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Posts Tagged ‘women’

When Women Don’t Marry: Single Blessedness and the Shidduch Crisis (Religion in American History)

An interesting history-related post from Religion in American History:

Laura Arnold Leibman

"Save our desperate daughters," proclaims the cover article in issue 521 of Mishpacha [family] magazine, an English-language, ultra-orthodox journal. Although distributed via mail worldwide and featuring articles from from around the world, the magazine is based in New York and Jerusalem and is primarily aimed at a U.S. audience, as well as English-speaking Jewish-American ex-pats living in Israel.  The choice of English (rather than Yiddish) as the common tongue speaks both to the magazine's desire to appeal to Sephardic Jews and to the increasing number of people who taken on orthodox practice as adults. Magazines like Mishpacha ...

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Samuel Adams’s Petition to the Legislature (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Yesterday I mentioned a New England Historical and Genealogical Register obituary for Samuel “Rat-trap” Adams after his death in 1855. After giving some details about his parents it said:
At the time of the Revolution he was old enough to perform services in that cause, which he did, on the patriot side. About five years ago he applied to the General Court for remuneration for some losses which he sustained in the service. There were those in that body disposed to slight his application, but the Hon. J. T. Buckingham [a state senator from Suffolk County in 1850-51] effectually brought ...

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“Rat-trap Adams’s argumentation” (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

(I keep finding mid-nineteenth-century stuff about Samuel “Rat-trap” Adams, putting off my promised discussion of his youth in the Revolutionary period. But I’ll get to that topic eventually.)

In changing their form of government from a town to a city in 1822, Bostonians deprived political orators without office like Samuel Adams of a forum. (In fact, that might have been one goal of the change.) But he could still speak at other gatherings, or outdoors.

For decades Bostonians remembered Adams and some other town-meeting regulars. In fact, in 1842 he became internationally known with this stanza from the parodic “Rime ...

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Female (Mis)Behavior, Class, and Religious Authority: Bath Attendants in Early America (Religion in American History)

An interesting history-related post from Religion in American History:

 Laura Arnold Leibman

Nidhe Israel Mikveh, Photo S. Arnold, 2010
Ritual baths or mikva'ot (s. mikveh) are key to Jewish life and to communal boundaries--a community can even sell a Torah scroll to build a ritual bath.  Moreover, ritual baths are an important element of Jewish women's history.  Since the fall of the Second Temple, mikevh has become primarily a women's ritual: women are the main users of the baths, and also the people who oversee women's ritual immersions.  What can baths tell us, then, about the everyday lives and challenges women faced in early America?

I first ...

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The Legend of Mme. Jumel (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Ben Carp alerted me to this gossipy Gothamist article by Danielle Oteri about Eliza Jumel, long-time owner of the Morris-Jumel Mansion in the Washington Heights area of Manhattan. A taste:
Eliza Jumel’s New York Times obituary [from 1865] states that her mother died shortly after giving birth and that she was placed in the care of “a good woman, and many clergymen visited her comparatively humble dwelling, so that the early years of the little one were passed amid good influences.”

In fact, Eliza “Betsy” Bowen was born in either 1773 or 1775 to a mother who worked as a ...

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Benjamin Franklin Leaves Boston in Style (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Among the first generation of leading American statesmen, Benjamin Franklin is often said to be the only one who was ever in bondage to another person. Sure, he was an apprentice with a limited time until he became free, and his master was his older brother James, but he still chafed at that status.

Paradoxically, Benjamin was formally identified as the publisher of the New England Courant, a ruse to get around the authorities’ ban on James issuing a newspaper. But James was master of the shop.

Benjamin started to talk about working somewhere else. James reportedly went ...

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First-Person Holder (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Noah J. Nelson of Turnstyle via the Huffington Post recently profiled a new videogame—or is that the right term?
Thralled is an interactive experience about a runaway slave in 18th-century Brazil who becomes traumatized over the disappearance of her baby boy,” [Miguel] Oliveira told me as we met in the University of Southern California’s Doheny Memorial Library in the week leading up to this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo. “So the whole experience is about going through a historic representation of her memories and trying to find out what happened to the kid.” . . .

A game controller is ...

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Searching for Mrs. Seaver (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Yesterday I quoted from the page of the Hopkinton meetinghouse records shown above, photographed this week for the New York Times:
February 26th. 1763. The Church met at the meeting-house (pursuant to adjournment) and unanimously Voted, That the Charge brought against Mrs. Seaver, appear’d to them to be Sufficiently prov’d; and that therefore they could not Consent to her owning the Covenant, and receiving Baptism for her Child.
Who was Mrs. Seaver? What was the charge against her? Obviously her Hopkinton neighbors were convinced she’d done something wrong—but what?

