7/2/16

Antebellum Daughters

Toward the end of the Antebellum Era which is generally considered when the Civil War began in 1860, a married woman's right to own and control property they brought to a marriage gained support in the enacting of homestead laws.  Mid-Western and Eastern States began adding homestead law provisions to their constitutions in the 1840's.  These laws were a way of sheltering wives' assets from the creditors of husbands who had bankrupted themselves, thus giving families a crude safety net.

By the time 'Rainey' Pittman and wife Mary Anne Howell had their first daughter in 1850, Women's Rights Movements in the South had not reached the fervor and support initiated in the Northern states.  However, the homestead laws, reforms in Education, Mental Health and the much debated Abolitionism Movements would impact their daughters who would both benefit and suffer from the social and economic reforms of the Antebellum Era.

Mary Eugenia Pittman was born into a family who had a prominent history as early settlers in Georgia.  A family who at one time were wealthy land owners, educated statesmen, and patriots dating back to the American Revolution.  She was the great granddaughter of one of Georgia's Patriarch Baptist Ministers and founder of Georgia's first Baptist Church.  However, by the time she was born on March 31, 1850, her family was already beginning to suffer from the pre-Civil War infractions of higher taxes and the pressures brought about by the Anti-Slavery Movement.

On August 1, 1952, when Eugenia was two years and 5 months old, a sister Fannie Margaret was born.  The Pittman children now numbered four boys and two girls with oldest son William Howell 10 years,  George Washington 9, Albert Singleton 7, and James Allison 5.

The Pittman family resided in Cobb County, Georgia, on land that had been in the family for several generations.  Also in Cobb County were Mary Anne's extended family of parents Isaac and Margaret Howell, brother Michael Sylvester Howell and  seven other brothers and a sister.

The two families, brought together by the marriage of Rainey and Mary Anne would stand together and support each other throughout the difficult years through the Civil War and beyond. Rainey and Mary Anne would have two more daughters and one more son before the onslaught of the Civil War.  Emma was born on August 14, 1854, Elizabeth on May 27, 1857, and Isaac Marion  on May 4, 1959. 

And so ended the Antebellum Era. 
 Life as they knew it for generations would be changed forever.
 
Photo Disclaimer:  Photos from the vintage photo collection of CollectInTexas Gal.  Used here as a representative of the period.  Not intended to represent persons named in this post.

1 comment:

Wendy said...

Benefit and suffer from reconstruction era reforms -- yep, that sums it up alright. This is an interesting look at the times.