tv Penelope Winslow 17th Century Plymouth Colony CSPAN November 25, 2021 10:30pm-11:31pm EST
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years and with its independence. our speaker tonight is michelle kaufman the author of one colonial world. in the book she will be speaking on tonight. she recently served as a guest curator from the women of plymouth but then in the birthplace in any museum so without further ado please join me to welcome to speak this evening. >> thank you very much for arranging this talk at thank you to the massachusetts historical society for this
wonderful opportunity. i have been using the resources for years and their collections and exhibitions the program and the staff is outstanding. so tonight as a historian i studied early american women. to be significantly underrepresented in telling america story. and about how half the population laid the foundation, we are not getting a full and accuratecc picture. i'm surprised she wasn't better-known but she was one the most powerful women in
history. and when the pilgrims arrived and last until from massachusetts bay. so that recent penalty is that it's only been fairly recently and those didn'tto take place in the around. that they were worthy of study. but also like most of her contemporariesie did not leave behind in the way of personal writing and as a subject of my first book the diaries and details of s penelope's life and then to leave behind what was referred to as material culture.
and those that range from surviving to personal possessions and ideological artifacts and then the written sources to help shed light and with the development of new england. so that the biography of penelope born 1633 in a village 20 miles outside of london. and then his third great-grandmother that was referred to as the other and
get a good idea. >> i'm sorry to interrupt but i think your powerpoint if you could put into presenter mode because we are still on the first slide. >> . >> sorry about that. >> i'm sorry about that. >> the cursor doesn't seem to be moving. >> thank you for bearing with the technical difficulties. and then undergoing renovation at the time that we visited. so they are straight to get
the idea of what the world look like. and not as grand a small bridge with this impressive dwelling for thehe time period. and then to show how those barriers extend back into very large buildings. and then it shows us surrounding landscape as far as the eye could see. with those architectural barriers. and then in her interest to settle local grievances and
also became harvard's first treasurer. and then tois settle some property disputes and then to attend harvard cannot be self and then to have the best relationship with her stepmother and then to be shortly after arriving inam cambridge. and at this time moved in with her father's sister and her husband was a citizen of boston was governor over several terms.
near working strapless today. with those that expect the nation's those that would have been overseen when those that testify. but we do know at some point she metow winslow here on the left. and then with harvard. he didn't graduate and they were well known to each other. and then in that from your
loving wife susanna. both edward and susanna were married to other people on the mayflower voyage. ande then took place in the colony. so i want to talk to you for a minute about religion. and those that we call the peerages in. and with the separatist to separate from the church of england. and those protestants and have a lot of points.
then we have these lingering starters and fantasies. and then they work at these with the ideas. so then we see josiah so that was very fashionable at the time but we don't of the artist was so that was very fashionable so with their starched white colors and then they have bold castles so at this time social status was
extremely important and a hierarchy the prohibiting people from dressing above their station so in that portrait trying to make a statement about their well in social status. so in at the painting at the time it was coming to an end in two years previously those that were executed. and with the supporters of the puritans.o and then to very similarly to the wife and the daughter of
king charles the first. and then to see the fabrics. and also princess mary stuart has the necklace and her hair style is very similar to mary stuart.. she is aligning herself with the upper echelon of society. so shifting backk to plymouth colonyny come and those were maintained for generations until the late 18 hundreds. and then to have the preeminent collection of possession.
and those that are associated. and then the shoe was formally this, you can see it is very elaborate. and that was warned and donated in the 19th century. and then in the 19th century. and then arranged to be shown together. but recently interpretation it shifted dramatically they were actually made for a man.
