“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 labor was seen as unskilled by society. The women who accepted these jobs were mostly poor and african american. Though this is before the idea of “separate spheres,” we can see the connection. Women did domestic labor while men were out in the labor force.



(1)Week 4 documents, 2



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