Thursday, March 27, 2014

Sex and the Scots-Irish

An interesting quote from Anglican missionary Charles Woodmason when visiting Scots-Irish backsettlments in the Carolinas in the 1760s: "How would the polite people of London stare, to see the Females (many very pretty) . . . ," he wrote. "The young women have a most uncommon practice, which I cannot break them of. They draw their shirt as tight as possible round their Breasts, and slender waists (for they are generally very finely shaped) and draw their Petticoat close to their Hips to show the fineness of their limbs as that they might as well be in purl naturalibus indeed nakedness is not censurable or indecent here, and they expose themselves often quite naked, without ceremony rubbing themselves and their hair with bears' oil and tying it up behind in a bunch like the indians being hardly one degree removed from them. In a few years I hope to bring about a reformation." 

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