Why were women so important on the frontier?

Fishseller Women were important to the survival of the frontier community. Women were responsible for raising children and taking care of the home. Typical household chores, such as doing laundry or preparing a meal, were often as labor intensive as farming. Women helped with all the farm work from planting crops in the spring and helping to harvest them in the autumn to caring for the cows, chickens, pigs, horses and other livestock. In the spring, after the wheat or corn had been planted, a man might leave for weeks or months to go hunting or travel downriver to trade in New Orleans, leaving his wife and children to care for the family farm.


© Illinois State Museum 31-Dec-96