Sarah Knight Popular Books

Sarah Knight Biography & Facts

Sarah Kemble Knight (April 19, 1666 – September 25, 1727) was an American teacher and businesswoman, who is remembered for a brief diary of a journey from Boston, Massachusetts Bay Colony, to New York City, Province of New York, in 1704–1705, which provides us with one of the few first-hand-accounts of travel conditions in Connecticut during colonial times. Biography Knight was born in Boston to Captain Thomas Kemble, a merchant of Boston, and Elizabeth Trerice. In 1689, she married Richard Knight. They had one child, Elizabeth. Having been left a widow after her husband's death in 1703, Knight assumed the responsibility of managing her household. When she composed the journal, Knight was a 38-year-old married woman and keeper of a boarding house in Boston with some experience as a copier of legal documents. She was on her way to New Haven (and later to New York City) to act on behalf of a friend in the settlement of her deceased husband's estate. Knight kept a journal of her trip, and it provides us with one of the few first-hand-accounts of travel conditions in Connecticut during colonial times. Journey from Boston to New York Knight chose to travel with a post rider or other reliable guide, so she was never alone on the road. Still, the difficulties she encountered speak volumes about the physical dangers of long-distance travel by horseback in that era. In crossing the Thames River in a ferry boat that carried both passengers and their horses, she wrote in an entry dated “Thirsday, Octobr ye 5th”: “Here, by reason of a very high wind, we met with great difficulty in getting over—the Boat tos’t exceedingly, and our horses capper’d at a very surprising Rate, and set us all in a fright.” The following day, after traveling for miles over roads that were “very bad, incumbered with rocks and mountainous passages,” Sarah Knight came to “a bridge under which the river ran very swift, my horse stumbled, and very narrowly escaped falling into the water, which extremely frightened me.” As for room and board, Sarah Knight spent an evening with the Congregationalist minister in New London, “where I was very handsomely and plentifully treated and Lodg’d.” The minister, she noted, was “the most affable, courteous, Genero’s and best of men.” Such experiences, however, were offset by others less wholesome. In Saybrook, where Madam Knight stopped for a mid-day dinner, she complained of the landlady: “Shee told us shee had some mutton wch shee would broil, wch I was glad to hear; […] but it being pickled and my Guide said it smelt strong of head sause, we left it, and pd sixpence apiece for our Dinners, wch was only smell.” Further on, at a public house in Fairfield, Ms. Knight was likewise unable to eat the meal prepared for her and went to bed supperless. On being shown to her room, “a little Lento Chamber furnisht amongst other Rubbish with a High Bedd and a Low one […] down I laid my poor Carkes (never more tired) and found my Covering as scanty as my Bed was hard.” Before crossing a particularly hazardous river, Knight cannot rid herself of thoughts of drowning, writing, "The concern of mind this relation sett me in: no thoughts but those of the dang'ros River could entertain my Imagination, and they were as formidable as varios, still Tormenting me with blackest Ideas of my Approaching fate–Sometimes seeing my self drowning, otherwhiles drowned, and at the best like a holy Sister just come out of a Spiritual Bath in dripping Garments." This is not the last danger water presents during Knight's journey. Near the end of the journey, she has a rather close call when she writes, "But in going over the Causeway at Dedham the Bridge being overflowed by the high waters coming down I very narrowly escaped falling over into the river Hors and all wch twas almost a miracle I did not." In addition to the danger posed by the rivers, Knight writes about the less than ideal roads on which she must travel. She explains in her straightforward manner that "[t]he Rodes all along this way are very bad, Incumbred with Rocks and mountainos passages, wch were very disagreeable to my tired carcass." These examples provide just a sampling of the dangers faced by Knight on her journey as chronicled in her journal. Knight persevered and after six days on the road arrived in New Haven, where she visited with relatives before resuming her trip to New York, which took an additional three days of hard travel. Journal She recounted her experiences during the five-month journey in the “journals” that have made her known to students of American colonial literature and history. The small diary of her Boston–New York journey passed into private hands and lay undiscovered until 1825 when it was published posthumously as The Journal of Mme Knight by Theodore Dwight. The Journal of Madam Knight has subsequently been reprinted by others with additional biographical information. Her journal Her journal remains noteworthy both for its larger-than-life central character (Knight) and its telling of a trying journey not normally undertaken by a woman. The discomforts of primitive traveling are described with much sprightliness and not a little humor, including poems of gratitude and relief about finding moonlight, and poems of frustration about the loud sounds of drunken men late at night. The journal is valuable as a history of the manners and customs of the time, and is full of graphic descriptions of the early settlements in New England and New York. At the same time, it is interesting for its original orthography and interspersed rhymes. Later life In 1706 she opened a boarding house and taught school, which gained some reputation in Boston. She is described as “excelling in the art of teaching composition.” In 1713, Knight's daughter married John Livingston, of Connecticut, and the son of Robert Livingston the Elder, and Madam Knight moved with them to New London, where she continued her business and land dealings. Madam Knight, as she was generally called as a mark of respect, spent the rest of her life either in New London or Norwich, Connecticut. She owned several farms in New London, and had a home in Norwich. She ran an inn out of the Livingston farm in New London.In the widowed years of her life, Sarah Kemble Knight left Boston for good and moved to New London to live near her married daughter. There, she owned a tavern and an inn, engaged in the buying and selling of land for speculation and became a respected member of her church. Sarah Kemble Knight died at age 62 and is buried in New London at Ye Antientist Burial Ground, New London. Relevance and reception Since its publication, The Journal of Madam Knight has been valued as both an historical and literary document. As a travel narrative, it recounts the dangerous and primitive conditions of travel in the colonies at this time period. Furthermore, Knight's detailed descriptions of New York, New Haven, and the many small settlements she travels t.... Discover the Sarah Knight popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Sarah Knight books.

Best Seller Sarah Knight Books of 2024

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