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The American Farmer in the Eighteenth CenturyA Social and Cultural History$
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Richard Lyman Bushman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780300226737

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300226737.001.0001

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Sons and Daughters

Sons and Daughters

Provision for the Young

(p.105) 6. Sons and Daughters
The American Farmer in the Eighteenth Century

Richard Lyman Bushman

Yale University Press

Out of lands that were once Indian, Hempstead provided for his six sons and four daughters. He accumulated the resources required by expanding his holdings when his children arrived at the age when they were useful workers. He opened a sheep operation in Stonington and brought in new pasture. With bequests from him, all of his children established themselves without moving to a frontier or taking up lands that were in dispute. Hempstead also passed along the subtle skills it took to be a successful farmer and citizen. The Hempsteads flourished on the lands once possessed by the Indians, benefiting from the privileges of imperial families in the European conquest of America. No record exists of Hempstead’s wife passing along skills to her daughters—Abigail Hempstead died in 1716. But the diary of Mary Cooper just across the Sound on Long Island depicts the skills daughters had to master and just as important the endurance required to keep working when fatigued, ill, or discouraged. Indian families had a culture to transmit to the rising generation that was fully as intricate as Hempstead’s, but transmission was hindered by general social decay in Native American society. Against all expectations, Mohegan culture survived and persists to this day.

Keywords:   Family, Indians, Children, Imperial families, Women

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