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
    Broadsheet Archive
    Ye Olde CS Shoppe

  Society-Lifestyle
    Census
    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 2009-15 by Colonial Sense, except where otherwise indicated.
ref:T4-S15-P406-C103-M