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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

BLACK HERstory: ELLEANOR ELDRIDGE

Feeling Rebloggy

Elleanor Eldridge was from Warwick, RI, the youngest of seven daughters and two sons born to Hannah and Robin Eldridge. Her father and two uncles, Africans brought to Rhode Island on a slave ship, earned their freedom by fighting in the American Revolutionary War. They had been promised 200 acres of land in New York. Instead, they were given a worthless sum; her father was eventually able to save for the purchase of a small parcel of land and build a home in Warwick.

Her mother, who was part Indian, died when she was 10. Much to her father's disdain, young Eldridge began washing clothes as a live-in servant for the Baker family of Warwick, one of her mother's former clients.

This young girl, a favorite of Elleanor Baker, her namesake, made 25 cents a week doing laundry for the family. She also became skilled at spinning, arithmetic and weaving and became an accomplished weaver by age 14. Three years later, Eldridge began working as a dairy woman for the family of Capt. Benjamin Greene. She quickly became well-known for her premium quality cheeses. When Eldridge was 19, her father died and she put her skills and savvy to use settling his estate. She continued to work for Capt. Greene for five more years until his death. Eldridge then went to live with her sister in Adams, Mass. While there, she and her brothers and sisters started a business of weaving, washing and soap boiling.


Read More about this entrepreneur  BROWN GIRL COLLECTIVE