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Module 42

Work, Family, and Community on the Land

Elizabeth Jane Errington

This module explores life in rural British North America in the nineteenth century. It examines how individual families and households were both social and economic institutions and highlights women's roles in sustaining the promotion of the family economy. No farm or fishing household was self-sufficient, however. Rural British North Americans were embedded in community networks and neighbourhoods that provided residents with assistance completing the work that required many hands and specialized skills. At the same time, the dynamics of farm work bees in Upper Canada and the shore crew of the Newfoundland fisheries reflected shared understandings of gender and class.

Primary sources:

1. Document: Excerpts from “The 1815 Diary of a Nova Scotia Farm Girl”, Louisa Collins    page 7
2. Document: Excerpts from John Thomson’s Diary    page 10
3. Photo: Process of Clearing the Town Lot, Stanley, E.P. Kay    page 15
4. Photo: Cleaning Fish, “Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper”, October 31, 1885    page 16
5. Photo: The Barn Raising    page 17

Secondary sources:

1. She Was the Skipper of the Shore Crew”: Notes on the History of the Sexual Division of Labour in Newfoundland, Marilyn Porter    page 18
2. Reciprocal Work Bees and the Meaning of Neighbourhood, Catharine Anne Wilson    page 30

Introduction

List of Modules -- 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50