Suppose she was thirty and still single. For one reason or another her parents could no longer support her. She could be:

a governess
a seamstress
a prostitute
a laundress
a housekeeper
a cook

Suppose none of those were available, viable, or acceptable; and she could neither sing nor dance: how would she make a living?

closed as too broad by Semaphore, CGCampbell, Gwen, Ne Mo, TheHonRose Dec 14 '15 at 20:34

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Any number of ways. It would probably be easier to list job options that weren't available. – Mark Dec 10 '15 at 6:21
  • @Mark: Name two that were, please. – Ricky Dec 10 '15 at 6:23
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    Two job options that were available? "Laundress" and "cook". – Mark Dec 10 '15 at 6:24
  • @Mark: Thanks. I actually have considered laundress. Plain cooking was part of a housekeeper's duties, though, right? ... – Ricky Dec 10 '15 at 6:40
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    I think that it is not very good when your question begins looking like a Monty Python's sketch youtube.com/watch?v=9foi342LXQE; it is worse when it looks like two of them youtube.com/watch?v=Tym0MObFpTI – SJuan76 Dec 10 '15 at 14:11

At the end of the 18th century in the USA, the majority of the population was still engaged in farming. All the jobs on a farm are available to women, and not uncommonly performed by women, so the statistically most likely occupation was farmworker.

The second most likely occupation is probably trades. I will assert without proof that there were very few trades where there wasn't at least one example of a woman tradesman. While many of them were widows, (not specifically excluded by your question), some learned the trade through other means.

This question should have been closed as trivial, because if you spend 30s on google, you'll find multiple examples. If you enter "18th century female american" and any profession, you'll come up with dozens of examples. The following are just a quick sample I came up with in 15 minutes. (I prudently did not ask my professional historian girlfriend, because this question would have triggered a tirade that probably would have reached through me to the internet. She has rather strong opinions on the historiography of women - we've accepted a myth that they were all prostitutes or helpless, waiting for rescue by a man, and that men devoted a significant fraction of their waking hours to finding new woman to oppress in new ways. This simply isn't supported by historical facts.)

If I spent more time, I'd have a longer list.

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