Women during the 1780s Essay

This essay has a total of 2190 words and 8 pages.

Women during the 1780s

"Her name is Louise Pierce. She was born in 1770. She is able to perform all tasks around
the house. Louise will be sold as a single slave today and I start bidding at five
dollars." That was the last thing Louise heard before my husband Thomas and I, Sarah
bought her as our slave. Louise had no idea that she would be working a very low wage at
all hours of the day. She was required to wake up at 6 am, prepare breakfast followed by
doing the wash until lunch, which she prepared. After lunch, Louise was to clean the
kitchen, run any errands of my choice and begin preparing dinner with myself. She usually
stopped working around 9 pm, which is when Thomas and I would reside for the night.
Although Louise was only 15, she was very smart and intuitive. She was able to sew, cook,
clean, and manage our household very well for being so young. Louise had the potential to
be a very smart young lady but unfortunately due to her skin color, she was not allowed to
be educated.

My husband Thomas is a very old fashioned man who believed in whites holding all the power
in our nation. He would never see it in any other light. I think most of his oppression
comes from fighting in the revolutionary war. He clearly showed his views through his
actions towards our slaves. He would physically abuse Louise if she were to speak when she
wasn't spoken to or mess up on any sort of task. I never defended Louise but I felt her
pain in my heart. I would not dare speak out against my husband. His views were my views
and even If I felt different, I had no place saying it as nothing would come of it anyway.
Thomas never wanted children. He is too selfish with his money. Our tobacco plantation is
probably one of the best around our parts. Thomas isn't exactly subtle when it comes to
being humble about our money either. We are very well known as Thomas is a member of many
political and social groups. We both attend church every Sunday in our best outfits and
host dinner parties annually.

Life wasn't as grand as it looked on the outside. Thomas and I had different views on
life. He was for slavery and white supremacy and I believed in equal rights for all human
beings. I found it degrading that my husband and our friends found their power through
degrading others and strengthening our country in a negative way. Although our nation was
prospering from the cheap labor of slaves, we were dehumanizing innocent human beings at
the same time. I found it very hypocritical that we recently became free from being under
Britain's control just over ten years ago and now felt the need to control others. The
Declaration of Independence states that "all Men are created equal that they are endowed
by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty, and
the Pursuit of Happiness." This was a lie to me and made me distrust our nation. It was
ironic to me that the white men who wrote the Declaration did so in order to escape
Britain's oppression, and now oppress people in a similar way. The problem with this
document was that it was far too flexible and could be interpreted in so many different
ways. For this particular reason, I couldn't blame my husband for his beliefs. He took it
as slavery being fair where as I looked at it being unjust. Something else was needed to
ensure fairness in our society. Our nation was split up into a north and south and each
had their own set of beliefs. Due to the lack of a centralized government, a national
order of rules and restrictions against slavery were not yet set.

It was July fourth, 1791 and we held our annual party at our estate. We invited about 100
and had a lavish dinner outside. As usual, after dinner was served, the men parted ways to
smoke cigars while we women gossiped. On this particular occasion, one of the women named
Mary Sue mentioned how amazing it felt to live in this country and to be free from
Britain. I agreed with her and then asked her what she thought about the inequality that
existed among blacks and whites. She thought nothing of my question, took no longer than
three seconds to answer my question with a condescending look on her face saying she was
all for it. "Why wouldn't the whites control the blacks. What good do blacks serve in this
country? They aren't educated and most of all, they are black." Her ignorance disgusted
me. I couldn't believe what I had just heard. "Mary Sue, you realize they aren't allowed
to be educated and just like the black people, we women face discrimination as well. We
are not allowed to vote, meaning we have no say in what goes on in our country. Doesn't
that upset you knowing you will never be able to voice your opinion or stand up for what
you believe in?" I yelled back at her in my reply, by accident. Mary Sue took a step back
and replied by telling me "we don't have to speak out because our husbands do for us. They
have our best interest in mind." My jaw dropped to the ground. This is where I knew my
ideas were extremely radical. I didn't know what else to say except that I felt sorry for
Mary Sue and her lack of independent thinking. It almost seemed as though Mary Sue's
responses was programmed into her head to think and respond that way when she answered me.
I could sense the hesitation in her voice when she told me that our husbands have the best
interest for us. On more than one occasion, Mary Sue has come crying to me when her
husband lashes out on her for being nice to the slaves. If only she had the
self-confidence I did, we could do something about this together. I apologized to her for
making her feel uncomfortable and realized not everyone is going to have the same views as
me. I also realized I needed to be more careful with my words and who I say them to.

I began to loose hope that my dreams and aspirations for a better nation would ever make a
difference in anyone's life. I can remember just three to four years ago when the
constitutional convention took place, Thomas was so upset to think that the
anti-federalists were going to win at the constitutional convention. He strongly opposed a
central government. God forbid that our nation became united as one and abided by the same
rules and laws and believed in the same ideas. Thomas believed in the federalists'
argument of states governing themselves, as opposed to a centralized government because he
didn't want slavery to be abolished. I remember mentioning to Thomas that I think it might
be a good idea for our nation to be under one organized centralized government, and he
told me I had no idea what I was talking about because I was a woman.

I realized that my input towards political views were insignificant. I needed to focus my
ideas somewhere else where it would make a difference. That's where Louise plays a roll.
After the fourth of July party, Louise told me she heard the conversation I had with Mary
Sue. She said I gave her faith that in the near future she would no longer be a slave and
let me in on a secret. "There is an opportunity for me to seek freedom but it's very
Continues for 4 more pages >>