1799 Charles Peale Polk (American artist, 1767-1822) Margaret Baker Briscoe (Mrs. Gerard Briscoe) with glasses & a book
Many widows & unmarried women had more rights than married women & did learn how to read & write. They were allowed to buy & sell property, make a will, & sign a contract. A widow could inherit at least some of her deceased husband’s property, run his business, hire workers, keep her wages, buy & sell property, collect & keep rents, & file lawsuits. Sometimes widows took over the husband's business. Many women never remarried.