The first place I went looking for Mrs. Seaver was ...

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Meeting the Younger William Hunter (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

The Summer 2014 issue of the Colonial Williamsburg magazine includes an interview with William Hunter, as portrayed by Sam Miller. Hunter was one the the town’s Loyalists. Though he remained in town through the late 1770s, he gave up his role in the Virginia Gazette newspaper and eventually left town with the British military because he couldn’t support an independent America.

However, the Colonial Williamsburg podcast about Hunter is a lot more interesting since it goes into his backstory. He was born out of wedlock to the Williamsburg printer William Hunter and Elizabeth Reynolds. In 1761, when the ...

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A Request to John Adams (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

In the same long letter from Abigail Adams that I quoted yesterday, she included these personal messages from the children to their father:
Our little ones send Duty to pappa. You would smile to see them all gather round mamma upon the reception of a letter to hear from pappa, and Charls with open mouth, What does par say—did not he write no more. And little Tom says I wish I could see par.

Upon Mr. [Nathan] Rice’s going into the army he asked Charls if he should get him a place, he catchd at it with ...

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Gen. Washington in Cambridge, 19 July (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

This Saturday, 19 July, Gen. George Washington will return to his Cambridge headquarters, at least in the form of reenactor John Koopman. He’s scheduled to be at Longfellow House–Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site from noon to 4:00 P.M., and that federal site is free to all visitors.

Abigail Adams had met the new commander a few days before he moved into that mansion, and on 16 July wrote to her husband John, assuring him that the Continental Congress had made the right choices:
The appointment of the Generals Washington and [Charles] Lee, gives universal satisfaction. The people ...

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Consequential Questions (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

The Journal of the American Revolution (AllThingsLiberty.com) has once again asked its contributors, including me, some questions and run the answers over the course of a week. These were the questions last week—

“Greatest consequence of the American Revolution?” My answer leaned toward what Chou En-lai was reported to have said about the consequences of the French Revolution: “It’s too soon to tell.” Alas, that quotation has turned out to be based on a misunderstanding—the Chinese premier was actually speaking about the recent Paris uprising of 1968. But I still think we can screw up the Revolution. As in Abraham ...

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Winslow House Events in July (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

The Winslow House Association in Marshfield has sent information about four events this month with links to Revolutionary times.

Tavern Night
Friday, 11 July, 7:00 P.M.
During the late colonial and early revolutionary periods taverns or ordinaries in Colonial America became increasingly popular. The tavern was a place to gather, have a pint of ale or cider, share a newspaper, engage in political debate, or partake in a game of chance. The Winslow House recreates an 18th-century Publick House with musical entertainment with Three of Cups and colonial card and strategy games. Admission includes our version of 1700s tavern fare ...

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“Warren step’s beyond their path” (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

When Ezekiel and Sarah Russell put together their “ELEGIAC POEM” about Bunker Hill, they didn’t stint. Their customers didn’t get just sixty woodcut coffins and four columns of poetry.

The Russells also provided “An ACROSTIC on the late Major-General WARREN Who was slain fighting for the LIBERTIES of AMERICA”:
J ust as JOSEPH took his flight
O nward to the realm of light,
S atan hurl’d his hellish darts,
E vil angels played their parts;
P iercy, Burgoyne, Howe, and Gage,
H over about infernal rage:

W ARREN step’d beyond their path,
A w’d by ...

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The Russells’ Poetic Broadside on Bunker Hill (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

After the Battle of Bunker Hill, the Ezekiel Russell print shop in Salem issued “AN ELEGIAC POEM” on the battle. That broadside probably appeared toward the end of 1775 since a note on its bottom said Russell’s almanacs for the following year were “now in the press.”

The Russell broadside is a useful snapshot of how New Englanders wanted to remember the battle in 1775:
THE NEVER-TO-BE-FORGOTTEN
TERRIBLE AND BLOODY BATTLE
FOUGHT AT AN INTRENCHMENT ON
BUNKER-HILL,

Now justly called (by the Regulars) BLOODY-HILL, situated two miles from the head-quarters of the Regulars at BOSTON, and one mile ...

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What Kind of Man Was James Winthrop? (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

James Winthrop (shown here) was a son of Prof. John Winthrop of Harvard College, one of the most respected New England men of his generation. James benefited from that connection with some appointments, first at Harvard and later within the Massachusetts government. But he doesn’t appear to have ever been content.

In 1786 John Quincy Adams wrote to his mother about Winthrop:
…the librarian, Mr. W.…is a man of genius and learning, but without one particle of softness, or of anything that can make a man amiable, in him. He is, I am told, severe in his ...

