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Childbirth and Infancy
Digital History ID 636

Author:   John Long
Date:1791

Annotation: A resident of North Carolina describes childrearing customs among the indigenous people of that area.


Document: A mother suckles her child till it attains the age of four or five years, and sometimes till is six or seven. From their infant state they endeavor to promote an independent spirit. They are never known either to beat or scold them, lest the martial disposition which is to adorn their future life and character should be weakened; on all occasions they avoid everything compulsive, that the freedom with which they wish them to think and act may not be controlled. If they die, they lament their death with unfeigned tears, and even for months after their decease will weep at the graves of their departed children.

Source: John Long, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader (London, 1791).

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