Posted by Gayle on April 24, 1998 at 14:21:59:
In Reply to: Re: Wilderness Empire posted by Lynn on April 24, 1998 at 11:27:28:
: Yet, I do wish he would have included a little more information on what women were doing in this period. I realize it was war time and that men fought it; but geez!!, women were doing something besides warming beds, (especially that of Sir William Johnson) and following the various regiments around (what were they called?) or sitting home back in the Indian village. What I'm saying is that I wish Allen had not made them quite so invisible.
And endlessly wordy Gayle replied:
Well, Lynn, to be perfectly honest, I could have used a little LESS detail about what the INDIAN women were doing! Seems their men let them have much more fun than the settlers' women were allowed to have.
Anyway, I daresay women were doing much the same as women have always done - and in all the same categories. There were the women who ran the households and raised the children with their bare hands and a lot of determination; there were the traditional token women who survived by being needful; there were the gentlewomen who saw to the running of households with many amenities, including servants or slaves; there were the nurses and the teachers and the maids and the store keepers, all filling the same needs of humanity we have today, but minus the labor-saving devices. The difference between them and us is that they were supposed to go about their work invisibly and not get in the way of the men. If they brought too much attention to themselves, they were socially ostracized.
The husband of a friend of mine is doing a research study on the postal services of the colonies, and he has acquired many letters written by women in both the 17 and 1800's. The letters are fascinating studies of the lives of the women - their concerns and interests. And I can't tell you what a remarkable feeling it is to hold in your hands the actual letter of a person who was writing it over 200 years ago. There's a strange and wonderful sense of connection.
It's somebody else's turn to talk - - -
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