“… we will found a new arcadia …”

Although Charity Clarke was the daughter of a retired British Army captain and had visited relatives in England, she supported the American cause. Writing to a cousin in 1768, she explained her attachment to America and how she would support its bid for freedom.

… don’t think that I prefer England to America; I would not quit my woods & rivers, for all the gay amusements you abound with, you need not talk of the old story of sower [sour] grapes; I assure you the way of life that would be to me the most agreable is downright Indian; and if you English folks won’t give us the liberty we ask … I will try to gather a number of Ladies armed with spining wheels,
attended by dying swains, who shall all learn to weave, & keep sheep and will retire beyond the reach of arbitrary power; cloathed with the work of our hands & feeding on what the country affords, without any of the cares, Luxuries, or oppression of an long inhabited country, in short we will found a new arcadia; you Imagine we cannot live without your assistance, but I know we can; banish every thing but the necessaries of life; & we will want nothing but what our country will afford. We shall then be happy; no more Slaves to fashion, & ceremony; freedom can content & peace shall be our constant companions.

This excerpt is from In the Words of Women, Chapter 1, page 7. The illustration is from the Florida Center for Instructional Technology.

posted November 29th, 2011 by Janet, CATEGORIES: Independence

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