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The slave master's wife?

 
 
mousy
 
Reply Fri 28 Sep, 2007 11:22 pm
Who had it worst ? The slave or the slave master's wife?


Any histories..books perhaps sharing the experiences of white women as wives(victims) to cruel murderers? Did these women live in fear and wish to run away themselves? Or just as cruel?
Perhaps you white folks have generational stories? It is not a subject usually spoken of:dunno:
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wvpeach
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Sep, 2007 07:48 am
@mousy,
My great grandmother raised 22 children to adulthood. These were considered the legitimate children . As my grandfather was known to have at least 45 more off spring. Her life was interesting to say the least.

My great grandmother on my mothers side was a full blood Seneca Indian . Married to a Irishman. Her life seems to be interesting too. Although short she died before she was 40.

But we never owned slaves. Had lots of handmen who lived on my grandfathers place and worked the farm and watched over the whore house he ran at night up the holler a bit from the main house. But no slaves ever. Grandpa said he did not believe in that. Apparently his prostitutes were free to come and go as they pleased and most were white. They were women who lost their husbands most in world war 1 and before, grandpa provided them a way to live he said. More than one boy child was born at the house he kept for them though that looked just like grandpa. The family calls these illegitimate kids the Black kids. I have no idea why as they were not black in race . We rarely saw a black person here in the hills. Not that anybody had anything against them they just did not live here in WV much.

But if you do not get some slave masters wifes stories I'd be glad to tell you something about my grandmothers who were just a old hill billy with lots of kids and a Seneca Indian women .

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e35/wvpeach1963/scrapebooking/daddyandpapa.jpg
aaronssongs
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Sep, 2007 08:01 am
@wvpeach,
wvpeach;39690 wrote:
My great grandmother raised 22 children to adulthood. These were considered the legitimate children . As my grandfather was known to have at least 45 more off spring. Her life was interesting to say the least.

My great grandmother on my mothers side was a full blood Seneca Indian . Married to a Irishman. Her life seems to be interesting too. Although short she died before she was 40.

But we never owned slaves. Had lots of handmen who lived on my grandfathers place and worked the farm and watched over the whore house he ran at night up the holler a bit from the main house. But no slaves ever. Grandpa said he did not believe in that. Apparently his prostitutes were free to come and go as they pleased and most were white. They were women who lost their husbands most in world war 1 and before, grandpa provided them a way to live he said. More than one boy child was born at the house he kept for them though that looked just like grandpa. The family calls these illegitimate kids the Black kids. I have no idea why as they were not black in race . We rarely saw a black person here in the hills. Not that anybody had anything against them they just did not live here in WV much.

But if you do not get some slave masters wifes stories I'd be glad to tell you something about my grandmothers who were just a old hill billy with lots of kids and a Seneca Indian women .

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e35/wvpeach1963/scrapebooking/daddyandpapa.jpg


Sounds like someone should be penning a book! Fascinating.
wvpeach
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Sep, 2007 09:01 am
@aaronssongs,
I have done a family history that we self published and update every five years. We did the last one in 2000 and we had 165 new babies in the legitimate family. We are still breeding like rabbits . Although most of the off spring like myself have 2 or three children there is no doubt because of sheer numbers we are a huge family. I am working on a redraft and hope to sell it commercially. My redraft includes some of the black family history a fact the old timers don't like. But I feel it is relevant.

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e35/wvpeach1963/scrapebooking/hesikiahmarshall.jpg

My great great grandfather Hesikiah Marshall was a mule handler in the civil war . The family story goes that he was kicked by a mule in the war and laid in a tent at a battle for over two weeks unable to move. When the battle calmed down some men from his own town put him in a buck board and brought him home. Where Hesikiah laid for most of one winter . One day he crawled out of bed and told his ma that if God wasn't going to take him , he best learn to manage. Hesikiah walked with the help of two canes his entire life. He married fathered 14 children and became a magistrate judge .

guess who the little blonde girl is in the bottom picture?

[QU

OTE=aaronssongs;39692]Sounds like someone should be penning a book! Fascinating.[/QUOTE]
wvpeach
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Sep, 2007 09:17 am
@wvpeach,
Sorry though mousey this may not be what you wanted for this thread. We can take this else where if you want.
wvpeach
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Sep, 2007 10:38 am
@wvpeach,
Well maybe from the attitudes of my own family I can expand on mouseys question. I think I owe that to the excellent question mousey posed. I believe women like my great grandmothers realized they lived in a male dominated world and that there was nothing they could do about it. They were just happy to be the legitimate wife and often being the legitimate wife was only possible because your papa was a well thought of man in the community.

