History's Women: Early America: Hannah White Arnett - Patron Saint of the Revolutionary PeriodHannah White Arnett
Patron Saint of the Revolutionary Period
1733 – 1823 A.D.

Hannah White Arnett was the wife of Isaac Arnett, a wealthy and respected citizen of Elizabethtown, N.J. Both were Quakers, members of the Society of Friends that centered about that point. Most of the society sympathised [sic] with the patriots in the Revolutionary struggle—all except Hannah Arnett.

In the dark days of 1776, when defeat after defeat had greatly disheartened the Americans, Lord Cornwallis, after his victory at Fort Lee, marched his army to Elizabethtown in December and went into camp. On November 30th, Lord Howe issued his proclamation calling upon all people to present themselves within sixty days, declare themselves peaceful British subjects, bind themselves not to take up arms, etc. A meeting of prominent members of the Quaker society was held at the house of Isaac Arnett to discuss the advisability of accepting this offer of protection.

The debate was long and grave. Some were for accepting the offer at once; others held back a little, but at last all agreed that it was the best thing to do. Hope, faith, loyalty, courage, honour [sic]—all seemed swept away upon the flood of panic. Then it was that Hannah Arnett stepped into the room and by a few burning words turned the tide, and the secret pact made that day, that they would support the American cause loyally until independence was attained, was faithfully kept. Hannah White Arnett was born in Bridgehampton N.J., in 1733, and died at Elizabethtown in 1823, leaving several descendants.


Reference: The Pioneer Mothers of America: A Record of the More Notable Women of the Early Days of the Country, and Particularly of the Colonial and Revolutionary Periods by Harry Clinton Green and Mary Wolcott Green, A.B. Third Volume, Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons.