Colonial Sense logo
Home
Login:
Member:      Password:
Remember Me Lost your info?    
Colonial Sense NavBar Start


   Featured Articles

   Community
     10 Questions
     Event Calendar
     Downloads
     Business District
     Online Resources
     Marketplace
     Town Square Forums
     Broadsheet Archive
     Ye Olde CS Shoppe

   Society-Lifestyle
     Holidays
     Signs of the Times
     Food and Farming
     Recipes
     Colonial Dictionary
     Colonial Quotes
     Kolonial Kids

   Antiques
     Furniture
     Other Antiques
     Auction Results

   How-To Guides
     Crafts
     Interior
     Outdoors
     Restoration

   Architecture
     Houses
     Towns

   Regional History
     Timeline
     Trivia Challenge
     Journals
       Friedrich
         Gerstäcker

       The Journal of Jasper
         Danckaerts

       The Journal of Madam
         Knight

       Journey to America
       Daniel Lefever's Legacy
       Massacre at Hancock's
         Bridge

       Shakerism Unmasked
       John Woolman's Journal
     Oddities

   Colonial Sense
     FAQ
     Contact Us
     Advertising
     Member Info
     About Us

Colonial Sense NavBar End

The Journal of Madam Knight

Biography

Sarah Knight: Colonial Businesswoman




ForewordPart 1Part 2Part 3
BiographyDownloads  

Journal of Madam Knight - Sarah Kemble Knight
Sarah Kemble Knight
Sarah Kemble Knight,
a third-generation American, was born in Boston. She was the daughter of Thomas Kemble, a Boston merchant, reportedly an agent of Cromwell in selling prisoners of war and Elizabeth Trerice. Prior to 1689 she married Captain Richard Knight, a shipmaster and a widower considerably her senior. The only record of their marriage is a document stating Richard Knight's intention to marry her in 1688.

After her husband's death, Mrs. Knight engaged in a variety of employments not usually associated with the women of her times. She conducted a writing school for a time in 1705 where it was traditionally reported that she learned something of the law, and seems occasionally to have employed such knowledge in the settlement of estates and in other semi-legal activities. She probably owned a stationary shop on the ground floor of her home. "Madam" Knight, as she was known, also owned a boarding house in Boston. "Madam was an eighteenth century term used for middle-aged matrons. In the early years of the eighteenth century, she showed that a woman could be quite successful in management and business activities.

Journal of Madam Knight - The grave of Madam Knight in New London, Connecticut
The grave of Madam Knight in New London, Connecticut
The death of a relative left her with an estate to settle, and on October 2, 1704, she set off on horseback from Boston to New Haven, Connecticut, and then on to New York until March 3, 1705. Much of the country through which she traveled was still unexplored and dangerous for any horseman let alone a woman who was thirty-eight years old. She wrote a journal not intended for publication. As most journals written, it was intended to keep her memory fresh and to relate events of the travel to her relatives. It is an important testimony to her courageousness, quick wit, and keen sense of humor not usually represented, especially not by a woman of American life at that time. It is an excellent source of colonial customs and conditions. Her narrative reflects her middle-class, merchant-class attitudes of gender, class, and race. Madam Knight comments on the morals and manners of the social classes. Her writing is certainly the beginning point for American writers in the areas of written social and economic issues.

Its stark portrayal of the New England backwoods to the refined prosperity of New York reminds us that the Puritan community was soon confronted with another America, in which, by 1704, world prosperity and secular sophistication and in strong contrast with large areas of ignorance, violence, and backwardness.

In 1712 Madam Knight move to Connecticut, where she controlled property in both Norwich and New London. She engaged in Indian trading and and became the owner of several farms. She also kept a shop and a "house of entertainment." probably an inn. At one point she was fined for selling liquor to the Indians. Due to her stature as a business woman, she received a designated pew at the Norwich church meeting house. At her death on September 25, she left an estate of £1,800, then a considerable sum, a testimony to her skill as a businesswoman. Sarah Kemble Knight is buried at Ye Antientist Burial Grounds in New London.

Source: Transcription by Bryan Wright

Add a Comment:

• Sorry, you must be logged in to post article comments...

[Colonial Ads -- click for more info]Colonial Sense Ad

Amazon Deals Start
On Sale!



See these
and other items in
Ye Olde CS Shoppe


Colonial Sense NavBar End

Colonial Sense Ad

Go2Top
Go to Top

Colonial Sense is an advocate for global consumer privacy rights, protection and security.
All material on this website © copyright 2009-14 by Colonial Sense, except where otherwise indicated.
ref:T4-S15-P406-C103-M