Native women in nineteenth century Long Island communities integrated work into the daily rhythms of their home. These women persisted – and in some cases, thrived – in the face of severe challenges and tragic conditions. They grew crops in gardens, raised chickens, took in washing, did reproductive labor, kept boarders, and performed vital cultural work.
While their labor is largely absent from census records, evidence can be gleaned from the childhood memoir of an elite white woman from a prominent landowning family. Sunny Memories of Mastic was written by Sarah “Sadie” Floyd Turner in 1886. In her memoir, Turner recounted childhood memories beginning with her arrival at her grandfather’s estate in 1843. [Read more…] about A Long Islander’s Depictions of Unkechaug Women