A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Martha experience for the first time during this period?

2. What was Martha Ballard's maiden name?

3. In what town are the Ballards living in 1787?

4. How many preachers was each town allowed?

5. What terms does Martha very seldom use for women in her diary?

Short Essay Questions

1. Where did Martha Ballard grow up and when did she marry her husband/

2. Explain the contentious relationship between Reverend Foster and Henry Sewall.

3. Which of Martha's relatives were married by 1792?

4. In general, how was the business in the community divided between men and women?

5. What were the typical courting practices in late 18th century America?

6. During what years did Martha keep her diary?

7. Explain why the summer of 1787 was very harrowing for the Ballard family.

8. Explain the community's position on premarital sex and how Martha's own family was embroiled in a situation regarding premarital sex.

9. What is so amazing about Martha's diary and why do some people speculate that she began writing it?

10. Explain the metaphor of the community as a blue-checked cloth.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe the methods by which Martha would obtain her medicines. How do those methods compare to alternative medicines today?

Essay Topic 2

Sexual relations between unmarried people was considered a crime and labeled "fornication" in 18th century New England yet by all accounts it was widely practiced. Explain the ramifications for those who engaged in unmarried sex and were discovered.

Essay Topic 3

In addition to details of each birth, explain what other information Martha included in her diary. Why do you think she veered off to include items not directly related to midwifery?

(see the answer keys)

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