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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