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After completing their domestic training, they enjoyed late adolescence as a special phase of life.
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.
Whatever the location or time, however, the ceremony was the same.
Therefore her approbation must Proceed from his own conduct and her good liking.” (Landon Carter, Sunday, September 10, 1775.) The choice of a marriage partner was very important, however, as marriage was a combination of families and should strengthen the family’s social position.
Benjamin and Annabelle raised their daughter to be a good housewife and respected member of society; to fulfill her destiny, Hannah did her best to find the most eligible young man to marry. Although William Drew and Hannah Powell were of different social stations (he of the gentry class and she of the upper-middling sort), they still met often at church, balls, parties, public entertainments, and neighbors’ homes.
They were part of a small group of well-off, unmarried, young people living in the small city of Williamsburg.
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.