The Woman Of Eliza Pinckney Essay

The Woman Of Eliza Pinckney Essay

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Though Lucy’s situation was typical of her time, there were some elite women who had agency and became important in their communities for their own talents and smarts. One such woman was Eliza Pinckney. Eliza was encouraged by her father as a young girl to become educated not just in woman’s ways, such as sewing and housekeeping, but also in practical ways such as keeping accounts and business as well as he rights under the law. With an education like that and a father who supported her Eliza was sure to prosper. When her father was called off to war in Spain, he left Eliza in charge of the operations of his plantations. While her father was away his plantations prospered and Eliza became a planter in her own right, starting a profitable indigo business and oak plantation. Eliza asserted that the oaks were her own property regardless of whether they were on her father’s land or not. Eliza also was not going to get married until she was ready, and when she did get married, she married someone twice her age but enjoyed intellectual conversations with him until he died after which she grieved heavily.
It is clear to see what a difference a good education and supportive family members can have on the women exemplified above. Who knows what Lucy Byrd could have achieved if her husband has just let her unlock her potential. There is another side to white women’s lives in the 1800s that is even sadder than Lucy Byrd not being allowed to stimulate her mind. Ann Orthwood was the bastard child of Mary Harwood. Ann’s life as an illegitimate child was hard in Bristol this eventually led her to immigrate to America as an indentured servant. Indentured servitude was common in the colonies, with most terms being about four years of hard work ...


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... are reports of slave women poisoning their mistresses, and burning homes, as well as reports of runaways throughout the Chesapeake and Georgia.
In the colonial age, a woman’s life depended on how her society viewed her gender, her race, and her class. All of the women mentioned above were marginalized in some way, even the ones that had freedom had that freedom given to them by a male figurehead. Still, these women found ways to use their agency to their advantage. They were smart, strong, and resilient. Though much of what we know about these women comes from sources written by males it is clear that women or colonial, whether enslaved, indentured, stifled, nurtured, or powerful, had their own stories and made intelligent decisions based on the constraints put upon them by their situation in life. Just as women today continue to do so in their contemporary lives.

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