“the Jaune pettet”

In 1794, Elizabeth Sandwith Drinker (see posts on Drinker here and here) and her husband Henry had to deal with a problem concerning a young black servant whose mother had arranged an indenture with the Drinkers.

[August 8, 1794] . . . I have been for a week past under great anxiety of mind on account of our poor little and I fear miserable S[ally] B[rant]—’tis possible I may be mistaken, ‘tho I great fear the reverse.
11. . . . it was late when I retir’d to my chamber, and later when I went to sleep—the thought of the unhappy Child that lay on the mattress at the foot of my bed, who does not appear to feel half so much for herself, as I do for her, keep’t me wakeing. . . . H[enry]. and E[lizabeth] D[rinker]. had a trying conversation, if a conversation it cold be call’d. with SB—poor poor Girl, who could have thought it? . . .

[October 31, 1794] . . . Sally Johnson and her daughter Franks came here before dinner, on a visit to her daughter SB. they stay’d an hour or two, eat dinner . . . she left herbs to make tea for SB. said it was good to procure an easy [labor]. . . .

[Nov.] 7 . . . I settled matters with Mary [Courtney at ‘Clearfield’, the Drinker farm 5 or 6 miles outside Philadelphia], concerning our poor Sall, who I intend leaving with her, ’till her grevious business is settld, I look on Mary as a well minded and well disposed woman, and who, with our help, will take the proper care of her. . . .

Decr. 2 . . . S.B. was this morning about 6 o’clock deliver’d of a daughter, the mother and Child both well. . . .

6 . . . Sister [Mary Sandwith] and William went this fore noon . . . found S.B. and her bantling well, Sally weep’d when she saw MS—and cover’d her head with the bed-cloaths—The Child is very Yallow for one so young. . . .

23 Decr. . . . S.B. is very well, and in rather too good spirits, everything considered, she had nam’d the Jaune pettet, [the little yellow one] Hannah G—bs [Gibbs], I disaprovd it, and chang’d it to Catharine Clearfield, with which she appear’d displeas’d. . . .

To be continued.

Diary entries are In the Words of Women, pages 211-212. The photograph is of a silhouette of Drinker at the Pennsylvania Historical Society.

posted August 25th, 2014 by Janet, CATEGORIES: Brant, Sally, Childbirth, Drinker, Elizabeth Sandwith, Indentured Servants, Quakers

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