Saturday, August 1, 2020

1863 - US Women as Gardeners.

Image of Duchess of Chaulnes as a Gardener in an Allee, by Louis Carrogis de Carmontelle

The strength and energy of people, in northern climates, have led them to excel in the rearing of fruit --not in imparting a more delicious flavor, but in the quantity, the fullness, and the size of the fruit. 

In the balmy air and under the sunny sky of the South, vegetation develops more rapidly and more luxuriantly. He who adds to the list of beautiful and fragrant flowers, or improves some variety of fruit, enlarging, or rendering it more luscious, will be remembered as a benefactor. 

Gardening is a pleasant and healthy occupation to those that love outdoor life. A woman can no more be healthful and beautiful without exercise in the open air, than a plant can when deprived of air and light. 

We learn, from Mr. Howitt's “ Rural Life in England,” that“ there are on the outskirts of Nottingham, upward of five thousand gardens, each less than the tenth of an acre. The bulk of these are occupied by the working classes. These gardens are let at from half a penny to three halfpence per yard.” 

German women are often employed, near cities, to weed gardens, gather vegetables, & other such work. “In Hereford, England, there are no fewer than six annual harvests, in each of which children are largely employed : 1, bark peeling ; 2, hay; 3, corn, 4, hops; 5, potatoes; 6, apples; 7, acorns. Add to these, bird keeping in autumn & spring, potato setting & hop tying, & the incidental duties of baby nursing & errand going.”

The Employments of Women: A Cyclopaedia of Woman's Work by Virginia Panny Published Boston, MA. by Walker, Wise & Company. 1863

To read about women's changing roles in the 2nd half of the 19th century. see:
Boorstin, Daniel. The Americans: The Democratic Experience. New York:Random House, 1973.
Clinton, Catherine. The Other Civil War: American Women in the Nineteenth Century. New York: Hill and Wang, 1984.
Cott, Nancy. A Heritage of Her Own: Toward a New Social History of Women. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1979.
Cott Nancy. History of Women in the United States, Part 6, Working the Land. New York: K. G. Saur, 1992.
Degler, Carl. At Odds: Women and the Family from Revolution to the Present. New York: Oxford University Press, 1980.
Green, Harvey. The Light of the Home: An Intimate View of the Lives of Women in Victorian America. New York: Pantheon Books, 1983.
Juster, Norton. So Sweet to Labor: Rural Women in America 1865-1895. New York: The Viking Press, 1979.
Kessler-Harris, Alice. Out to Work: A History of Wage Earning Women in the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982
Mintz, Stephen and Susan Kellogg. Domestic Revolutions: A Social History of American Family Life. New York: Free Press; London: Collier Macmillan, 1988.
Ryan, Mary P. Womanhood in America front he Colonial Times to the Present. New York: F. Watts, 1983.
Smith-Rosenberg, Caroll. Disorderly Conduct: Visions of Gender in Victorian America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985.
Strasser, Susan. Never Done: A History of American Housework. New York Pantheon Books, 1982.
Welter, Barbara. Dimity Convictions : the American Woman in the Nineteenth Century. Athens : Ohio University Press, 1976.