Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Eliza Lucas Pinckney

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Judy Chicago (American, b. 1939). The Dinner Party (Heritage Floor; detail), 1974–79. Porcelain with rainbow and gold luster, 48 x 48 x 48 ft. (14.6 x 14.6 x 14.6 m). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation, 2002.10. © Judy Chicago. Photograph by Jook Leung Photography

Eliza Lucas Pinckney
b. circa 1722, Antigua; d. 1793, Philadelphia

Born in the colonial West Indies and educated in England, Eliza Lucas Pinckney was the daughter of George Lucas, a lieutenant-colonel in the British army. In 1738, he moved the family from Antigua to South Carolina, where he purchased a plantation near Charleston. The next year, Lucas was recalled to Antigua, leaving his young daughter in charge of the plantation. Through several years of experimentation, Eliza cultivated the first successful crops of indigo in the American colonies; by 1754, South Carolina was exporting more than a million pounds a year to England. Eliza's pioneering agricultural efforts did not end there. In 1744, she married the lawyer Charles Pinckney and introduced silkworm production on his plantation, adding silk to the trade from North America.

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