Judith Sargent (Saunders) (1731 - 1793)

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Nicknames: "Judith Sanders"
Death: Died
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About Judith Sargent (Saunders)

From Judith Sargent Murray: Essayist, educator, and promoter of female abilities by Bonnie Hurd Smith (reprinted from Mingling Souls Upon Paper: An Eighteenth-century Love Story)

The Gloucester, Massachusetts, of Judith Sargent Murray’s childhood was a thriving colonial seaport in “His Britannik Majesty’s” empire populated by hardy, independent-minded, townspeople. Many families, like the Sargents and Saunderses, had immigrated from England in the seventeenth century to pursue economic opportunities. By 1751, the year Judith was born, they had achieved considerable wealth from exporting fish, lumber, and other commodities to England and the West Indies and importing valuable goods. They were distinguished, engaged citizens whose trade activities exposed them to people and ideas from other parts of the world. Judith Sargent was born on May 5 into these two families, the oldest child of Winthrop Sargent and Judith Saunders Sargent .... Four children died in childhood, but four survived to adulthood: Judith, Winthrop, Esther, and Fitz William.

Both the Sargent and Saunders families had accumulated significant wealth through several generations of lucrative trade in England and the West Indies. They were cultured, politically aware, and civically active.

Judith’s parents provided a typical education for a merchant-class daughter—reading, writing, and training in the domestic skills of sewing and household management. At the same time, though, the Sargents had hired a tutor for their son Winthrop to prepare him for Harvard College.

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Judith Sargent's Timeline

1731
1731
1751
May 1, 1751
Age 20
Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts
1753
May 1, 1753
Age 22
Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts
1768
August 14, 1768
Age 37
Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts
1793
1793
Age 62
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