Certainly Margaret Tyndal Winthrop (q.v.) is the best known of the Winthrop family women; however, her prolific sister-in-law, Lucy Winthrop Downing ( 1600/01-1679), is an equally important early American writer and one who was much less willing to couch her ideas in the submissive discourse typical of early seventeenthcentury Puritan women. This was especially true when she was corresponding with her brother John, Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony. Other Winthrop women include Mary Winthrop Dudley, Margaret's stepdaughter (Mary's mother, Mary Forth, was John Winthrop's first wife); Martha Fones Winthrop, Margaret's daughterin-law; and Martha Downing Peters, Lucy's daughter. The Winthrop women of all ages viewed epistolary exchanges as a kind of refuge from the conundrums of domesticity in what was then a sparsely populated region.
Works: Correspondence. Bibliography: Downing; Earle, Margaret Winthrop; Winthrop Papers.
Fones Winthrop, c. April 10, 1631
Lovinge daughter,1 I am sory that time did so prevent me, as I could not right to thee by the caryer, but haveinge nowe another mesenger I must needs right a word or to, thought I have no matter of wayte to impert to you, onely an intercorce of love betwene us which will take all ocasions to shewe it selfe, where it finds good entertainement. I doe very much and often, [wish] for my____________________