1150: Hannah Adams
The First Woman to Work Professionally as a Writer in the United States
Born: 2 October 1755, Medfield, Massachusetts Bay Colony (Present-day Medfield, Massachusetts, United States of America)
Died: 15 December 1831, Brookline, Massachusetts, United States of America
Hannah had no formal schooling. She was born into a large family headed by her eccentric father. Hannah’s father had no business sense and often kept his family in poverty; however, he was a known bibliophile and so Hannah had plenty of reading material to learn from. Hannah was also tutored by divinity students who boarded in her home as a child, and she had a very good memory which helped as well.
Hannah authored books on comparative religion and early United States history. Her first work was published in 1784 and brought her enough financial return to support herself through her writing. Her 1784 book was a dictionary of sorts on various Christian denominations, and unlike other works of the era, Hannah made sure hers had no judgement shown on any of the denominations and instead explained straight facts.
Later in life her eyesight started to suffer but she continued to work until her death. Her memoire was published posthumously, as Hannah had hoped. Hannah wanted the proceeds from her memoire to go towards supporting her surviving sister financially.
Hannah never married and had no children.
Find a Grave Marked
Located In My Personal Library:
Revolutionary Mothers by Carol Berkin