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

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Harcourt, Incorporated, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 399 pages
17 Reviews
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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Good atmospheric writing; some historical problems. - Goodreads
The amount of research must have been daunting. - Goodreads
Very informative with extensive research. - Goodreads

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

User Review  - JodiP - Goodreads

This was a wonderfully written, fact-filled book about early colonial life in New Amsterdam. The amount of research must have been daunting. However, Zimmerman makes it so lively: you are in these ... Read full review

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

User Review  - Rosalinda Morgan - Goodreads

Great history of the Philipse family of New York. I did not know what part the Philipse family played in the history of New York till I read this book. They were the richest family in New York all ... Read full review

About the author (2006)

Jean Zimmerman is the author of four books, including Made from Scratch: Reclaiming the Pleasures of the American Hearth. She lives just north of Philipse Manor Hall in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.

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