Judith Sargent Murray Society
JSM's dates: 1751-1820
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1751               Born in Gloucester, Massachusetts, on May 1 (bp. May 5)

1750s–60s      Writes early letters and poetry

1765               Begins to use family library to further her education

1769               Marries John Stevens; father, Winthrop Sargent, learns about universal
                       salvation and hosts meetings in his home that Judith attends

1770s             Begins to create letter books

1774               Meets John Murray

1775               Threatened with expulsion from First Parish Church
                       for nonattendance

1776               Has herself inoculated against smallpox

1778               Expelled from First Parish with other Universalists

1779               Signs Universalists’ Articles of Association

1780               Nurses father through smallpox while Gloucester
                       Universalists dedicate their new meeting house, calling
                       John Murray as their pastor; adopts Anna and Mary                
                       Plummer; later, takes in Polly Odell

1782               Publishes Universalist catechism

1783–6           Universalists challenge right to independence from
                       First Parish

1784               As “Constantia,” publishes first essay, “Desultory                
                       Thoughts…,” in Gentleman and Lady’s Town and
                       Country Magazine

1785–6           Spends winter barricaded in house with John Stevens

1786               John Stevens leaves Gloucester for the West Indies

1787               Notified of John Stevens’s death

1788               Marries John Murray; meets John and Abigail Adams

1789               Son, Fitz Winthrop, stillborn; publishes poetry in the                
                       Massachusetts Magazine

1790               As “Constantia,” publishes “On the Equality of the Sexes”            
                       and “On the Domestic Education of Children” in the
                       Massachusetts Magazine; meets George and Martha Washington

1791               Daughter, Julia Maria, born; Massachusetts Magazine
                       declares “Constantia” one of its ablest poets

1792               For the Massachusetts Magazine, assumes male persona                
                       to publish “The Gleaner” column; as “Constantia”
                       publishes “The Repository” series

1793               John Murray ordained as minister of the First Universalist                
                       Church in Boston

1794               Moves to Franklin Place, Boston

1795               First play, The Medium, or Happy Tea-Party (later renamed            
                       The Medium, or Virtue Triumphant) performed at Boston’s Federal Street Theatre

1796               Second play, The Traveller Returned, performed at the Theatre;
                       tries to adopt brother Winthrop’s illegitimate daughter, Caroline Augusta

1797               Publishes three-volume book, The Gleaner

1800               American novelists Henry Sherburne and Sally Wood praise The Gleaner

1801               Niece, Anna Williams, moves to Franklin Place;
                       nephews arrive from Natchez, Mississippi, and Gloucester
                       for schooling in Boston

1802-03          Helps Judith Saunders and Clementine Beach open a
                       female academy in Dorchester; publishes poetry in the                
                       Boston Weekly Magazine as “Honora Martesia”

1805               Writes third play, The African, which is never produced

1809               John Murray suffers a paralytic stroke

1812               Helps John Murray edit and publish Letters and Sketches
                       of Sermons
; Julia Maria marries Adam Lewis Bingaman
                       of Natchez.

1813               Granddaughter, Charlotte Bingaman, born

1815               John Murray dies

1816               Publishes John Murray’s autobiography, Records of the
                       Life of the Rev. John Murray

1818               Moves to Natchez with Julia Maria and Charlotte

1820               Dies in Natchez on June 9


2008 © Bonnie Hurd Smith

Independent scholar and author Bonnie Hurd Smith is the president and CEO of History Smiths, a marketing company that works with businesses to incorporate history -- their own and their community's -- into their branding, marketing, and community outreach to attract customers, boost customer loyalty, and secure a high status reputation in the communities they serve.