Women Rulers of Early America
12" Wooden Ruler made in U.S.A. of American-grown basswood.
The women on this ruler played important roles during the colonial and revolutionary periods of United States history. For example, English-born Deborah, Lady Moody (1586-1659?), founded the village of Gravesend, now part of Brooklyn. She is the only woman know to have started a village in colonial America.
Margaret Brent (c.1601-1671) also came from England and was a founding settler of the colonies of Maryland and Virginia. Elizabeth Greenleaf (1681-1762) of the Massachusetts colony was America’s first female pharmacist. Penelope Barker (1728-1796) organized a boycott of British goods in her hometown of Edenton, North Carolina. Irish-born Lydia Darragh (1729-1789), a Philadelphia Quaker, became a Patriot spy during the Revolutionary War.
Native American women had important roles to play as well. Mary Musgrove (c.1700-1765), born to a Creek mother and an English colonist father, was instrumental in keeping the peace between the British and the Creeks during the founding of Savannah and the Georgia Colony. Other Native American women on the ruler are Pocahontas (c.1596-1617), Marguerite Kanenstenhawi Arosen (1696-1785), Nanyehi (c.1738-1822/24) and California’s Toypurina (1760-1799). African American women listed include the America’s first African American poet Lucy Terry Prince (c.1730-1821), and Elizabeth “Mum Bett” Freeman (1744?-1829). Businesswoman “Coincoin” Metoyer (c.1742-1816) was a Louisiana Creole of African Heritage.
The dates listed are birth and death years, when known. We also list one detail about each of the women on the list, usually the important accomplishment that they are best known for.
The “head” image is that of political writer Mercy Otis Warren (1728-1814), who wrote poems and plays attacking British authority. Our illustration of her was inspired by a painting from c.1763 by John Singleton Copley (1738-1815), now in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
If you like this ruler, you might also be interested in Rulers and Patriots, African American Women Rulers, African American Rulers, Native American Rulers, or Great Women Rulers.