Colonial New England Women in Colonial America
Table of Contents Colonial Women Clothing Colonial Homes Colonial Food Colonial Food-continued Colonial Food-continued Garden Daily Chores Quilting Candle-Making Home Décor Women’s Rights Anne Hutchinson
Colonial Women • My daily work is extremely difficult and exhausting. • Most colonial women like myself are homemakers. We cook meals, make clothing, and doctor our families. We also clean, make household goods to use and sell, take care of our animals, maintain a cook fire and tend the kitchen gardens. • I was married at the age of 14. This is the average age of marriage for women.
Clothing • I wear long skirts and blouses. My blouses are made out of linen, and my skirts are made out of wool. These fabrics keep me warm. I wear an apron over my skirt to keep it from getting dirty. I wear a doublet over my blouse, which is sleeveless. I only own one set of clothes for the week and one special set of clothes for Sunday.
Colonial Homes • We made our house to look like the one we left in England. It has a small window, door, and fireplace. • Our home has a thatched roof of twigs (wattle) and the wood frame is covered with daub (a combination of mud, straw, and clay). • Click on the picture below to watch a video about how colonist built their homes.
Colonial Food • I rise early and go straight to my daily chores. I usually begin my morning by drinking a mug of cider, cornmeal mush and molasses. • Early afternoon is the appointed hour for dinner. Soups and stews are among our favorite foods. Stews are one of my favorite foods because I can use one pot to cook it and leave it to simmer while I finish my other chores. Our stews often include pork, sweet corn and cabbage, or other vegetables and roots when available. • Click on the picture to watch a video about how we prepared food.
Colonial Food • Cooking is the most important activity in my home. Baking, roasting, boiling and frying are all done over my home’s hearth fire. • My home’s stone fireplace is in the great room and is about 10 feet wide. I am cooking, and baking from morning to night. • Some common foods that we eat are: Fish, homemade bread, wheat, barley, corn, apples, wheat, cornbread or cornmeal mush, deer, rabbits, and turkeys, tobacco, or rice, clams.
Colonial Food • One of my favorite recipes is a cornmeal pudding. Here is my recipe: 2-1/2 cups milk 3 tbsp. corn meal ½ cup molasses 2 tbsp. butter 2 eggs ½ tsp. ground ginger ½ tsp. ground cinnamon pinch of salt Heat oven to 300 degrees. In a large saucepan heat milk over medium heat until bubbles begin to appear around the edge. (Do not let milk boil) Add the corn meal one tablespoon at a time, stirring frequently. Add molasses and butter and stir. In a medium size bowl, beat eggs with a wire wisk. Add the cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Slowly add the hot corn meal mixture to the egg mixture, beating constantly with the wisk. Pour into a greased 1-quart casserole dish. Bake for 45 minutes. Serve warm with heavy cream or top with ice cream. Yum!
Garden • I have a garden for herbs, flowers, and vegetables. The vegetables that I have planted in my garden are cabbage, beans, corn, sage, and rosemary, pumpkin and mint.
Daily Chores • We do not have fancy washers and dryers to wash our clothes. I have to use a wash board and a bucket. • Our laundry soap is lye which is made from wood ashes, lime, water, and animal fat. It really gets our clothes clean!
Quilting • A popular activity that many women like myself enjoy is quilt making. • Quilts are often made of scraps of fabrics. • A quilt is more than just a blanket, it is a way for me to preserve my family history.
Candle-Making • Most of my family’s household goods are made at home. • Candles are our main source of light. • Our candles are made from fat of animals that are killed for food. • We boil berries to produce the wax of the candle and use cotton or linen for the wick of the candles.
Home Decor • Yes, I love to keep my home decorated and looking nice! • I use stenciling to decorate some of the walls, floors, ceilings, and furniture. • My family and I have been blessed to have our silhouette portraits done.
Women’s Rights • Women in the colonies do not have many rights. • My role is to stay at home, take care of the home, tend the garden, cook my family’s meals, and raise our children. • Women like myself are taught how to read so that we may read the Bible. • I do not know how to write because there is no need for writing during my daily life.
Anne Hutchinson Anne Hutchinson was thought to be a troublemaker. She had 14 children. She interpreted the Bible and disagreed with many Puritan minister’s believes. She was kicked out of Massachusetts for her strong will and beliefs. Click on the picture below to watch a video about one of the first woman activist.
Resources • http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/our_America/colonial/ • http://www.pbs.org/wnet/colonialhouse/history/index.html • http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodcolonial.html • http://library.thinkquest.org/J002611F/ • http://www.pbs.org/wnet/colonialhouse/