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Indenture of Sarah Green
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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In the 18th and early-19th centuries, it was common for a young woman to be trained by her mother or other head-of-household in the art and mystery of housewifery, much as a young man served an apprenticeship with a master of a trade for seven years, more or less, after he reached the age of twelve. In 1797, the year of this agreement (indenture), Sarah Green was eight. No mention is made of her mother and her father is described as being a "late resident of said town" [Deerfield]. Having no parents, she has been given over to the Overseers of the Poor to determine her welfare. Mr. E.H. Williams has undertaken to see that she will receive instruction in housewifery until September 11, 1807 when she will be eighteen years old, or until she marries. The terms of the agreement are similar to those in indentures of young men entering the trades.
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