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Re: Louisa St. Clair
I am thinking some more about Louisa:
This description mentions exceptional traits as seen from the eyes of the people of that day. Today we know of beautiful women, well dressed, who can ice skate, and ride horses, etc. But in those times to collect all these abilities into the daughter of a famous General, ex-President of Continental Congress and now Gov. of NW Territories was a thing to marvel at. Of course being the daugter of such a person had given her the opportunity to have leisure time as a youngster to learn ice skating, etc. and then to attend the best schools of deportment and finishing. But it was her choice to maintain and use these outdoor skills to the wonder of all the bachelors, instead of sitting safely back in civilization that adds to her mystic.
What we don't realize is that once married these skills were not what Louisa would fall back upon. She would need to use the normal (in that day) housewife skills plus work beside her husband in the fields and raise a brood of children. This is the part that today should astound us. The fortitude and stamina of those women. Until the industrial revolution, women have almost always been able to work beside their husbands, taking up the load of work or as admistrator of the manor if he were sick, away hunting, at war, on a Crusade, in town as a professional man (lawyer, etc.) or dead.
I read that wives of craftsmen in guilds such as fullers, weavers, dying, stretching, carding, cleaning, shearing, etc. worked alongside their husbands as a familial labor force in the medieval wool industry and were is some places part of the guilds also. From "Women in the Middle Ages" by Frances and Joseph Gies.
"Although women were admitted to guilds in France, they were not always invited to the organizations' social gatherings. In Arras the guild of cooks, roasters, pastry cooks, and caterers decreed that widows might enjoy the privileges of masters as long as they remained unmarried...."
Last night I talked to a descendant of a distant relative who told me that her mother b. 1879 Wisconsin (not exactly not considered the pioneer era by some) had raised 12 children while working beside her husband cutting wood pulp. This was not a part-time operation for him where he did it on the weekends but had another job elsewhere as happens today in that area. But this was their livelyhood and she needed to be there cutting off branches, etc. the year around and it gets pretty cold there in the Winter. How miserable, with all your little kids about you and one on the way.
I would recommend the book listed above for an eye-opening experience to everyone. Hope it isn't out of print. 1978 I cannot find a Library number. Found this in a used bookstore. Looks like they wrote some other interesting books:
Life in a Medieval city, Leonard of Pisa and the new mathematics of the middle ages, Merchants and Moneymen, Life in a Medieval castle, the ingenious Yankees.
THE BEAUTIFUL AND DASHING LOUISA ST. CLAIR
In the winter of 1790, the Governor of the Northwest Territory, General
Arthur St. Clair, removed his family from his plantation at "Potts'
Grove," in Westmoreland County, Pa., to Marietta, O. One of his
daughters, Louisa, was long remembered as one among the most
distinguished among the ladies of that day. In strength and elasticity
of frame, blooming health, energy and fearlessness, she was the ideal of
a soldier's daughter, extremely fond of adventure and frolic, and ready
to draw amusement from everything around her. She was a fine