Good women were watched and held back for good men and legitimate marriages. Women worked to be the legitimate wife. As the alternative was not good. Even women who were married legitimately found their positions much lowered if their husband died and they did not have a large extended family to care for them. women with no family to help found their reputation ruined when men outside their family stopped by to help with donations and chores like chopping wood for winter. Because the gossip mill would start . Why would so and so be going to that widow womans house? Even if nothing was going on the woman was now a marked woman.

That is why down my family holler many " good Christian widows lived with their children under my grandfathers protection. These women it was understood were available for a good marriage and their children were considered to still be in the upper crust of local society . All be it they were poor, so they helped the family farm thrive and thereby earned their living. What other choice did they have? There was very little work for a decent woman to do in those days. Nursing which paid little , school teaching was still done by mostly men, but a woman could get lucky and get that low paying job, or clerking in a store for starvation wages. Or being a maid, which by the way reduced the womans social standing.

My great grandmothers were the legitimate wifes and they were happy with their position. That gave them a respect among the community at large and even more important they ran their own closer community of the farm . My grandmother rarely tried to change my grand fathers mind. She would talk to her women folk , That is daughters , cousins, sisters and granddaughters about something grand pa was doing and how she wished he wouldn't do that. But she was only willing to cross him for one of her own. His decisions about the other people who lived on the holler and family land were never questioned because she had to pick her battles if she ever hoped to win one with grandpa.

As I said we did not own slaves but we had handy men who lived on the farms their entire lifes and were willing slaves if you know what I mean. They had their own little shack and did just what the leader of the family told them to do. ( the eldest male) And we had women who worked the farm who lived in small homes off by themsleves , as well as ones who lived in a large communal home and were available for fun . These womens services were sold for a new born pig or a turkey. They bartered and sold moonshine too. These women had their own accumulated wealth in that some had large herds of livestock . Sometimes grandpa and grandma would decide one of their girl children showed some promise and moved it to the home of one of the women who worked and lived on the farm by themselves and did not go to the whore house. Grand pa occasionally moved a male child to one of these homes too because he would say " That boy is powerful smart and doesn't need to live with them women" But none ever lived near the family. The legitimate family that is.

These women were treated well as were the handy men. Even today in my family we take care of men who are not family but as the old timers say have been part of the family since they were born. They live out their lives in small homes and we all make sure they have what they need.
wvpeach
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Sep, 2007 11:07 am
@wvpeach,
Women like my great grandmothers could have been considered the slave masters wife. But it was not black people they ruled over it was poor white people. But it was really a way to the best life they could have in a male dominated society . And it was the only way they could assure their own children had a chance at a decent life.

It would surprise most modern women to learn that women of my great grandmothers era often were not prudes when it came to sex. At least they understood that men would be men and extra curricular affairs were common. That is why in all society for the longest time being a bastard was so looked down upon. These women had to hold tight to their own childrens positions as legitimate. So Bastards were put down every way they could.

My own great grandmother died when I was 29 and I spent many a summer on the farm with her helping with farm work. I remember a aunt of mine one time who had married into the family coming to grandma to complain about a affair her husband was having. Grandma listened to her whine for a long while. Then grandma looked at her with that stoic stare and said " girl you should be glad he is not home bothering you" " After all he's already given you a boy child and you have three so you do not need more, who cares if he is bothering some other woman." Let him bother her , her children would be bastards"

Well my modern aunt was shocked. She thought grandma a good christian woman would be shocked to learn her son was having a affair. Grandma knew or thought all men did this and could not understand why my aunt was so upset. To grandma the mother of 22 children it was a blessings when grandpa was not home bothering her for sex. Shocking attitude for some, just reality in many mountain family's.

These women held their positions only through legitimate sons, because sons would continue to take care of mama on the family farm after the elder family patriarch died. These women really had little choice in how the people who were lower in lifes social cast were treated. But my grandmother was always kind and ready to nurse any sick person on the family farm.

