Anneke Jans

Dutch Woman in New Amsterdam Anneke Webber was an early Dutch colonist in New Amsterdam and New Netherland. She was born in Norway in 1605. She married Roeloff Jans in Amsterdam, Holland, on Friday, April 18, 1623. They had six children. Her name became well-known because of the many lawsuits concerning her farm, which was claimed by her heirs and the Trinity Church in New York City. The Dutch West India Company founded the colony of New Amsterdam—later New York City—in 1625 as a place to defend river access to the company’s fur trade operations in the Hudson River, which extended to the colony of New Netherland—later New York state.

Frances Berkeley

First Lady of Virginia Image: Remains at Green Spring Plantation Frances Culpeper was Virginia’s most notable 17th century woman. The youngest of the five children of Thomas and Katherine Culpeper, Frances was baptized at Kent, England, on May 27, 1634. Her father lost everything in the service of King Charles I, but the Crown rewarded Culpeper by naming him one of the original seven grantees of the 5-million-acre Virginia land grant known as the Northern Neck Proprietary. Thomas Culpeper came to the New World in 1650, hoping to rebuild his fortune. Good Marriages In 1652, Frances married Samuel Stephens, governor of the Albemarle settlement in North Carolina and the owner of Roanoke Island, the site of Sir Walter Raleigh’s Lost…

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Anne Arundel

First Lady of Maryland Image: Lady Anne Arundel Baltimore Lady Anne Arundel (sometimes spelled Arundell) was born in 1615. She was an English noblewoman, daughter of Thomas Arundel, 1st Baron of Wardour, and a member of the ancient family of Arundels in Cornwall, England. Her father was a wealthy and influential Catholic. In 1628, at the age of thirteen, Lady Anne married Cecil Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore, the founder of the colony of Maryland. Of the nine children the Calverts had, only three survived to adulthood, including Charles Calvert, 3rd Baron Baltimore.

Colonial Women’s Rights Movement

Early 17th Century All references to the Women’s Rights Movement in the United States begin with the First Women’s Rights Convention in 1848. I think that is wrong. I believe the movement began long before that. In fact, I believe it began the moment Mary Chilton set foot on Plymouth Rock. History’s Forgotten Women What about the Women on the Mayflower? Were these not brave women? Did they not brave the uncertainties of the New World—never knowing what dangers they would encounter? Did they not play a vital role in building the New England Colonies? Did they not work alongside the men to create this great country of ours?

Penelope Van Princis Stout

The Year: 1640 Image: Penelope Stout Commemorative Coin Shows her being carried away by Indians Woes in the New World Penelope Van Princis Stout was born in 1622 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She married John Kent in 1640, and the couple sailed for New Amsterdam (now New York City) on Manhattan Island in the American colony of New Netherland. For unknown reasons, their ship ran aground at the coast of what is now Monmouth County, New Jersey. The ship’s other passengers decided to continue toward their destination on foot, but Penelope remained with her sick husband who was too weak to walk. Penelope and her husband had not been in the woods very long when they were attacked by Native…

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Lady Deborah Moody

The Year: 1639 Lady Deborah Moody was christened Deborah Dunch in London in 1586. She came from a wealthy family with both political and religious connections, but also one that believed strongly in civil liberties and religious non-conformity. Deborah married Henry Moody, a well-connected landholder. He was later given knighthood, and she became Lady Deborah. In 1629, Henry passed away, when she was approximately 33. Image: Map showing Long Island and New Amsterdam, later renamed New York At this time, England was in great religious turmoil, and Lady Deborah was very attracted to Anabaptism, a Protestant sect that believed that baptism should be received by adult believers, but not children.

Puritan Women’s Rights

Massachusetts Bay Colony was a man’s world. Women did not participate in town meetings and were excluded from decision making in the church. Puritan ministers furthered male supremacy in their writings and sermons. They preached that the soul had two parts, the immortal masculine half, and the mortal feminine half. Women and children were treated harshly in the Puritan commonwealth. Women were viewed as instruments of Satan. Children were regarded as the property of their parents. If any child was disobedient to his parents, any magistrate could punish him with a maximum of ten lashes for each offense.

Elizabeth Winthrop

Wife of the Governor of Connecticut Elizabeth Reade was born in November 1614 in Wickford, Essex, England, the daughter of Edmund Reade. She was said to be calm, well-mannered, and an excellent housekeeper. She was well versed in the Scriptures, and a devout Puritan. She met John Winthrop, Jr. in 1634. John Winthrop Jr. was the eldest son of John Winthrop, Sr. and his first wife Mary Forth. His parents were wealthy, and in 1622, at age 16, young John was sent to Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, for a general education. Two years later, he returned to England and studied law until 1627, when he went to sea, first to France as a secretary to a captain on a…

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Mary Williams

Wife of Roger Williams: Founder of Providence Plantation Image: Providence Plantation in Rhode Island in 1650 Little is known about Mary, so I will tell her story through her husband’s life. Roger Williams was born December 21, 1603 near London, England. He was a student of theology and languages, and was educated at Cambridge University. After suffering a painful rejection by the woman he had chosen to marry, the young clergyman became ill with fever and was nursed back to health by Mary Barnard, the daughter of the Reverend Richard Barnard of Nottinghamshire. Mary Barnard married Roger Williams on December 15, 1629, in Essex, England. The couple set sail on board the Lyon in December 1630, arriving in Boston, Massachusetts,…

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Bridget Fuller

The Year: 1623 Bridget Fuller arrived at Plymouth Colony on the Anne in 1623. She was Dr. Samuel Fuller’s third wife, and they had two children together. Details of Bridget’s life aren’t readily available, but we can gain some insight into her life by following her husband’s history. Samuel Fuller was one of the original members of the Separatist church who fled England for Holland in 1609. He became a physician, making him an important member of the congregation. He later became a deacon of the church at Plymouth Colony. He sailed on the Mayflower in 1620. Upon arrival in the New World, Dr. Fuller signed the Mayflower Compact, along with the other adult males. He did what he could…

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