Learn the history of Judith Sargent Stevens Murray (1751-1820), a philosopher, writer and an early advocate of women's equality. Visitors will also see a collection of original works by the great portrait painter John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) descendant of the Sargent family, who loved the house and its ties to Post-Revolutionary Gloucester.
Explore the role the Sargent family, especially Judith Sargent Murray, and John Murray played in the establishment of the first Universalist church in the United States in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Focusing on pieces that often get left out of our general tour, such as the family Bible and sermon purse, this tour will allow visitors to see the Sargent House from a different angle. Moreover, the tour will highlight the evolution of the house from private residence to possible community house for the Universalist Church.
Judith's Literature Tour
Delve deeper into Judith’s letters, essays, poems, plays, and novels to discover the ways her surroundings and loved ones inspired her writing. Works such as “Lines Written in My Closet” and “Lines Written While Rocking a Cradle,” as well as lesser known examples of her writings inspired by domestic settings, will be placed in the context of her home and discussed throughout tour.
Colonial Life Tour
Life quickly changed for the early colonists as the new nation formed. Livelihoods forever changed. Throughout the tour, visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the various roles within the family structure. Moreover, visitors will have the opportunity to explore some of the fine examples of domestic goods, such as furniture and household objects, that families relied on with the loss of trade ties outside of the new and developing nation. In addition, visitors will learn about the early superstitions of the New England colonists through our Hidden Bottles and Shoes Exhibit.
See the house in a whole new light as you pass through the halls of this historic eighteenth century home. With the use of candlelight, visitors have the ability to explore the home in the evening and hear about the life of these residents intimately as if you were one of their guests for an evening gathering. Please feel free to mention any specific interests when scheduling your tour. We will do our best to tailor the experience for your private group.