The Welsh immigrant Mary Penry (1735–1804) described herself as a "Great Politician." Residing in the Moravian communities at Bethlehem and Lititz, she eagerly consumed and exchanged political news. The single sisters' house in which she lived was a religious, social, and economic unit in which women governed and sustained themselves. It offered Penry the rare opportunity in early America to remain single and, more generally, exposed a radical alternative to the marriages that seemed compulsory to most eighteenth-century women. Penry thought of the single sisters' house as a profound experiment in how to create and maintain an alternative family.