The Challenging Life of a Women during the Revolutionary War Essays

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The Challenging Life of a Woman during the Revolutionary War

It is late eighteenth century in New England. A place of many immigrants and children of immigrants, mostly from England, who came to the New World to start a new life with better opportunities for their families, as they believed. One of them is Elizabeth, a second generation colonist, who settled in a rural area of New England. Living in the country and farming the land to support your family was very common during these times. More than 85% of 2.5 million citizens lived in a rural place (Kallen 14). When Elizabeth turned nineteen she got married to her husband George. Her family considered George as a good fit for Elizabeth as he was able to improve her financial standing. Women usually got married by the age of seventeen or eighteen (Randel 44) so Elizabeth didn’t think twice about it in order not to become a spinster. Now, she is thirty years old, raising her six children and taking care of their farm and daily chores. That’s how an average life of a typical woman of her era looked like. Elizabeth and her husband live a very average lifestyle on an average farm. It is less than one hundred acres large with fields planted with oats, flax, potatoes, hay, corn and wheat. Behind the small farmstead, apple, cherry, peach, pear, and plum trees adorn small clearings on forested hillsides. Pastures are divided by split-rail fences and miles of fieldstone walls. It is a beautiful New England countryside. Elizabeth and her husband George live in a house with six rooms which were filled with simple, functional furniture. If you want to visit Elizabeth and George, I have to warn you. The roads in these days are muddy and rutted. Local people even joke about it all the time saying that a man could be swallowed up by the deep mud. Roads are not well marked and even in the most settled areas you can get lost (Kallen 15). Most people travel by carts or wagons, only the wealthy could afford carriages (Mays 407). There was always more than a lot of work on the farm. Slavery in New England is very rare in these days, unlike in the South, which means that Elizabeth and her family have to run the farm by themselves. However, they occasionally employ field workers to help them when necessary. In spring, the yeoman plows the soil with two to six oxen. The blade of the plow is coated with sheet iron or old saw blades and tipped with brittle iron. Then they sow the grain by throwing the seeds over a wide area by hand. Next, they chop from the ground with a hoe or pulled by hand. At the end they separate kernels of grain from hulls by a manual threshing device with a long wooden handle and free-swinging stick attached to the end called a flail. Elizabeth and George raise as much crops as they need every year, however they often have extra to sell at weekly markets. Their agricultural products, such as flaxseed, corn, cattle, and horses are in great demand (Kallen 15-16). Besides planting, Elizabeth is busy milking cows, churching butter and making cheese while Gorge slaughters the animals, goes fishing or repairs and patches the holes in shoes. During the cold winter months he usually makes the wooden parts of his tools with the help of a local blacksmith who supplies him with metal parts (Randel 116). Elizabeth is a hard-working woman, who not only runs the farm but also a loving mother who raises her six children. All her babies were born at home, in a room called “the borning-room”. The delivery is something of a social event, where neighboring women gather together to help. She gave her children very fashionable and popular names like William, John, Ann, Benjamin, Hannah and Lucy. They have no middle names, since it is not very common. She wants the best for her children so when she has a little bit of free time (which is not often) she reads manuals for raising children. Most of them are long on moral advice but her favorite one from John Locke called Some Thoughts…