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riptor riptor
wrote...
Posts: 5692
8 years ago
What was the role of the plantation mistress and why did she often feel frustrated?
Textbook 
Out of Many: A History of the American People

Out of Many: A History of the American People


Edition: 5th
Authors:
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- 1st year history major
-- "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work"

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Staff Member
2 months ago
The plantation mistress was the woman who was in charge of the plantation household. She was responsible for the care of the plantation owner’s family and the oversight of the domestic servants. The plantation mistress was often a woman of high social standing and was required to maintain a certain level of decorum and refinement. Her duties included supervising the work of the enslaved women who worked in the house, such as cooks, maids, and seamstresses. She was also responsible for the education and moral training of her children and the enslaved children. The plantation mistress was expected to be a model of femininity and to embody the virtues of piety, purity, submissiveness, and domesticity.

Despite her high social status, the plantation mistress often felt frustrated because she had limited power and autonomy. She was subject to the authority of her husband and was expected to defer to him in all matters. The plantation mistress was also expected to maintain the social order of the plantation and to ensure that the enslaved people remained obedient and productive. This often put her in a difficult position, as she was expected to be both a nurturing mother figure and a disciplinarian. The plantation mistress was also responsible for maintaining the plantation’s reputation and ensuring that it remained profitable. This could be a challenging task, as the plantation system was often inefficient and wasteful.

In summary, the plantation mistress was responsible for the care of the plantation owner’s family and the oversight of the domestic servants. Despite her high social status, the plantation mistress often felt frustrated because she had limited power and autonomy.
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