However she rarely talked to the bad women who traded for things at the house at the very back of our farm. These were not in her class and she did not waste words with them. I remember her and a couple of other women going to help bring babies into the world at that large communal home and often they would sit around coffee and comment on how it had been a fine healthy child that was born and then they'd say" Poor little thing it doesn't have a chance at a decent life" This was because of the social cast it was born into.

She did however socialize with the widows who grandpa let live in small houses on the farm and help with the work. But no doubt grandma was the queen bee and everybody knew it.

I know that my grandfather had a nice set up for all who lived on our family land. Through wars and the depression everybody ate well and smart kids went to school. Not so smart went to school on the farm. Grandpa cared for everybody as best he could . While most people would not think the way he operated was moral today. It was standard practice in those days.

And before anybody says oh how awful these hill billys were . It was much the same in the cities during those days. Just look at the history of the immigrants and the sweat shops they worked in from dawn till dark in the cities. Social class was everything in the old days. City or country made no difference it was whos child you were and if you were legitimate that mattered.
0 Replies
 
mlurp
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Sep, 2007 07:31 pm
@wvpeach,
wvpeach;39690 wrote:
My great grandmother raised 22 children to adulthood. These were considered the legitimate children . As my grandfather was known to have at least 45 more off spring. Her life was interesting to say the least.

My great grandmother on my mothers side was a full blood Seneca Indian . Married to a Irishman. Her life seems to be interesting too. Although short she died before she was 40.

But we never owned slaves. Had lots of handmen who lived on my grandfathers place and worked the farm and watched over the whore house he ran at night up the holler a bit from the main house. But no slaves ever. Grandpa said he did not believe in that. Apparently his prostitutes were free to come and go as they pleased and most were white. They were women who lost their husbands most in world war 1 and before, grandpa provided them a way to live he said. More than one boy child was born at the house he kept for them though that looked just like grandpa. The family calls these illegitimate kids the Black kids. I have no idea why as they were not black in race . We rarely saw a black person here in the hills. Not that anybody had anything against them they just did not live here in WV much.

But if you do not get some slave masters wifes stories I'd be glad to tell you something about my grandmothers who were just a old hill billy with lots of kids and a Seneca Indian women .

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e35/wvpeach1963/scrapebooking/daddyandpapa.jpg


Down home roots. Great. I was born in Norfolk, VA. The dresser draw was my crib. But daddy being in the Navy we moved to California, by my 6th week.
I have been up a few hollars myself and in the Mountains of W. Virginia, a long while back after the Nam I wondered a bit.. Cool.
wvpeach
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 Sep, 2007 10:27 am
@mlurp,
The role of women has much expanded in one generation in my family.

LOL My grandfather died when I was 11 and I can tell you he would be shocked to say the least. His daughters pretty much ruled the roost at thier homes. My aunts remaining are in their 70"s and 80"s lovely, gritty, sassy old ladies and they are the law among their own now. A far cry from grandpa's day.

Seems what once was always becomes history and everything gets flipped upside down.
0 Replies
 
mousy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Oct, 2007 05:06 pm
@mousy,
Picture a being that tortures,beats,and kills then abandons the demons at the door before entrance(possible?)
Perhaps if we travel further back in time...in search of documents, dusty letters, the oppression upon the "other" subordinate(wife) is brutal and clearer
I would wager a slave had a better chance of escaping.
wvpeach
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Oct, 2007 07:36 pm
@mousy,
I am certain without a doubt that down through the centuries women just disappeared . Think about it , living out in the middle of nowhere. Winter comes on and a family see's nobody for 3 months. If you wanted rid of your wife all you had to do was kill her and bury her and tell everybody she died of the flu in the middle of the winter.

But I am sure plenty of women knocked their husbands off this way too.

Mans inhumanity to man, and woman is a fact of nature. Survival of the fittest should not be the norm among thinking humans , but unfortunately it has been. And man being physically stronger can dominate woman , until woman gets tired of it or worse yet fears for her life and then do not underestimate woman.


mousy;40586 wrote:
Picture a being that tortures,beats,and kills then abandons the demons at the door before entrance(possible?)
Perhaps if we travel further back in time...in search of documents, dusty letters, the oppression upon the "other" subordinate(wife) is brutal and clearer
I would wager a slave had a better chance of escaping.
0 Replies
 
 

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