One of the most prominent women authors of her time, Mercy Otis Warren was well situated to write a contemporary history of the American Revolution. She was at the center of major events of the period, and her marriage to General James Warren gave her contacts important to rendering this insider’s fiercely egalitarian telling of the Revolution.
Jefferson was one of the original subscribers to the work and corresponded with the author as her writing progressed. In ordering subscriptions of Warren’s History for himself and his cabinet, Jefferson noted his anticipation of her truthful and insightful account of the last thirty years that “will furnish a more instructive lesson to mankind than any equal period known in history.”
The Jefferson Collection also contains a copy of Warren’s Poems, Dramatic and Miscellaneous (1790). The original manuscript of Warren’s History is also held by the Library of Congress.