“July 29, 1754, Wanted, a Grave, sedate, Sober woman, not exceeding thirty years of age, who understands the management of a family, the care of children and who may be trusted with keys, such a one by bringing recommendation may hear of a good place, by inquiring at the printer’s hereof” (1)

The above quote is a labor wanted ad. This family was looking for a woman to do the “woman’s” position in a household. This family could be looking for someone to take on these roles because the matriarch of the household could either need help or she could have passed away, most likely during childbirth. A typical woman’s role during this time-period was to stay at home. This does not mean that women were not working. They were taking care of the home, watching after their children, gardening, cooking, and cleaning. It was widely understood that women know how to do these things and it was expected that girls would grow up learning that this was their place. This is very much the idea of “separate spheres;” women had their place in the home and men had their place out in the labor force.

 

(1)Week 4 documents, 2

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. Henry says:

    There seems to be a little tension here. A woman’s place is in the home…but how does that square with a woman going to a place in someone *else’s* home, to do domestic labor? What kinds of women would take these positions? Is there some kind of age/class/racial distinction that matters here?

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  2. Perhaps you could state clearly that society didn’t see women’s role in the house as a job. I can tell, at least I think, that’s what you were trying to get across. It might help other readers.

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  3. mlucas426 says:

    You could talk about what kind of women usually accepted jobs such as a this. Were they poor girls, African Americans, etc. Also you could talk more about separate sphere’s and explain its significance a bit more.

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  4. jdeleo94 says:

    Where was this ad taken from? A newspaper or flyer? Also make it aware to the reader what location in the U.S. this ad is meant for,and there are many differences between northern and southern states at this time.

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  5. Good reference. You could elaborate on the womens place being in the home in correlation with the separate spheres during this time period to give the reader a little more depth.

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  6. embartra says:

    This is a bit early for the idea of “separate spheres,” but even then, was the idea descriptive of reality? By putting a job ad in a paper, was the author of this implicitly framing this as labor? Is it seeking specific skills?

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