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Washington “discovered to be of the Female Sex” (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

On 25 Jan 1783 both the London Daily Advertiser and the Whitehall Evening Post printed an item they said had come from the 11 November Pennsylvania Gazette by way of the Dublin Register. It told readers:
A Discovery has lately been made on this Continent that will astonish the whole World. Our great and excellent General Washington is actually discovered to be of the Female Sex. This important secret was revealed by the Lady who lived with the General as a Wife these 30 years, and died the 6th instant at the General’s seat in Virginia, to the Clergyman ...

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The Mysteries of Dido Belle’s Portrait (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Yesterday’s Guardian contained an article by Stuart Jeffries about the painting of Dido Elizabeth Belle and Lady Elizabeth Murray that inspired the new movie Belle.

This painting was once attributed to Johann Zoffany but is now considered to be by an unknown artist, making its interpretation harder. In particular, the article quotes differing theories on why Dido is posed the way she is:
Why does Dido look as if she’s rushing past her cousin on an errand? For [novelist Caitlin] Davies, one possibility is that this started as a single portrait. “It looks like the portrait of Elizabeth ...

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Mum Bett Presentations at Royall House, 31 May (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

On Saturday, 31 May, the Royall House and Slave Quarters in Medford will host two performances of “One Minute’s Freedom: The Story of Mum Bett” by storyteller Tammy Denease.

This presentation introduces children aged seven and up to Elizabeth Freeman, a woman who helped end slavery in Massachusetts by suing for her freedom in 1781. Her lawyer was Theodore Sedgewick (1746-1813), and she worked for him after becoming free. In 1853 Bentley’s Miscellany published an essay by his daughter Catherine Sedgewick which described Freeman this way:
Mum-Bett’s character was composed of few but strong elements. Action was the law ...

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Priscilla Hobart’s “happiest portion of her life” (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Yesterday’s posting left Priscilla (Thomas Watson) Lothrop and the Rev. Noah Hobart reunited more than two decades after they had broken off their engagement because he was an indebted schoolteacher and she was being courted by a rich man. In the intervening years both had married, she twice. Both had become parents and then been widowed. Her Plymouth husbands had left her wealthy. He was established as the Congregationalist minister in Fairfield, Connecticut.

But when Noah came to ask Priscilla to marry him at last, she told him she’d promised her second husband she wouldn’t marry as long as ...

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Priscilla Watson “being left a rich widow” (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Yesterday I started quoting from Benjamin Marston Watson’s story in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register for 1873, describing how in the late 1720s Priscilla Thomas of Duxbury was courted by two men: Noah Hobart, the local schoolteacher whom she loved but who was still struggling to pay off college loans; and John Watson, a wealthy widower from Plymouth.

Not wishing to stand in the way of Priscilla’s good fortune, Hobart told her not to feel bound to him since he wasn’t sure when he would be in a position to marry. This is what happened ...

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Priscilla Thomas Finds a Husband (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

The following story was written by Benjamin Marston Watson (1780-1851) and submitted by his younger brother John L. Watson to the New England Historic and Genealogical Register in 1872. It concerned two of their ancestors.
Noah Hobart [1706-1773]…was the school teacher in Duxbury, Masstts., having graduated at Harvard College in 1724, and become acquainted with Priscilla Thomas [1709-1796], a very interesting young girl, daughter of Caleb Thomas, a respectable citizen of that town. Their acquaintance ripened into an engagement, & mutual promise of marriage, whenever his circumstances w’d permit him to discharge ye debts he had contracted for his ...

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Thomas Hutchinson Meets Dido Belle (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

The movie Belle is now in theaters, I’m sharing former Massachusetts governor Thomas Hutchinson’s impression of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the young woman of (some) African descent who inspired that drama.

This is from Hutchinson’s diary entry for 19 Aug 1779, when he dined with Lord Chief Justice Mansfield and his family in England. Dido Belle had grown up in that family, receiving a genteel though limited education. It’s notable that she didn’t dine with the family on this occasion and had responsibility for some of the farming operation.

As usual, Hutchinson grasped many of the implications of the ...

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Lepore on Jane Mecom at Old North, 14 May (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

On Wednesday, 14 May, the Old North Church will host an illustrated lecture by Jill Lepore, professor at Harvard, on “Jane Franklin’s Spectacles.” This talk is based on Lepore’s Book of Ages, a finalist for the National Book Award.

Jane Franklin was Benjamin’s little sister. The lecture description notes she “never went to school, but she thirsted for knowledge. . . . Although married at the age of fifteen and the mother of twelve children, Jane became an astute political observer and even a philosopher of history.“ She lived her last years in a house just behind ...

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