The Virginia Gazette

Today in the 1770s: August 23

WILLIAMSBURG, August 23, 1776.
For Sale, a YOUNG healthy NEGRO WENCH, who is an excellent fine spinner, can wash and iron well, and do other business in a family; likewise her CHILD. For farther particulars, inquire of the printer of this Gazette.

Virginia Gazette (Purdie) August 23, 1776
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This young woman has much to recommend her; her proficiencies were basic for every home. Laundry was a huge task, requiring both skill and strength. She must know that lemon juice removed ink stains, warm cow's milk worked on wine stains, that fruit stains should be rubbed with butter before washing the garment in hot milk and that drops of candle wax were removed by a hot coal wrapped in linen. She must be strong enough to safely handle heavy kettles of hot water and cast iron flat-irons heated directly on the fire by means of a trivet.

Sources: Ashelford

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