Author showcases hidden reality of Mary Patton’s life

Published 8:36 am Friday, April 26, 2019

Author Martin Mongieola recently published his latest book: “Terrorist Psychotic: Mary Patton,” in which he said he works to help uncover the previously hidden details of the historical woman’s life.

“This is what she went through,” Mongiello said.

The book’s title, he said, immediately turns some people away, but he said showcasing how the British truly treated people during the colonial and Revolutionary era is important.

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Patton was a young woman in Pennsylvania who owned a black powder factory but moved to what is now East Tennessee to better locate the materials she needed, including better access to the type of trees she needed (pine), and sulfur.

Her craft became vital when the Revolutionary war broke out, as Patton’s craft became a significant source of black powder soldiers used against the British.

Despite this contribution, however, Mongiello said many accounts of her life tend to report inaccuracies or misconceptions.

“We know she was in love with her husband,” he said. “Her black powder was used in multiple battles, not just King’s Mountain, including Cowpens and Guilford Courthouse.”

He also said the book helps showcase what it was like to be a woman entrepreneur, and how common law back then differed from modern day.

“In British Common Law, when a woman married, they had to surrender their entire portfolio to the husband,” he said. “He owned everything.”

This reality, he said, made the business much more difficult for women, a reality he said translated well to modern day realities of women in business.

Her black powder business, he said, was crucial to winning the war. He described entire battles that America won by using her higher-quality ammunition compared to the soggy, harder to use powder the British had to use.

“A lot of these tactical advantages were never explained,” he said of some newspapers that report on Patton’s achievements. “People read the same two paragraphs of information, and that gets a little boring.”

Mongiello’s book is available in print and in the Amazon online store, though it does have an MA rating for some of the content, describing the “fire and brimstone in war and killing.”

“It is not a children’s book,” he said. “It is nowhere near Game of Thrones, but it has shocked people.”