A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 Short Essay - Answer Key

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
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1. Where did Martha Ballard grow up and when did she marry her husband/

Martha Moore was born and raised in Oxford, Massachusetts in 1735. Martha married Ephraim Ballard in 1754 and became Martha Ballard.

2. During what years did Martha keep her diary?

Martha started her diary in 1785, although many are sure there were diaries prior to the 1785 diary. Martha faithfully kept her diary until a few months before her death in 1812.

3. How has Martha's diary been perceived by historians?

Martha's diary has been overlooked by many historians as mundane or uninteresting. Only one historian in the late 1800s gave her diary any kind of support and actually included it in his own book of the history of Augusta, Maine. However, looking at the book now gives the modern person an understanding of the day-to-day life, beliefs, and problems that were endured by an 18th Century housewife, mother, and midwife.

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