A Woman Shopkeeper of the 1790s, by an Unknown Artist.
Earlier in the 18C 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 a female and the fictitious merchant who responded a male; see Pennsylvania Gazette, Dec. 3, 1730.
The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, (July 1995), 181-202.