Saturday, March 10, 2018

18C Delicate Women in the Almshouse

1748 Jersey Nanny by John Greenwood 1748

A 1751 petition to Philadelphia's Overseers of the Poor conveyed the request of Mary Marrot and her daughter for more refined fare in the almshouse. Although they appreciated the plentiful food, they "were both brought up in a delicate way" and therefore required something more dainty and "pretty." The petitioners hoped that the overseers would resolve this "Important Affair" in the Marrots' favor and grant the pair "Tea, Coffee, Chocolate or any thing else . . .more agreeable to their palates." Petition signed by William Plumsted and Edward Shippen, March 29, 1751, Overseers of the Poor, 1750-1767, Soc. Misc. Coll., HSP
The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, (July 1995), 181-202.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

18C Women in Business - Commerce & Character

A Woman Shopkeeper of the 1790s, by an Unknown Artist.

Earlier in the century, trade was often characterized in moral rather than political terms. Benjamin Franklin's fabricated letters to the editor on the behavior of a lying and cheating shopkeeper, Betty Dilligent, which appeared in the Pennsylvania Gazette, Nov. 19, 1730, highlighted the link between commerce and character. Significantly, Franklin chose to make the shopkeeper whose behavior he decried female and the fictitious merchant who responded male; see Pennsylvania Gazette, Dec. 3, 1730.
The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, (July 1995), 181-202.

Friday, March 2, 2018

18C Women in Business in Nantucket

A Woman Shopkeeper of the 1790s, by an Unknown Artist.

Descnbing the customs of eighteenth-century Nantucket, Hector St John de Crevecoeur praised the industnousness of the wives of the town, who, compelled by their seafanng husbands' long absences, were "necessarily obliged to transact business, to settle accounts, and, in short, to rule and provide for their families " J Hector St John de Crevecoeur, Letters from an American Farmer ed by Albert E Stone (New York, 1981), 157
The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, (July 1995), 181-202.