March is National Women's History Month. As part of remembering and celebrating the women who helped colonize and shape America into what it is today I would like to honor these women. For some of us, these women's DNA and strength are within us.
Some of these women who came during the Colonial America Time Period between1607 and 1776 faced challenges that would change the views of what was considered a women's role. The hardship of life in the New World pushed women into a survival mode that they did not face in their Mother country. Many knew what hard work was but among their domestic duties they had to learn how to survive in a wild and unsettled world. They had to adapt quickly and learn without much knowledge of how to survive in their new undeveloped home.
Women were faced with the need to learn how to use a rifle in order to protect their families. The New World was a wilderness that had never had permanent settlements established until the arrival of European colonists. The wilderness was full of animals that they had never seen before. Some of these animals were drawn to the settlements because they were looking for food. Women had to learn how to protect the homes when the men were away hunting or out working the land.
The New World also introduced them to Native Americans who lived a different way of life than them that some of the women struggled to understand. They were also faced with communication challenges because of different languages and cultural beliefs. Due to the actions of some Native Americans, fear of needing to protect their families led them to need to know how to shot in order to protect the homestead when the men were away and hostile Indians threatened them.
Women armed with rifles during the 17th and 18th centuries were more common in the New World than in any other place on the planet. This also meant that women were emerging into a life of knowing how to defend themselves from dangers. It began to build a society of women that did not feel the need to be protected by men because they had gained the confidence and skills to protect themselves.
Colonial America was a stepping stone that led women towards a world of more freedom. They definitely did not have the available freedom and rights that we do today, but they helped to put the idea of women's equality into the world.
If you had a Colonial America female ancestor from the 17th and 18th centuries I would love to hear about her.
Until next time, take care.