By Tina Stewart Brakebill
Celestia Rice Colby, born in Ohio in 1827, had way of life ideas that have been fairly undemanding for the common white female offspring born within the first half the 19th century: she married in 1848, had 5 childrens, spent a lot of her existence operating as a dairy farmer and housewife, and died in 1900. Her wealthy legacy, in spite of the fact that, prolonged past her childrens and grandchildren and survived within the type of distinctive and reflective diaries and writings. Her deepest and released writings convey that regardless of the appearances of the indispensable general lifestyles, Colby struggled to reconcile her own hopes and goals with the expectancies and responsibilities put on her through society. writer Tina Stewart Brakebill has woven unique learn with secondary fabric to shape the material of Colby's lifestyles - 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 photo of 1 woman's lifelong fight to set up her personal identification in the confines of society's proscriptions. Colby's lifestyles tale deals useful insights that movement past traditional generalizations concerning ladies of the previous and that proceed to impact the learn of ladies at the present time.
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Extra resources for Circumstances Are Destiny: An Antebellum Woman's Struggle to Define Sphere
U GUST OF SHE HAD BECOME ENGAGED TO ,EWIS #OLBY 4HEY WERE BOTH NINETEEN AND THEIR FAMILIES WERE LONGTIME NEIGHBORS )N HONOR OF THEIR ENGAGEMENT #OLBY DESCRIBED HER HOPES FOR THE FUTURE IN AN ACROSTIC ,EWIS FOR THEE ) WISH MUCH JOY %VER HAPPY BE WITHOUT ALLOY 7EALTH ) ASK NOT FOR ) KNOW FULL WELL )N CONTENTMENT SUPERIOR PLEASURE DWELL 3WEET CONTENT BE THINE AND JOYS NO LONGER CAN TELL – 17 Her engagement and pending marriage would seem to be the “obvious reason” for not attending further classes or teaching.
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. She frequently stayed home and apprenticed at her mother’s side until her early twenties or in some cases, particularly in the New England area, she taught school for a short period of time. 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.
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.