Friday, July 13, 2018

Paging Penelope Barker …

I have long been interested in women who are trailblazers. Years ago, when I was beginning a career in journalism, I interviewed a local woman who was one of the first female airline pilots for Eastern Air Lines. She was smart, funny, and pretty. And when I interviewed her, I believe she was still restoring her "Painted Lady" Victorian home. She was one of those women who truly seemed able to do it all. No wonder I love the saying, "The one who says it can't be done should never interrupt the one who is doing it." So forgive me if I'm a little excited about having discovered an image I'd not seen before of a trailblazer in tea history, Penelope Barker, who led the Edenton Tea Party of 1774 in North Carolina, one of those protests held near the time of the Boston Tea Party. She and 51 other women decided to boycott tea in protest of the Tea Act passed by the British Parliament in 1773.

First, look at Mrs. Barker's face. Picture her as a sassy southern blonde with long hair. Couldn't that be Reese Witherspoon? AmIright or amIright?

At any rate, her intriguing image comes from a booklet I found *for free* on the Library of Congress website, The Historic Tea-Party of Edenton by Richard Dillard. Interested? You can access it here. Enjoy!


  1. You find the most interesting things! I don't have the imagination to transform Penelope into Reece Witherspoon, but she must have been quite a woman.

  2. That's something about the Edenton Tea Party! I had never heard of it before.
    You can see the portrait of Penelope Barker, from which that sketch was made, at this website:
    --from Vernona in DC

  3. Thanks for the link. I’m off to read.


Thanks so much for taking time to leave a comment! It makes my day to hear from readers!