J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Thursday, October 22, 2020

A Memorial to a Mother

Jane Cave, later Jane Winscom (1752-1812), started writing poetry as a teen. Her first datable poem is about the death of the Rev. George Whitefield in September 1770.

When the American War for Independence broke out and there was a general fast declared in Britain, Cave wrote about, “When armies after armies prostrate lie, / And brother, by his brother’s hand must die.”

Years later, in the early 1800s, Winscom published a large collection under the pen name “Mrs. Rueful.” Those poems detailed the troubles of her marriage and her migraine headaches.

Today I’m quoting an extract from Jane Cave’s poem later titled “On the Death of a Beloved Mother, Who died February 6, 1777”:
She gave me birth, and twenty fleeting years
I’ve been the object of her anxious cares.
Thro’ belpless infancy she sav’d from harms
And nurs’d, and bore me in her tender arms.
She sympathiz’d in every pain and grief.
And would have borne it all for my relief.

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