Home Sweet Home: Around the House in the 1800s (Daily Life in America in the 1800s)

Home Sweet Home: Around the House in the 1800s (Daily Life in America in the 1800s)

Zachary Chastain

Language: English

Pages: 30

ISBN: 1422218546

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Overview

In rough frontier cabins, tidy farmhouses, and elegant townhouses, Americans in the 1800s were dedicated to living as well and as comfortably as their circumstances allowed. The American home was a sacred institution, the seat of family life where the patriarch ruled with Mother at his side as guardian of the home, and the children were raised with strict discipline and strong values.

Changes in taste and fashion, improvements in technology (indoor plumbing and a host of new labor-saving devices), and social change transformed home and family life in the 1800s, as opportunities for leisure activities and commercially produced consumer goods came within reach of the average American.

But the strong American tradition of the sanctity of the home, consumerism, and the importance of a happy family life has its roots in the homes of nineteenth-century Americans.

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in which we are all participants, is both exhilarating and liberating, one that connects our present not just with the past but also to a future we are responsible for shaping. —Dr. John Gillis, Rutgers University Professor of History Emeritus 1800 1800 The Library of Congress is established. 1801 1801 Thomas Jefferson is elected as the third President of the United States. 1803 1803 Louisiana Purchase—The United States purchases land from France and begins westward exploration. 1804

sheets to their sod homes in an attempt to keep water out and present a more “civilized” appearance. But most of these homes were eventually abandoned. EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT A woman named Mattie Oblinger wrote to a friend about her experience living in a Nebraska sod house in the late 1800s: At Home in our own house, and a sod at that! . . . We moved in to our house last Wednesday (Uriah’s birthday). I suppose you would like to see us in our sod house. It is not quite so convenient as a nice

sheets to their sod homes in an attempt to keep water out and present a more “civilized” appearance. But most of these homes were eventually abandoned. EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT A woman named Mattie Oblinger wrote to a friend about her experience living in a Nebraska sod house in the late 1800s: At Home in our own house, and a sod at that! . . . We moved in to our house last Wednesday (Uriah’s birthday). I suppose you would like to see us in our sod house. It is not quite so convenient as a nice

frame, but I would as soon live in it as the cabins I have lived in. And then we are at home which makes it more comfortable. I ripped our Wagon sheet in two [in order to] have it around two sides. . . . The only objection I have we have no floor yet. [It] will be better this fall. The log cabin was by far the most popular on the frontier. It kept out wind and rain better than sod, and it lasted longer too. Log cabins were caked with mud, leaf, and twig mixtures to keep drafts from blowing

in the region. If you wanted chicken, you had to kill it and pluck its feathers. Fish had to have their scales removed, corn had to be shucked, coffee beans had to be roasted. So much of the preparation we take for granted today didn’t exist in those days. Many families, even those who lived in town, kept hens and dairy cows for a fresh supply of eggs, cream, milk, and churned butter. Those families in the middle and upper classes who could afford to hire servants did so; there was a lot of work

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