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Freelove Whipple Fenner Jenckes (1751-1780)

Freelove Whipple Fenner, daughter of James Fenner and Freelove Whipple, was born on March 25, 1751 in Providence, Rhode Island. Both of her parents died before her first birthday. Freelove Fenner was celebrated for her beauty and well known for her participation in the “Daughters of Liberty,” who organized in Rhode Island in 1766. As Rhode Islanders began to resist the enactment of the Stamp Act, many women decided that they were going to join the fight against perceived British tyranny. Eighteen young women collaborated at the first meeting in Providence and the organization eventually sprouted branches throughout New England.

The “Daughters of Liberty” conducted and participated in boycotts of British goods in order to show their loyalty to the colonies. Members of the “Sons” and “Daughters” organizations worked together and met frequently to discuss the issues of the time. Their patriotic effort to provide “homespun” fabric and other domestic products decreased colonists’ dependence on British goods. They helped to find substitutes for products such as tea and sugar that were controlled and heavily taxed by Great Britain. Without the dedication and commitment of these women, rejection of British taxation policies would have been much more difficult, if not impossible. Freelove received recognition for her effort from the Marquis de Lafayette when he visited Providence in 1778.

Freelove Fenner married Captain Sylvanus Jenckes in 1772 and gave birth to her daughter, Sarah Whipple Jenckes the following year. She did not live to see the end of the war, dying in 1780. Read More...

Amanda Morgan, Student at Rhode Island College