Elevate Difference

Georgia's Frontier Women : Female Fortunes in a Southern Colony

I found this book difficult to read. I am not used to the academic tone Marsh uses. His sentences seemed to go on for several lines, and I had trouble following the thread of his ideas. However, this book is worth reading for anyone interested in Georgia history. The information presented is important. The book shows women's economic contributions and status, and how the things early settlers did have affected the state up until the present day.

Georgia was founded in 1732 by a charter of King George II. He appointed a group of trustees to supervise its settlement. Women were expected to fill several key roles. First and foremost was reproduction. The trustees wanted women to help grow the population. In addition, they were to work in the silk trade and carry out domestic duties. Marsh uses statistical and anecdotal data to show how women met these goals. The result is an informative, useful book which must be read slowly and carefully. Those who take the time to look into it will find it rewarding.

In discussing the lives of women in Georgia, Marsh also describes the roots of feminism in pre-feminist times. I was able to admire his dedication to the subject. At times it seemed there was too much information. There are tables on birth and death rates, immigration by gender, Georgia's early black population and other factors. The sheer amount of data makes the book worth keeping and re-reading. Its best use might be as a reference for other writers and for students.

Written by: Steve Watson, June 1st 2007

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