Woman of the day: Martha Ballard

Martha Ballard was a midwife, healer, mother and diarist in late-18th-century Maine. This was Martha’s week, 220 years ago…

March 27 – April 2, 1786

27
raind Last night, Snowd ys [this] morn. [ye] dam broke ys morn. mr Ballard & Brooks [had] Some uneasyness. I am unwell. Isaac Savage to Breakfast here, had some phisick for his Dafter hannah. ye Northern Light appears this Evinng. Cyrus & Eph[rai]m ointing for ye itch.
28
A frosty morn. I finnisht kniting Cyruss Buskins, the Girls washt. I was Calld to Eliab Shaws at half after 5/O Clock PM, his wife in Travil, & Shee was Safely Delivrd between 6 & 7 of a Son, her 4th Child. I Slept at mr Browks. [in margin: XX Birth. Eliab Shaws Son.XX]
29
I Came home from mr Shaws at 10h / [morn]. mr Cowen & others Brought Loggs to ye mill. I went to See Polly Hamlin, Shee is unwell. old mrs Hardin Sleeps here.
30
mrs Hardin wnt from here. mr Ballard went to attend town meeting. mr Sual Sent a man to attend me to his hous to hear Mr Pother speak. after meeting I went to See mrs Weston. Shee being unwell. I Rode hom, found mrss Becke, Lidia Bisbee, Polly Hamlin & Polly Adams here. Ephm is 7 years old ys day.
31
A Stormy day. Mr Ballard Left home for Sebestakuk. mrs Farly here, says her famely are in Sufering Circumstances. I cardid Tow for Hannah & Dolly to spin.
1
A Cloudy, Cold Day. thee ground frose. I have been at home Carding Tow.
2
it began to Snow at one O Clok ys morn, a tedious Storm till 4 ys afternoon. Mr Ballard not Returnd. Ye Severest Storm we have had this winter.

Midwifery and herbal medicine resources
Pregnancy and childbirth bibliography
Early modern midwives (book review)
Women in early modern medicine
Diaries
The diary network in early modern England

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One Response to Woman of the day: Martha Ballard

  1. Amy says:

    Martha Ballard – one of my favorite women from early American history. Thanks for the reminder.

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