One of the most knowledgeable American women in the 1700s was Susanna Wright, who died in 1784 at age 88.
Born and educated in England, she helped settle the Pennsylvania frontier in 1728.
She worked hard at household and agricultural chores, and in 1771 even won a prize for raising the most silkworms in Pennsylvania. Her silk was used to make a dress for the queen of England.
Wright was best known, however, for her intellectual ability. She wrote poetry and corresponded with Benjamin Franklin and other important thinkers.
Her neighbors often asked her to write their wills and give other legal advice. She became an unofficial judge, settling many local arguments over property.
In addition, she used her knowledge of medicine to provide herbal remedies for her neighbors.