Circumstances Are Destiny: An Antebellum Woman's Struggle to by Tina Stewart Brakebill

By Tina Stewart Brakebill

Celestia Rice Colby, born in Ohio in 1827, had way of life techniques that have been particularly trouble-free for the common white female offspring born within the first 1/2 the 19th century: she married in 1848, had 5 childrens, spent a lot of her lifestyles operating as a dairy farmer and housewife, and died in 1900. Her wealthy legacy, in spite of the fact that, prolonged past her kids and grandchildren and survived within the type of designated and reflective diaries and writings. Her deepest and released writings convey that regardless of the appearances of the crucial common lifestyles, Colby struggled to reconcile her own hopes and goals with the expectancies and responsibilities put on her by way of society. writer Tina Stewart Brakebill has woven unique study with secondary fabric to shape the material of Colby's existence - from her days because the daughter of an Ohio dairy farmer to her dating along with her daughter, a pioneering collage professor. What emerges is a multifaceted photograph of 1 woman's lifelong fight to set up her personal identification in the confines of society's proscriptions. Colby's lifestyles tale bargains beneficial insights that circulation past traditional generalizations relating to girls of the previous and that proceed to impact the research of girls this day.

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The above letter also makes clear that by the spring of , Colby had attended her last class. 32 Colby’s life to this point dovetails neatly with what has been characterized as the “domestic life cycle” of a proper, northeastern, native-born, white woman. This domestic life cycle had its beginnings in childhood, where games, toys, children’s literature, and education were gender speci-c and designed to instill proper norms and cultural beliefs. After the completion of a girl’s available educational opportunities, which at mid-century terminated at no higher than the secondary level, a proper young woman’s next steps were quite limited.

The ultimate goal for a true woman, however, was to marry and move to the next stage of the cycle. This phase of a woman’s life—marriage with the roles of wife, mother, and household manager—was even more directly set by law and societal norms than was childhood. Married women’s legal rights were strictly limited.

This phase of a woman’s life—marriage with the roles of wife, mother, and household manager—was even more directly set by law and societal norms than was childhood. Married women’s legal rights were strictly limited.

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