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Friday, August 05, 2011

August 4th

Born this day in 1697, Susanna Wright, poet. Born in England and her family Quakers, they immigrated to America in 1714, first settling in Pennsylvania and then by 1728 she and her family were settled in Wright's Ferry(known now as Columbia). Susanna never married and with the death of her mother in 1722, she was running her father's large household. We know about Susanna's life through surviving letters and her poetry.
Wright also raised prize winning silkworms and studied medicinal herbs- both very useful to a large household.
Wright home hosted many of the American leaders of her time: Benjamin Franklin,
Benjamin Rush, and historian Robert Proud. She drafted documents for her neighbors who were in need and unable to do so themselves. Wright also wrote on serious topics of the time. Most remembered,Franklin’s pamphlet denouncing the massacre of the Conestoga Indians, she a one of the writers.
Susanna wrote poetry. There was a group of Pennsylvania poets who exchanged poems: Hannah Griffitts,Deborah Logan, and Miclah Martha Moore. Over thirty poems have been found Wright's and most were located in "Moore's commonplace book."

Enlightenment! Wright wrote two poems that stand out, "To Eliza Norris at Farihill" and "Anna Boylens Letter to King Henry the 8th." Norris asked women to used Enlightenment revernce for reason to undermine the male prvilege protected by law:extant

But womankind call reason to their aid,
And question when or where that law
was made,
That law divine (a plausible pretence)
Oft urg’d with none, & oft with little

Susanna Wright was a well respected citizen of this New America and she was able make her voice known and was part of circle of women who made sure that their point of view of those times was heard. And all the while smiling with wit and feeding the family and running the very large household which also included her brother's too. To read Susann's Wright's poetry and the other poets of the book(they are all women): Milcah Martha Moore's book: a commonplace book from Revolutionary America