Women and Freedom in Early America / Edition 1

Women and Freedom in Early America / Edition 1

by Larry Eldridge
     
 

ISBN-10: 0814721982

ISBN-13: 9780814721988

Pub. Date: 01/01/1997

Publisher: New York University Press

It is virtually impossible to generalize about the degree to which women in early America were free. What, if anything, did enslaved black women in the South have in common with powerful female leaders in Iroquois society? Were female tavern keepers in the backcountry of North Carolina any more free than nuns and sisters in New France religious orders? Were the

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Overview

It is virtually impossible to generalize about the degree to which women in early America were free. What, if anything, did enslaved black women in the South have in common with powerful female leaders in Iroquois society? Were female tavern keepers in the backcountry of North Carolina any more free than nuns and sisters in New France religious orders? Were the restrictions placed on widows and abandoned wives at all comparable to those experienced by autonomous women or spinsters?

Bringing to light the enormous diversity of women's experience, Women and Freedom in Early America centers variously on European-American, African-American, and Native American women from 1400 to 1800. Spanning almost half a millenium, the book ranges the colonial terrain, from New France and the Iroquois Nations down through the mainland British-American colonies. By drawing on a wide array of sources, including church and court records, correspondence, journals, poetry, and newspapers, these essays examine Puritan political writings, white perceptions of Indian women, Quaker spinsterhood, and African and Iroquois mythology, among many other topics.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814721988
Publisher:
New York University Press
Publication date:
01/01/1997
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
366
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.82(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: A Remarkable Diversity1
1Gender and the Longhouse: Iroquois Women in a Changing Culture7
2Women of the New France Noblesse26
3Princesses, Wives, and Wenches: White Perceptions of Southeastern Indian Women to 177044
4Freedom Among African Women Servants and Slaves in the Seventeenth-Century British Colonies62
5"My Dear Liberty": Quaker Spinsterhood and Female Autonomy in Eighteenth-Century Pennsylvania83
6Women, Religion, and Freedom in New France109
7Wise Virgins and Pious Mothers: Spiritual Community among Baptist Women of the Delaware Valley127
8"What Providence Has Brought Them to Be": Widows, Work, and the Print Culture of Colonial Charleston147
9"To Have a Sufficient Maintenance": Women and the Economics of Freedom in Frontier Pennsylvania, 1750-1800167
10Women and Economic Freedom in the North Carolina Backcountry191
11"Whers Gone to She Knows Not": Desertion and Widowhood in Early Pennsylvania211
12The Marriage Metaphor in Seventeenth-Century Massachusetts229
13"If Widow, Both Housewife and Husband May Be": Widows' Testamentary Freedom in Colonial Massachusetts and Maryland244
14Women of "No Particular Home": Town Leaders and Female Transients in Rhode Island, 1750-1800269
15The Free Women of Charles Parish, York County, Virginia, 1630-1740290
16Mitigating Inequality: Women and Justice in Colonial New York313
Selected Bibliography331
Contributors347
Index351

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