(1601 – 1671)
Margaret Brent moved in the world of business and government at a time when it was dominated almost exclusively by men. As an unmarried woman, she migrated to Maryland in 1638 with a sister and two brothers, took up land at St. Mary’s, and ran her own business affairs. Margaret Brent was well-respected by Maryland’s leaders. At his death in June 1647, Leonard Calvert named her as his executor with the order, “Take all and pay all.” Paying all meant paying the soldiers which Leonard Calvert had recruited to recapture the colony, but his estate was too small to pay all that was owed. In these perilous times, Brent probably saved the colony by avoiding a mutiny. The Provincial Court named her as the attorney for Cecil Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore, which allowed her to sell his cattle to raise money to pay the soldiers. In 1648, she asked the Assembly to admit her with two votes—one for herself and one for her position as Lord Baltimore’s attorney. The Governor refused her request. The Lord Baltimore was less than appreciative of Brent’s sale of his property and relations soured. In 1651, she migrated to Virginia where she lived the rest of her life on a plantation named Peace.
Dig deeper into Margaret Brent’s life.