First Woman to Own a Business in the United States

New York Culture

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The Women’s History Month rolled in a week ago! Do you like researching women's accomplishments in the United States and overseas? I certainly do. Today, I would like to tell you about the first-ever female business owner in the United States.

Meet Eliza Lucas

Eliza Lucas was the oldest daughter of the George Lucas of Dalzell's Regiment of Foot in the British Army. She was born on the island of Antigua, where her father was stationed, but the family moved to the United States when Eliza turned 16. Her father inherited three plantations, and the goal was to continue business there.

Unfortunately, the family got separated shortly after the move. George Lucas was appointed lieutenant governor of the island of Antigua, and he couldn't return home due to the political mentions. His wife passed away right after the move. Eliza was left to look after her siblings: two brothers and a sister, all of whom were significantly younger.

Young Ms. Lucas had no other choice but to take over the family business at the age of 16, and there was no one to guide her.

The Plantations Success

All three plantations were located in South Carolina, and the workers - including, sadly, enslaved people - were growing tar, timber and rice. The total area of the plantations added up to over 5,000 acres. And Eliza did an excellent job supervising the business. She became the first woman to own a business in the United States.

Eliza had an unfair advantage, though. First of all, she inherited a business instead of starting it from scratch. Secondly, it was already successful as she took over. And thirdly, Colonel Lucas sent her different seeds from Antigua to grow. Eliza had the most success with the indigo plant.

She cultivated the indigo plant, which became one of the most important cash crops in South Carolina. Eliza was successful majorly thanks to her father's and grandfather's efforts, but she also did a good job experimenting and contributing to South Carolina's economy.

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