Southern Women

Many of the women that migrated to Texas were southerners by birth. They had grown up with “southern” values which included having family as the central institution of society. The “ideals of true womanhood, with is admonitions to purity, piety, submissiveness, and domesticity, accompanied them westward.” Women sustained themselves as daughters, mothers and wives where as men were designated as the head of the family. Southern men “such tended to view their wives as subordinate helpmates.” However on the frontier, women often took upon typical male duties such as clearing land and planting crops. “While Anglo women often struggled to recreate those ideals of southern womanhood on the Texas frontier, the harsh condition, dangers, and uncertainties of daily pioneer life made many of these precepts obsolete or unattainable.”

This information is from “Women and the Texas Revolution,” edited and chapter written by Mary L. Scheer.

The picture is of unidentified women and children at a formal gathering in the late 1800s. It was sent to us by the Institute of Texan Cultures but the original source is the San Antonio Conservation Society.