, loyalist women were effectively silenced—unable to officially align themselves with either side or avoid being persecuted for their family ties. 

In this virtual talk, Kacy Dowd Tillman will discuss how women's letters and journals are the key to recovering these voices, as these private writings were used as vehicles for public engagement. Through a literary analysis of extensive correspondence by statesmen's wives, Quakers, merchants, and spies, Tillman’s recent book, Stripped and Script, offers a new definition of loyalism that accounts for disaffection, pacifism, neutralism, and loyalism-by-association. Taking up the rhetoric of violation and rape, the texts she examines repeatedly reference the real threats rebels posed to female bodies, property, friendships, and families during this period. Through writing, these women defended themselves against violation, in part, by writing about their personal experiences while knowing that the documents themselves may be confiscated, used against them, and circulated.

This program is part of Revolutionary Stories, New England’s Hidden Histories’ ongoing series on the American Revolution and the Congregational experience.

The event is free to all, but registration is required via this link:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about the webinar.

For more information, please email


Kacy Dowd Tillman is Director of Honors and Professor of English and Writing at the University of Tampa. She writes about Revolutionary-era letters and diaries and 18th century sentimental fiction. Her manuscript, Stripped and Script: Loyalist Women Writers of the American Revolution, was published by the University of Massachusetts Press in August 2019. Her new work concerns Black loyalist rhetoric, fake news and illness in early American sentimental fiction, and the American Revolution in the Popular Imagination.