Elizabeth Murray: A Woman's Pursuit of Independence in Eighteenth-Century America
Patricia ClearyISBN: 1558493964;
One of the most compelling figures in colonial America, Elizabeth Murray (1726-1785) was a Scottish immigrant who settled in Boston in her early twenties and took up shopkeeping. For many years, she practiced her trade successfully while marrying three times, once to a much older man who left her an extremely rich widow. This biography chronicles the life of this extraordinary "ordinary" woman who tried to make a place for herself and other women in the world by asserting her own independence inside and outside of the home. As an importer and retailer of British goods, Murray conducted business with merchants and manufacturers in England and buyers in the American colonies, even traveling to London to select her own stock. Deeply satisfied by her work and the economic freedom it brought her, she acted as mentor to other women, helping them to establish shops of their own. She also protected her autonomy by demanding prenuptial agreements from her second and third husbands that...
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