public and private like we do now. and men working therm businesses from their home so it is true with the acknowledgment and that familiarity with the husband's business. and then they recognize because women were so cognizantt so in josiah's case but also very active influential government and also becomes a successor to myles standish and then eventually becomes governor. and so we have to think that
this is taking place from the home so she has a role as a gatekeeper to acknowledge influence men come to the house she can mediate asked - - access to him that she has a lot of power in this respect this is something we rarely think about but to seek favors and opportunities with that other community of women and interacting to have a larger government and that something to take into consideration. >> and with those daily possessions to round out this
backgrounds but ceramic that have definitely been imported so this was brought by susanna white was the first english child born been passed down from the winslow family so that vast collection of artifacts with that plantation and then to acknowledge that one influence in the area so that archaeology that rounds out the information from those
culture and history. but then to speak to the history of cross-cultural exchange so those that were taken to be traded with a continent one —- the commons and then they take that apart but then down here because you can tell the user it's also when it's also the most friday a person's and then to be some sort of two oh and then the
archaeological site so there is a history of an exchange of technology and information that archaeologist are continuing to work on this. so those of you have to talk about the families in the plymouth colonies with that relationship with native people. so that friendship with the native person so the interpersonal relationships and then to talk about the
languages. that they do not have the same personal interest and also don't have the same diplomatic skills. and with that second-generation the community of encroachment and pressuring native peoples so all of that tension eventually corrupts into 1675. it's a devastating conflict there is just great destruction. now there are two events leading to be pivotal with the outbreak.
john arrives and so we can just imagine possibly serving him refreshments but absolutely the nature of the visit with her husband afterwards in light of what happened as a result, so he tries to warn him and he has received even though he says i fear for coming here and so he leaves in a few months later his body is found and it's believed that he's been murdered by agents and shortly thereafter, three native men with ties to philip are arrested, imprisoned, tried and executed and not long
afterwards knowing they had that personal b animosity in a dramac letter he decides that penelope and their 11-year-old daughter so to stay with your sister in salem and like many people on both sides become refugees so they write this letter and what's chilling is the testimony bears this out because they show there are numerous types from this time period.
there are bullets, pieces of guns, armor, belt buckles so it's so fascinating how you can get this other layer of insight in combination with the written record so they come to a close the following year and it's have a devastating impact. there's been great loss of life, loss of poverty. it takes years to recover financially. the consequences are that much more dire. there is lots of traditional
homeland. they are broken up and sold into slavery. things are never the same as for the native people so it's just this watershed moment. so she comes home and uses her personal connection to try to help prepare his relationship with king charles. king charles wants to know why this terrible conflict broke out, so he writes this report and also arranges to send philip who's been killed during the war, this military to king charles. now this was done 100 years later and so penelope has a law
been looking for them and so i hope she is able. it took a terrible toll and he died four years later at the age of 62. penelopeor goes to commemorate s passing and this is a very high styleig rain. we can see the remnants of what is presumably his hair. there is no inscription so even though it passed down to the family, it is quite possibly true but we can to be sure. but we do know that it was a very difficult time with his passing. there was a survival letter from the secretary that is in the
penelope does rise to the occasion. she overcomes her grief and manages to educate her children and also wages legal battles late in life to reclaim family properties. one of them as late as 1703 before her death and massachusetts governor joseph dudley so again it's an amazing document that shows the legal matters and education she must have had what naturally happens the stories that have burned
this is very true in families that women are the preservers of the family heritage and history but also larger pieces of the historical record, and i just want to show you one last item having to do with fidelity's story. this is a commemorative marker at the home sites of both families and so at the landfill or penelope is so heavily symbolic of women's history that's taken place over a few years and so in conclusion i feel that the use of material culture in addition to the written w records not only has e power to shed light on an
individual elite like penelope but also moree ordinary people. there are so many important stories that we need to recover, and it's up to us to tell a way to find the stories. thank you very much, and i would be happy to take your questions. >> thank you very much forak a veryr informative talk. i would like to remind the audience members that we use the q and a function. if you are using a mac or pc at the bottom of the screen and a tablet it may be off to the side. we have a couple of questions although i would certainly encourage others to submit more. it's difficult for those that haven't led the papers. do you have a moment of feeling like you found the voice of penelope or is it just sort of a an allik ha moment?
