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Women in Early America$
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Thomas A. Foster

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479874545

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479874545.001.0001

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Servant Women and Sex in the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake

Servant Women and Sex in the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake

Chapter:
(p.95) 4 Servant Women and Sex in the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake
Source:
Women in Early America
Author(s):

Betty Wood

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479874545.003.0005

By 1619, only twelve years after Virginia’s founding by the English, profit-driven tobacco planters were already appreciative of both the productive and the reproductive value of the comparatively small number of mainly indentured British girls and women in the colony. Betty Wood examines how the sexual behavior of indentured servant women, particularly those who entered into loving sexual relationships with men of African ancestry and had children fathered by them, posed continuing and, in practice, largely insoluble problems for the planter classes of colonial Virginia and colonial Maryland, as well as for the interracial couples and children involved.

Keywords:   colonial Maryland, colonial Virginia, servants, indentured servants, sexual behavior, interracial couples

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