Archive | women’s lives

Rivers and Freedom: A Child’s Escape

When Patsie Bettis was freed in 1837, a year after the death of her father Elijah Bettis III, she was the mother of two young sons, Drew, age 7, and Martin, age 2.  Drew was the son of Thomas Stevenson Drew, who was married to Patsie’s white cousin Cinderella Bettis.  Martin’s father is unknown, although […]

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Fanny Trollope Disapproves

Frances Trollope, an English novelist and the mother of a more famous one, had only just arrived at the mouth of the Mississippi in November of 1827, and already she disapproved.  Looking around her, all she could see was “desolation,” “degradation,”  “mud banks, monstrous bulrushes, and now and then a huge crocodile luxuriating in the […]

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Women and Slaves in the French Towns of the Mississippi

Land use, political structure and fondness for dancing may have been the most visible differences between the French towns of the Mississippi valley and the settlements of the arriving Americans.  Other aspects of French society, however, may have had more enduring effects. One of these aspects involved the roles and status of women.  French women […]

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