Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Sultry Woman With Turkey–Women In Colonial New England

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Above you see a sultry Pilgrim holding a Thanksgiving Turkey.

She’s going to have that turkey beheaded and served up for dinner.

What was the role of women in Colonial Massachusetts and Colonial New England?

From American Colonies—The Settling Of North America by Alan Taylor—

“It took a family to cope with the diverse and constant demands of building and maintaining a farm in New England. English culture expected all adults to marry and divided their labors into male and female responsibilities. Men conducted the heaviest work, including clearing, constructing, tending the livestock, harvesting the hay, and cultivating the grain crops. Women maintained the home and its nearby garden, cared for the numerous children, made clothing and soap, and prepared and preserved foods, including butter, eggs and cheese. But when a husband was away or incapacitated, the wife also had to assume his labors, taking the role of  ” deputy husband” until he returned or recovered….The New English understood marriage as both romantic and economic. Husband and wife were supposed to be both temperamentally and financially compatible…As in the mother country, New English men monopolized legal authority, landownership and political rights….In all this, New England simply replicated the gender hierarchy of the mother country. More noteworthy are the modest ways in which the Puritan faith provided a bit more authority, protection, and respect for women in New England than they enjoyed in the Chesapeake or the old England. … Above all, Puritanism preached the  importance of love and mutual respect as the foundations of Christian marriage.”

American Colonies is a great book.

Take the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday to learn more about our colonial origins.

A great source to learn this history is the blog History of American Women.

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November 11, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. You sure know how to get the most out of a holiday. Though I’m not sure this is what your Pilgrim ancestors had in mind.

    Comment by Newton | November 13, 2010

  2. I’d not bet on that.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | November 13, 2010


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