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HistoryFinal - Chirag Sharma History 40B Sharon Block TA:...

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Chirag Sharma History 40B Sharon Block TA: Karen Jenks 11 December, 2007 Final Exam 1) Primary Essay     :     In 3ish detailed paragraphs, analyze the following primary document, "Electa Marsh's Farm Journal, CT, 1799" by comparing its labor descriptions to the work done by 3 other kinds of workers in early America. Be specific in your identification of the other workers (sex, region, ethnicity) and in your comparisons. Be sure to explain how one's work related to one's social, economic, racial, or ethnic identity. Note: Electa is 9 years old. (20) "Wednesday the 24th: Rose early Milkt 2 cows and helpt clear away the breakfast table. Made 1 bed swept 1 room and shelled some pease. Attended school. Wrote my Journal. Read in the 20 and 21 chapter of Exodus and remarked the 17th verse in the 20 chapter. .. Finished my brothers frock, and began to make my little brothers shirt. In the A.M. answered part of the dominions of Europe and their capital cities." "Friday the 9th of August: Rose early Milkt 3 cows, helpt set the breakfast table. Made 1 bed, pickt and shelled some beans. Attended school, wrote my Journal. Read in the 33rd chapter of Exodus and remarked the 19th and 20th verses. .. Worked on my linen garmet. In the P.M. said the catechism. Returned home from school. Milkt 3 cows." Electa at a young age of 9 has a lot of burden on her shoulders: from milking  cows in farms early in the morning to doing household chores at alternate times,  going to school, taking out time to write and read (bible) about her religion,  helping male family members with their physical and material needs, and  simultaneously gaining knowledge about the world. The above scenario reflects  the life of a young, middle-class, Christian, American girl, who being a female,  has been endowed with a number of responsibilities within the vicinity of her  home, but at the same time is curious to become well-read and literate. A young  female house-worker like Electa, reminds me of Martha Ballard from the district  of Maine, whose work as an American housewife and midwife depicts women’s  work in eighteenth century. Martha Ballard in her diary states, “A woman’s work 
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is never done.” (Ulrich 71, Lecture Nov 7) If we look at Electa’s tiresome daily  schedule, the assertion made by Martha Ballard is completely true. Martha  Ballard too was involved in eclectic elements of work: from cleaning out the  house, cooking, childbearing, to indulging in skilled work like making dresses and  skirts, to gardening and farming. (Ulrich 75) Both Marsh and Ballard’s lives  confirm to the gender division of labor. Ballard’s work showed the complexity of  family labor system in New England. The mothers in the family invested more  time in childbearing and rearing than the fathers, and because daughters married 
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This note was uploaded on 04/16/2008 for the course HIST 40A taught by Professor Block during the Fall '07 term at UC Irvine.

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HistoryFinal - Chirag Sharma History 40B Sharon Block TA:...

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