Essay about Colonial Life of Puritan Leader

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            I am a Puritan leader and the first governor of the colony called Plymouth Massachusetts.   I am 48 and I follow the Preaching of John Robinson who started the separatists and the movement for the congregation to move here.  I have a wife, Mary and 3 children and have very strong religious beliefs.  My beliefs are that there is inferiority and superiority, which is the servant before master, non-church member before member, idlers before the working man, wife before husband and child before adult.  Supervision is the system of my belief because the master is legally accountable for overseeing the behavior of designated subordinates.  Because I am a Puritan attention is to be especially paid to the raising of our children.  It is my belief that Godly parents are to make sure that their unstaid and young charges do not become addicted to the greasy sensuality of play.  This means there are to be no rattles, baubles, and such toyish stuff.  It is a difficult task.  Surely there is in all children stubbornness and stoutness of mind arising from natural pride, which must in the first place be broken and beaten down that, is the foundation of their education being laid in humility and tractableness, other virtues in their time be built thereon.  For the beating and keeping down of this stubbornness parents must provide carefully children should not know if it could be kept from them that they have a will i8n their own, but in their parents keeping; neither should the words be heard from them, save by way of consent, “I will” or “I will not”.  My belief is that the parent is to crush the child’s drive or desire for self assertion or independence, for such feelings might advance the child’s “natural pride”

            As parents I and Mary believe that too much doting affection distracts children from thoughts of God or led them to consider themselves their parent’s equals.  Minister Thomas Cobbett warns that fondness and familiarity breeds contempt-t and irreverence in children.  My wife must address me by my appropriate title of My Lord.  If she feels any passion against me than she is to leave it unexpressed.  My belief is that the virtuous wife is to carry her self so to her husband as not to disturb his love by her contention, nor to destroy his love by her alienation.  She is to be at my beck and calling, acting as if there was but one Mind in two bodies.  Her major purpose in life, besides working on religious salvation is to minister to my needs.  Her personal identity and social rank are derived through me.  She is my appendage and to be the best of women in the American World.  Go on to love me and to serve me and to become accessory to all the good which I may do in the world.  It is my belief that a disobedient or contentious wife become one of the world’s most despicable creatures, not only a heart-sore to me but no better than a wart, a cancer, a gangrene, or even excrement.  Sex segregation is a reminder of men’s and women’s different destinies.  This is true in the church as well as the home.  The law gives me great supervisory control over everything in property and behavior with my wife and children and it was at becoming wedded that I would gain all of her earnings and real estate.  I cannot beat my wife in order for her submission but through her obedience to God that she and my children will conform.

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Cary, J.H. & Weinberg, J. (1984) The Social Fabric: American Life from 1607 to 1877.   Boston: Little, Brown and Company.

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