>> spending some time that he gave me a lot of insight to try to reclaim these family inheritances. shenc is a woman that's claimed this land and feels that she has a strong right to it and has a strong sense of herself. seeing the portrait and legal documents were the efficient ones where you could really hear her voice for the privileges and the life that she thought she was entitled to. >> we also had a question that
said how do you feel your work -- >> very inspired by the work very early on. in fact, the diary got me so interested that let me surf with my first book which is a very old diary that begins in the 17th century so there are just so few women's diaries that exist but so few of them have been published. so again, yes it's looking at not only women in writings but also she is said to have popularized the micro history so looking at one individual life
or topic but with the larger happenings of what's going on at the time in the world and so that is an approach i also like to take to connect with what else is going on and what are they doing that's affecting other people is there community support or circumstances or children? >> some rights they didn't have so one example i mentioned about
typically given her husband was really there if a widow felt like she wasn't given her proper and she would refer to it, she could go to court and they would take her claim very seriously but also they took over their husband's business, so this is true for the colonies in the businesses you might not typically associate with. printers or even all kinds of professions that they kind of
fall into to help their families so it's not that they are setting out i don't want to project to say women are growing up saying that's not the case but others like healers, midwives, teachers. they did have rights, and you find several wealthy well-to-do widows. >> in a more complex picture she was very well known for the property she accumulated and the perspective of the community.
>> another question, where would one find that during this time period? if that person wants to get in touch with me, i can send them a list of some places to look. i do have a website and so my e-mail address is on the website. if there's anyone who wants to get in touch with questions afterwards, i am happy to help them out. >> i think judging by the time of the year that we are in, we have to ask. we have thanksgiving next week. what do you think penelope would have thought about how we celebrate thanksgiving today
considering her experience with native people and how the story is presented? >> it's so complex. from generation to generation and region depending on people's religious background and ethnicity, thinking about the birthplace and how even abigail adams and first lady penelope winslow would be able to talk to each other so there's generations difference between them and just societies viewpoints have changed, over
the colonial period there is so much to change. that answer is one of my takeaways in that it is such a complex period of time so we really can't come at this lowithout looking at the details and specifics. >> speaking of details and the specifics as a witness to any deeds or wells or releases for landfills by her husband that is a great moment that i found this deed that was witnessed by penelope and another woman who was probably just visiting. first it didn't look that interesting. it had to do with the maintenance of a bridge that is
actually a really important piece of the colony infrastructure so it just showed how women are participating behind the scenes so because of these different business activities and government activities or other families that witnessed things. at the time she had a half-brother that visited and yeah that is great to learn about that time period and who is putting the documents in progress and witnessing these things, so who is in the
background. it's a matter of getting to a differents perspective, trying o think about these events from a multitude of perspectives. >> are there other women in the colony during the time that you're interested in researching and i know these are often large undertakings and it's hard to track these people down. >> i did a lot of research in conjunction with the women of plymouth exhibit. they are opening this weekend. they've been closed. it's a great exhibit.
relationship? >> the son of susanna white and her first husband and then she married a headwind was low. a new book has just come out published by the historical society, so if you are interested it is a great story done by the former. if you're interested in that, contact the historical society. >> thank you very much for an informative talk. >> weekends on c-span2 are an intellectual feast. every saturday you find events and people that explored the past on american history tv and a sunday booktv brings the latest with nonfiction books and authors. it's television for serious readers. learn, discover, explore.
that is the thing that is going to be discussed but is it possible that most in america. what would you say to that? >> you would know more about those grades than i would but do you think the social studies teaching profession is nonpartisan, that there is not an ideological slant and social studies teachers, professional organizations? >> when the people are teaching kids they try to help them learn norms in the classroom. sat the end of the day it's abot people coming together we do