There were women blacksmiths, butchers, shopkeepers, traders, inventors, and shipbuilders in the 1700s.
A number of women published newspapers, including Elizabeth Timothy, who edited the South-Carolina Gazette; Cornelia Bradford, who published the American Weekly Mercury in Philadelphia; and Mary Katherine Goddard, who first helped her mother with the Providence Gazette in Rhode Island and later put out the Maryland Journal.
In 1715 Sybilla Masters was the first American woman to get a patent, for her invention of a machine for making cornmeal.
In Virginia “Queen Anne” (as the English called her) protested against colonial demands for land and money from the Pamunkeys and in 1715 argued for her people’s rights before the Virginia assembly.
In 1744 Eliza Lucas, who ran her father’s three plantations in South Carolina, successfully grew a crop of indigo, a plant used to make a blue dye. She urged other planters to grow indigo, and it soon became the colony’s leading export.
Not many white women were leaders at this time.
A rare exception was Maria Betancour, who in 1731 led a group of settlers from the Canary Islands, off the coast of Spain, to Texas, where she helped establish the town of San Antonio.