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"Odd, but I am no longer jealous of Elisabeth. She is much prettier than I, but she is not perfect. Today, I think she is even a bit heartsore."
—Abigail Stewart[5]

Abigail Jane Campbell (née Stewart; March 6, 1766 – 1823) was the daughter of Sarah and Edward Stewart. She was the younger sister of Elisabeth, and older sister of Sally and John. Abigail grew up in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania during the first half of the Revolutionary War. After her father enlisted, she, her mother and siblings followed the Continental Army from place-to-place.


Early life[]

Abigail was born on March 6, 1766[2] to Sarah and Edward Stewart. She had three siblings, Elisabeth, Sally, and John, not including five brothers who died in infancy. Abigail and her family lived in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. They also had relatives living in Philadelphia.

Army at Valley Forge[]

Not long after the birth of her sixth brother, the Continental Army arrived in Valley Forge in late December 1777. Their arrival interrupted their normally quiet life. Abigail and her sister were unable to go to school as it had been turned into a hospital, though she did not miss it. General George Washington, meanwhile, began renting Mrs. Hewes' home. He later hired Abigail's mother as his laundress for forty shillings a month.

In January 1778, Abigail accompanied her father to Philadelphia, where the Redcoats were camped. All of their relatives refused to return with them to Valley Forge. General Washington's wife, Martha arrived in February. When Abigail finished sewing a shirt, Martha invited her to accompany her to the encampment to give it personally. There she met Helen Kern, who was not much older than Elisabeth. After Helen's husband died, the Stewart family took her in.

Abigail's friend Lucy Smith ran away from home in April 1778, when her parents discovered she had sold her hair. She wrote to Abigail about her whereabouts. Abigail kept her secret, but eventually informed Lucy's that she was safe and intended to return. She was relieved when the whole secret finally came to light. In June, Abigail said a sad goodbye to Martha, whom she had grown very fond of. General Washington and the Continental Army left Valley Forge later that month.

Following the Army[]


Abigail during the latter half of the Revolutionary War

"Yesterday when Willie lifted his musket to leave, I pretended to be brave. I did not cry. But after he marched away with all the men, I broke down weeping. In Valley Forge when we watched Papa go I was sad, yes, but I was just a girl of twelve. I knew so little."
—Abigail Stewart[6]

In late 1778, Abigail's father enlisted in the Continental Army. A few months later, the family's home caught fire and burned down. Abigail, her mother, and siblings went to Philadelphia in search of relatives, none of whom they could find. A kind woman, Mrs. Darling, let them stay at her home, where they were reunited with Helen. Abigail's mother later decided to join her husband in Middleton, New Jersey. Elisabeth stayed behind to take care of Ben Valentine, a soldier she had fallen in love with. Mr. and Mrs. Campbell joined the Stewarts on the way to Middleton. There Abigail met their son, Willie.

On the way to Stony Point, New York, they befriended Miss Lulu, a freewoman, and her daughter Mazie. A few months later in West Point, Abigail found a young British boy, Tom Penny, living in the woods. Willie convinced him to come out of hiding and he joined the Army as a drummer. They spent that winter at Jockey Hollow, which Abigail called the "cruelest weather of [her] life." The army remained there for several months until they headed back to West Point for the summer.

The winter was once again spent in Jockey Hollow in 1780, until the soldiers had a mutiny due to the poor conditions. Thankfully, an agreement was later reached. In early May 1781, Willie proposed to Abigail. They married on June 6, when Abigail was fifteen and Willie twenty. Two months later, she was expecting her first child. Towards the end of that summer, they headed to Philadelphia, where Abigail's mother and siblings remained. Abigail joined the other women on the way to Yorktown, Virginia, where a siege was occurring. A few weeks later, the British finally surrendered.

Later life[]

Abigail and Willie moved to Philadelphia, where her daughter Hannah was born. Willie worked with his father as a blacksmith. Some years later, Abigail's family, along with her parents, siblings and their families, Tom Penny, and Helen Kern and her family, moved to the Ohio River Valley to homestead in 1787. Abigail had nine children with Willie, including three sons who became lawyers. Hannah became the first female doctor in their county. Abigail died at the age of fifty-seven in 1823, after being thrown from a horse. Her husband died two years later, possibly from grief.

Personality and traits[]

Abigail was a typical girl of her day. She was respectful toward adults and always helped her mother with the chores. Abigail loved her siblings, though they fought sometimes. She fought the most with Sally. Abigail also disliked school and did not miss it when the schoolhouse was turned into a hospital. Towards the end of the war, she had developed into a strong, resilient person

Family tree[]

The Stewart-Campbell Family Tree
Three brothers
Edward Stewart
Sarah Stewart
Benjamin Valentine
(d. 1825)
Elisabeth Stewart
Abigail Stewart
Willie Campbell
Sally Stewart
(b. 1771)
John Stewart
(b. 1777)
Rose Valentine
Paul Valentine
Nathaniel Valentine
Hannah Campbell
Three sons
Five others

Behind the scenes[]


Elisabeth Rosen as Abigail


Abigail doll



See also[]

Dear America characters
Main characters

Remember "Mem" Whipple | Deliverance Trembley | Lozette Moreau | Catharine Logan | Prudence Emerson
Abigail Stewart | Lucinda Lawrence | María Rosalia de Milagros | Hattie Campbell | Mary Driscoll
Florence "Florrie" Mack Ryder | Susanna Fairchild | Clotee Henley | Amelia Martin | Emma Simpson
Sarah Nita | Phillis "Patsy" Frederick | Libby West | Priscilla "Pringle" Rose | Mary "Polly" Rodgers
Nannie Little Rose | Angeline Reddy | Sarah Jane Price | Teresa Viscardi | Anetka Kaminska
Zipporah Feldman | Minette "Minnie" Bonner | Angela Denoto | Margaret Ann Brady | Kathleen Bowen
Simone Spencer | Lydia Pierce | Nell "Nellie Lee" Love | Bess Brennan | Minerva "Minnie" Swift | Grace Edwards
Julie Weiss | Madeline Beck | Amber Billows | Piper Davis | Dawn "Dawnie Rae" Johnson | Molly Flaherty

Supporting characters

Antoinetta Viscardi | Leon Nasevich | Daniel Pierce | Erma Jean Love | Patrick Flaherty

Lists of characters by book

A Journey to the New World | I Walk in Dread | Look to the Hills | Standing in the Light
Love Thy Neighbor | The Winter of Red Snow | Cannons at Dawn | A Line in the Sand
Valley of the Moon | Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie | So Far from Home | All the Stars in the Sky
Seeds of Hope | A Picture of Freedom | A Light in the Storm | When Will This Cruel War Be Over?
The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow | I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly | The Great Railroad Race
Down the Rabbit Hole | Land of the Buffalo Bones | My Heart Is on the Ground | Behind the Masks
My Face to the Wind | West to a Land of Plenty | A Coal Miner's Bride | Dreams in the Golden Country
A City Tossed and Broken | Hear My Sorrow | Voyage on the Great Titanic | A Time for Courage
When Christmas Comes Again | Like the Willow Tree | Color Me Dark | Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
Christmas After All | Survival in the Storm | One Eye Laughing, the Other Weeping
My Secret War | Early Sunday Morning | The Fences Between Us | With the Might of Angels
Where Have All the Flowers Gone?