Added: February 15, 2014 – Last updated: September 5, 2015

TITLE INFORMATION


Author: M. Michelle Jarrett Morris

Title: Under Household Government

Subtitle: Sex and Family in Puritan Massachusetts

Place: Cambridge, MA, and London

Publisher: Harvard University Press

Year: 2013

Pages: 326pp.

Series: Harvard Historical Studies 180

ISBN-13: 9780674066335 (hardcover) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat ISBN-13: 9780674067899 (ebook) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: 17th Century | U.S. History | Cases: Offenders / Benjamin Simonds; Cases: Victims / Elizabeth Pierce



FULL TEXT


Link: Amazon (Limited Preview)

Link: EBSCOhost (Restricted Access)

Link: Google Books (Limited Preview)

Link: JSTOR (Restricted Access)



ADDITIONAL INFORMATION


Author: Michelle Morris, Department of History, University of Missouri

Contents:

  List of Figures (p. ix)
  Words, Words, Words (p. xi)
  Introduction (p. 1)
  Chapter 1. Daniel Gookin’s Household (p. 13)
    Sylvannus Warro and Elizabeth Parker (p. 20)
    Samuel Gookin and Hannah Stevenson (p. 27)
    John Eliot Jr. and Hannah Brackett (p. 40)
  Chapter 2. Contrary to the Laws of God and This Jurisdiction (p. 51)
  Chapter 3. Lawful Remedies, Diabolical Erections, and an Unwanted Suitor (p. 73)
    The Lawful Remedy (p. 74)
    Goodman Mousall's Diabolical Erection (p. 82)
    Sarah Dexter's Unwanted Suitor (p. 94)
  Chapter 4. The Rape of Elizabeth Pierce (p. 110)
  Chapter 5. A Family of Allies (p. 142)
  Chapter 6. Two Missing Infants (p. 178)
    "Why you no tell me piganyny come?": Marea's Infanticide (p. 178)
    Zipporah and the Headless Baby (p. 191)
  Chapter 7. Traitors, Rebels, and Slaves (p. 209)
  Conclusion (p. 241)
  A Peek behind the Scenes (p. 249)
  Notes (p. 253)
  Acknowledgments (p. 299)
  Index (p. 303)

Description:

Seventeenth-century New Englanders were not as busy policing their neighbors’ behavior as Nathaniel Hawthorne or many historians of early America would have us believe. Keeping their own households in line occupied too much of their time. Under Household Government reveals the extent to which family members took on the role of watchdog in matters of sexual indiscretion.
In a society where one’s sister’s husband’s brother’s wife was referred to as “sister,” kinship networks could be immense. When out-of-wedlock pregnancies, paternity suits, and infidelity resulted in legal cases, courtrooms became battlegrounds for warring clans. Families flooded the courts with testimony, sometimes resorting to slander and jury-tampering to defend their kin. Even slaves merited defense as household members—and as valuable property. Servants, on the other hand, could expect to be cast out and left to fend for themselves.
As she elaborates the ways family policing undermined the administration of justice, M. Michelle Jarrett Morris shows how ordinary colonists understood sexual, marital, and familial relationships. Long-buried tales are resurrected here, such as that of Thomas Wilkinson’s (unsuccessful) attempt to exchange cheese for sex with Mary Toothaker, and the discovery of a headless baby along the shore of Boston’s Mill Pond. The Puritans that we meet in Morris’s account are not the cardboard caricatures of myth, but are rendered with both skill and sensitivity. Their stories of love, sex, and betrayal allow us to understand anew the depth and complexity of family life in early New England.« (Source: Harvard University Press)

Reviews:

Connolly, Brian. The William and Mary Quarterly: A Magazine of Early American History and Culture 72(3) (July 2015): 517-522. – Full Text: JSTOR (Restricted Access), Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture (Free Access), Project MUSE (Restricted Access)

Field, Jonathan B. Early American Literature 49(1) (2014): 233-237. – Full Text: Project MUSE (Restricted Access)

Foster, Thomas A. The Journal of American History 100(3) (December 2013): 808. – Full Text: Oxford Journals (Restricted Access)

Godbeer, Richard. The New England Quarterly 86(3) (September 2013): 526-529. – Full Text: MIT Press Journals (Restricted Access)

Karlsen, Carol F. Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture 83(2) (June 2014). – Full Text: Cambridge Journals (Restricted Access), Questia (Restricted Access)

Kercsmar, Joshua A. The Historian 77(1) (Spring 2015): 132-134. – Full Text: Wiley Online Library (Restricted Access)

Kopelson, Heather M. Social History 40(3) (2015): 396-398. – Full Text: Taylor & Francis Online (Restricted Access)

Main, Gloria L. The American Historical Review 119(1) (February 2014): 169-170. – Full Text: Oxford Journals (Restricted Access)

Pleck, Elizabeth H. Law and History Review 31(4) (November 2013): 889-892. – Full Text: Cambridge Journals (Restricted Access)