When someone mentions the 1700’s, what picture comes to mind? Ashley Matheson sees,” skinny women with big hair wearing big dres44ses”. Is this how all the rich women were? I bet so. Being a rich woman in Colonial Williamsburg would have been very different than being one today.
Marriage in the 18th century was definitely different. It turned into an all day party with games, story-telling, and more food than the town could possibly eat. The most popular months for a marriage were December, January, and early February since that’s when there wasn’t as much work to be done. A woman was usually married by the time she was 23 and the marriage usually took place in her home. White wasn’t “the color” for wedding dresses as it is today so women just wore their nicest gown. After married, any property the bride once owned became her husband’s. Marriage in the eighteenth century was socially required. Any woman who was single was an outcast. The only exception to this is a widow, but even then she must marry as soon as possible.
A home was the first priority for newly wed’s. The homes were typically built of wood or brick, were one to two stories with attics and of the Georgian Colonial style architecture. This style of home was usually square and symmetrical. It has a paneled door at the center of the house and a decorative crown above it. The roof is of a medium pitch and has minimal overhang (“Georgian”). The kitchens weren’t something to show off so they were towards the slaves-quarters since the slaves did most of the cooking for the family. The staircase was very elaborate and in the front hall for everyone to see as they walked in. Furniture was expensive and imported from England as were many other belongings. A gorgeous home was a sign of wealth in Colonial Williamsburg and many parties were thrown to show them off.
Along with parties to plan, women, even the rich ones, had work to do, and it’s not quite like the job your mother might do. To start, a woman...