Thursday, July 16, 2009

friday's frontier fact

This picture brings up a favorite topic of mine - babies. Sadly, the frontier was hard on children, hence this Friday's fact. If you were a woman living in the 18th-century, you usually had at least 8 children. One woman I've been reading about gave birth to 24 children and only 2 lived. Can you imagine? Cradles were rarely empty. The healthiest places to live were rural farms. Towns and cities bred diseases. I was amazed to read that only 3 mothers in 100 died as a result of childbirth. This was better than I expected.

Because so many babies died, there was often some delay in naming infants as this touching letter attests to: "But how long we shall be allowed to keep him," wrote a colonial couple announcing the birth of their son, "is unknown to us."

This crib looks quite uncomfortable and tippy! I prefer the low cradles I've seen in frontier forts and cabins. This one is also pretty elaborate for the time period. Children must have brightened up the lives of those early settlers considerably. I have several in Red River Daughter. They add spice to the book:)

Only 2 more Fridays till The Frontiersman's Daughter is on shelves! What a countdown the past 1 1/2 years has been:) I've learned so much and have much still to learn. Can't wait to turn in book 2 and return to book 3. Then who knows what's next?! I'm already praying about book 4 which is really book 9! Maybe I'll recycle some of those old novels someday.

Two more books on order:
The Ransom of Mercy Carter by Caroline Cooney
Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison by Lois Lenski

Happy Friday!

"No Force Can Resist Death": Reflections on Child and Infant Mortality in American History: Jack Larkin


  1. I can't imagine having giving birth to that many children and only 2 lived!! how awful and heart wrenching that had to have been!!

    oooh, the books on order sound good!!! my kind of reads!

  2. Lisa, we do have the same tastes in books:) I hope that woman had a reunion with her children in heaven - all 22 that she lost. Makes me so thankful for my 2. Have a great weekend!