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Research Article: Ballard, Martha

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 12 pages of information about Ballard, Martha.
This section contains 3,460 words
(approx. 12 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Ballard, Martha Encyclopedia Article

Martha Ballard

Born 1735 (Oxford, Massachusetts)

Died May 1812 (Augusta, Maine)

Midwife, nurse, mortician

For twenty-seven years, Martha Ballard kept a diary, from 1785 until her death in 1812. Ballard served as a midwife and primary health-care giver in Hallowell, Maine, near present-day Augusta. A midwife is a woman experienced in helping the birthing process of other women. She delivered 816 babies, carefully recording each birth in her diary. She also made notes on the weather, family events, social visits, the trading of goods between families, and everyday tasks such as the weaving of fabric.

Without Ballard's diary, history would have considerably less information on the role frontier women played during the early formative years of the nation. Hallowell physician Daniel Cory made no mention of midwives in his records. Resident Henry Sewall, who at times served as the town recording clerk, mentioned very little about Hallowell's women. Ballard...

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This section contains 3,460 words
(approx. 12 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Ballard, Martha Encyclopedia Article
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