Why was Judith Sargent Murray an extraordinary woman?

                   Judith Sargent Murray was an eighteenth-century writer known for her essays on education for women, on equality, and on economic independence for all people. She has a series of ‘firsts’ to her name. Judith was the first American woman to self-publish a book, one of the first American writers of plays, and the first woman to have a play produced on stage in America. She was also the first to claim female equality in print, and the only eighteenth century woman to have kept ‘letter books’ in a consistent manner.

                  In 1773 or 1774, at about the age of twenty-three, Judith decided to start making copies of the letters she sent to family, friends, political leaders, and business acquaintances. As a self-taught student of history, she knew the importance of documentation. She understood that momentous political and intellectual changes were taking place. And so, she began to create what would become twenty volumes of letters – left behind for future generations. She was, without doubt, a remarkable person, and one of America’s earliest champions of female equality, education, economic independence, and political engagement.