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Settling the question of where a couple would live and what they would take with them affected others, especially if slaves were part of the dowry.Like the courtship, the wedding preparations followed rules that were designed to involve the community, both for the public record and communal memory."You know what to expect from me, as you have seen my character of a good wife.Suppose I tell you now, what I, in my turn, expect, and how you may best please me and make me happy.—Thus then I begin—Let me ever have the sweet consiousness of knowing myself the best beloved of your heart—I do not always require a lover’s attention—that wou’d be impossible, but let it never appear by your conduct that I am indifferent to you." Margaret Davenport Coulter to John Coulter, May 10, 1795.Marriage was the next logical step in life as they sought marriage partners who could support their economic efforts while running their households and raising their children.Young white women approached courtship and marriage differently.
Since were not yet responsible for running a household or raising children, women had more freedom during these years than they would ever have again. George Tucker, 1788.) Others married quickly for fear that waiting too long might eliminate the availability or choice of husbands.
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Couples made many preparations for their wedding day. Women’s dowries consisted of linens and household goods they had accumulated and any money or property their fathers could afford to give to the couple.
The groom’s father also was expected to contribute something.
But as a parent I never took any Liberty with a child but to dissuade where I thought I had reason to do so; but in no instance Whatever to persuade.