Wenches, Wives and Widows: Sixteen Women of Early Virginia


Wenches, Wives and Widows: Sixteen Women of Early Virginia - JoAnn Riley McKey. Some women who lived on the Eastern Shore of Virginia were prone to bad behavior; others had bad things happen to them, but all of their stories are too good to leave buried in the old record books. During the 1600s and early 1700s, a wide range of circumstances brought these women to the attention of the court, and as they wove in and out of the records they left hints and clues and even quotes that begged to be teased out and pieced together into sketches of their lives. These ordinary wenches, wives and widows step from the old records and speak for themselves, focusing on life as they lived it in early Virginia. These women were young and old, servants and aristocrats, abused and abusive. Among their number were unwed mothers, partying teenagers, a free African, courthouse barmaids, a pirate's wife, an alluring widow and a young mother who, with her bare hands, fought off a man-servant wielding a knife and rapier. While Accomack County court orders form the basis for the life sketches in this volume, many other sources from Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and England help flesh out the lives of these women. This volume includes appendices, an every name plus subject index, a bibliography, copious endnotes, genealogical information, photos of local sites and archaeological artifacts, a portrait of one of the women and drawings of the mansion where she lived. 2007, 5½x8½, paper, index, 270 pp.

ISBN: 9780788442759