A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 - November 1792 Summary & Analysis

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
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November 1792 Summary

In 1792, two of the Ballard children, and a niece that lived with them, were married. Martha's entries give insight into the marriage customs of the time. Though many people believe courtship and marriage were still very strict and possibly arranged in the late 18th Century, Martha's entries prove otherwise. It seems that many of the young men and women chose spouses for themselves, were unsupervised during courtship, and that pre-marital sex was a normal occurrence, but this did not mean that the wealth of the other person played no part in the decision.

After the wedding, which was not elaborate, and had few, if any, guests, the bride remained with her parents for approximately one month, until the husband purchased, or more often rented, a home and prepared to bring his wife to their new house. Parthenia and Hannah both began their marriage with the prescribed publication...

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This section contains 791 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 Study Guide
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