64 Author Introduction-Elizabeth Ashbridge (1713-1755)

Jenifer Kurtz

Elizabeth Ashbridge was born in England to Thomas and Mary Sampson. Ashbridge married three times, at age 14 to a poor weaver who dies several months later, in young adulthood to Sullivan, and, after Sullivan’s death, to a fellow Quaker Aaron Ashbridge.

Her autobiography is one of the earliest spiritual autobiographies written by a woman, in a time where this genre was dominated by men, and offers a unique look at the struggle to find one’s place within a religious framework. Additionally, this text is notable because it tells both the story of indentured servitude and the story of a religious conversion. In a time period where women were expected to piously follow the wishes of their fathers and husbands, Ashbridge’s autobiography is heralded as a text that challenges male authority.

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Jenifer Kurtz, CC-BY

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