The Early Modern Commons

In the Words of Women

Recent Posts

Deciphering Eighteenth Century Handwriting

21 October 2017

Part of what attracted me to research in the era of the America Revolution was the excitement of handling and reading the actual letters of the participants and of the general public,...

“Encrease and Multiply” says Polly Baker

14 October 2017

In 1747 the following purported to be the plea of a woman accused of having multiple children out of wedlock before a Connecticut court, making the case that she should not be fined...

“I have lost a much valued Friend.”

10 October 2017

MARTHA WASHINGTON and ELIZABETH WILLING POWEL did not have a great deal in common though they were fast friends and faithful correspondents. One thing that did bind them together was...

“My Heart is so sincerely afflicted. . . .”

5 October 2017

ELIZABETH WILLING POWEL and George Washington exchanged letters in Philadelphia until he left for Mount Vernon in mid December 1798. Washington paid promptly for the articles that Powel...