A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 Characters

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
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Martha Ballard was born in 1735 in Oxford, Massachusetts. As a young girl, someone in the family taught her to read and write, although the education of females was not a common practice. Martha married Ephraim in 1754. They had nine children between 1756 and 1779. Three of their daughters died of scarlet fever in 1769.

Martha moved with her family to Hallowell in 1776 and began her weaving and midwife industries shortly thereafter. In her midwife practice, from 1775 - 1812, she delivered almost one thousand babies, and had a better success rate than most doctor and hospitals, well into the 1930s. Martha not only had her midwife industry, but her daughters learned to weave, and Ephraim built a loom. Martha's daughters took care of the weaving industry, the house, and the laundry. This allowed Martha's midwife practice to grow until her own illness and the medical profession began to push her out of...

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This section contains 703 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 Study Guide
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