One of Hammock’s favorite parts of helping the Daughters of the American Revolution to publish American Spirit magazine is finding those little-known stories of women of the Colonial and early American period. Because these women are under-represented in historical accounts of the period, we also don’t know what many of them looked like! Portraits were painted of First Ladies Martha Washington, Abigail Adams and Dolley Madison, but obviously those were unique circumstances. Francis Lewis, like many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, had a portrait painted, but his wife, Elizabeth Annesley Lewis, one of the March/April issue’s featured women, did not.

This lack of historical record presents a challenge to our design department: How to represent these women visually in our pages? For past Women’s History Month issues, we’ve shown portraits of the First Ladies as well as artists’ representations of noteworthy women. Last year’s award-winning cover included photographs of DAR founders and present-day members within a large silhouette.

This year, our designers decided to showcase five common Colonial women’s profiles and add a pop of color and a symbol to represent specific aspects of each individuals’ story. A red cross stands for Abigail Hartman Rice, a German immigrant who served as a nurse for Revolutionary soldiers; a voting box exemplifies Lydia Taft, the first woman voter in America; a quill represents Elizabeth Lewis, who was imprisoned for her husband’s Declaration signature; a cannon symbolizes Ann Fisher Miller, whose home was used as a headquarters for George Washington during the Battle of White Plains; and a noose marks the spot for notorious Bathsheba Spooner, who was hanged for plotting to murder her husband.

Our goal was to honor these women’s history while giving their stories a modern flair. How’d we do?