The Women of the House: How a Colonial She-Merchant Built a Mansion, a Fortune, and a Dynasty

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9780151010653: The Women of the House: How a Colonial She-Merchant Built a Mansion, a Fortune, and a Dynasty

The remarkable Margaret Hardenbroeck Philipse arrived in New Amsterdam from Holland in 1659, a brash and ambitious twenty-two-year-old bent on making her way in the New World. She promptly built an empire of trading ships, furs, and real estate that included all of Westchester County. The Dutch called such women "she-merchants," and Margaret became the wealthiest in the colony, while raising five children and keeping a spotless linen closet.
Zimmerman deftly traces the astonishing rise of Margaret and the Philipse women who followed her, who would transform Margaret's storehouse on the banks of the Hudson into a veritable mansion, Philipse Manor Hall. The last Philipse to live there, Mary Philipse Morris-the "It" girl of mid-1700s New York-was even courted by George Washington. But privilege couldn't shelter the family from the Revolution, which raged on Mary's doorstep.

Mining extensive primary sources, Zimmerman brings us into the parlors, bedrooms, counting-houses, and parties of early colonial America and vividly restores a forgotten group of women to life.

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Book Description:

Published in hardcover by Harcourt, 2006, 0-15-101065-X

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        The remarkable Margaret Hardenbroeck Philipse arrived in New Amsterdam from Holland in 1659, a brash and ambitious twenty-two-year-old bent on making her way in the New World. She promptly built an empire: Her fleet of trading ships carried furs, molasses, and slaves around the globe and her real estate holdings stretched from Albany to Barbados. Women like her were known as "she-merchants," and Margaret rose to become the wealthiest in the colony, while also raising five children and keeping a spotless linen closet. 

        In a bold, vivid narrative that challenges all our assumptions about colonial women, Zimmerman traces the astonishing rise of Margaret and the Philipse women who followed her, who would transform Margaret's storehouse on the banks of the Hudson into a stately mansion called Philipse Manor Hall that still stands today. In sensual, gritty detail she animates the New York frontier these four very well-off women inhabited, taking us into the birthing chambers, genteel parlors, rowdy Manhattan markets and cramped decks of transatlantic ships where they lived their everyday trials and extraordinary triumphs.

        With a rich trove of unmined primary sources and a novelist’s flair for storytelling, Zimmerman gives a forgotten group of our foremothers a place at the colonial table.

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Book Description Harcourt, Inc., Orlando, 2006. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. First Edition.. 399 pages. Hardcover with dustjacket. New book. HISTORY. The story of the dynasty of Philipse women who built an empire of trading ships, furs and real estate in colonial New York. Includes copious notes and list of sources. (Key Words: New York, Philipse, Morris, Colonial, New Amsterdam). book. Bookseller Inventory # 30585X2

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