Local Character: Judith Sargent Murray

January 15, 2020 / History/Maritime, Local Characters, Things to Do & See

1751-1820 Early American Feminist & Essayist

Judith Sargent Murray was frustrated that her brother was free to attend Harvard, while she was barred. Murray wrote The Gleaner, a series of essays in which she made the case for women’s educational, political and economic equality. John Adams and George Washington kept copies of her book. Married in 1788 to Reverend John Murray, she later published his sermons and biography, devised a children’s catechism and helped found a girls’ academy. Her home, the Sargent House Museum, located across the street from the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church, is open for tours from Memorial Day through Columbus Day.

The Sargent House Museum – The home of Judith Sargent Murray built in 1782.

Discover more about Judith Sargent Murray

In addition to touring the Sargent House Museum, the exhibition Our Souls Are by Nature Equal to Yours: The Legacy of Judith Sargent Murray is on display at the Cape Ann Museum until March 31, 2020. The exhibit focuses on her life and legacy. View John Singleton Copley’s well-known oil on canvas portrait of Murray, as well as several examples of her published works, her letter books, and correspondence between Murray and President George Washington. Other exhibit related programs include the following lectures.

Judith Sargent Murray: A Complicated Woman
Saturday, January 25, 3:00 p.m.
Presented by Sheila Skemp

A Conversation with Copley
Saturday, February 8, 11:30 a.m.
Presented by Daud Alzayer

Redefining Women: The Impact of the Revolution on Gender Ideology
Saturday, March 7, 1:00 p.m.
Presented by Carol Berkin and Elizabeth Matelski