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Women in 18th Century America

Women played an active role in the British North American colonies during the 18th century. They had dreams, fears, personalities, and goals. They fought in wars, sought their own freedom, and actively participated in colonial life. Use this page to learn more about women's lives in the 18th century through content pages, infographics, or the activity sheets below.

Women of the Washington Family

George Washington's wife, Martha, married twice and had two surviving children - Patsy and Jacky. She later raised two of her grandchildren, Nelly and Washy. Click the link to learn more about the Washington family and the women who lived at Mount Vernon.

The Washington Women

Women of the Enslaved Community

Not all women were considered "free" at Mount Vernon - most were enslaved, laboring throughout the plantation's five farms. Click the link to learn more about the women in enslavement at Mount Vernon.

The Women Who Labored at Mount Vernon

Infographic - Women in the 18th Century

Explore an infographic highlighting the lives of three women who lived at Mount Vernon - Eleanor "Nelly" Parke Custis, Eleanor Forbes, and Caroline Branham. Created by 2023 LifeGuard Teacher Fellows Kate Van Haren and Pam Stafford.

Back to Secondary Sources

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Secondary Sources