Abstract

Abstract:

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.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2169-8546
Print ISSN
0031-4587
Pages
pp. 262-289
Launched on MUSE
2021-04-08
Open Access
No
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