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If You Lived in Colonial Times

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Todd Sturgess

on 14 January 2013

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Transcript of If You Lived in Colonial Times

You Lived in Colonial Times Colonial times began about 75 years after Columbus
discovered America - the first colony in St. Augustine,
Florida belonged to Spain In 1620 the Mayflower lands at Plymouth. This presentation, however, is not about all the years that made up colonial times. It does not tell about all the thirteen colonies This presentation is about:
What was it like to live then?
What did girls and boys do?
What was school like?
What did they do on Sundays?
and much more... What did colonial people look like? Where did people buy their clothes? Was there a special time for making clothes? How did they wear their hair? Appearance and Clothing What did people eat? Did children have to worry about table manners? Did children go to school? What were schools like? What happened if you
didn't behave in school? Which books did children read? Food and Manners School Were there doctors in colonial days? What kind of medicines did people use? What happened if you were sick? Sickness, doctors, and medicine Sundays What did people do on Sundays? Where did people eat on Sunday? Laws What laws did people have to obey? What were the special Sunday laws? Who made these laws? What happened to people who broke the laws? Homes What did a colonial house look like? Did big families live in big houses? What did the furniture look like? Where did people take baths? Work and Play Did people work hard in colonial days? Did boys and girls work? Did children have any time to play? What games did boys like? What did girls like to do? Were there special days for fun? News How did people get the news? How would you write a letter in colonial days? Workers
in a
town. For example, if a baby fell, he fell right on his pudding! A pudding was a soft pillow worn around the baby's middle to keep him from getting hurt. Colonial times began about 70 years after Columbus discovered America. The first colony was in St. Augustine, Florida and was settled there by Spain. The Mayflower landed at Plymouth in 1620. However, this Prezi is not about all the years that make up colonial time. It does not tell about all thirteen colonies This Prezi answers questions such as:
What was it like to live then?
Did they go to school?
What did they do on Sundays? It will also tell you about their work,
their food, their houses, and their clothing.
This Prezi is designed to help you imagine
what it was like to be a boy or girl in
colonial days. You would wear your
hair different and your
clothes would be different
as well. When boys and girls were six years old they stopped wearing baby clothes and started dressing like their mothers and fathers. Clothes in colonial days
had different names. Most people in colonial days
made all of their own clothes. Girls wore bright-colored clothes -
yellow, red, purple, blue.
Girls wore bright-red cloaks
and hoods Boys wore colored
stockings and caps People worked whenever they could.
Boys would weave on a loom while
taking sheep to the field.
Women would carry their spinning
wheels when they would go visit. Girls kept their hair covered all the time -
even in the house.
They wore hats,
or kerchiefs Boys had long hair. When
wigs came into style, most
men and some boys wore them. The Indians taught the colonists how to plant corn.
Corn was a main staple. It was ground into cornmeal,
baked into corn cake and corn pudding. People also planted pumpkin
and squash. They made maple syrup
and sugar. The men and boys fished and hunted.
Some families kept pigs.
Meat was salted and pickled.
Apples and pumpkins and peaches were
peeled, sliced, and hung up to dry. You were not permitted to talk during meals.
You couldn't even sit down.
All rules were printed in a book of manners and
children were expected to know them all. Some of these rules:
"Speak not"
"Sing not, hum not, wriggle not"
"Make not a noise with thy tongue, lips or
breath in thy eating or drinking" It was good manners to eat with your fingers.
There were spoons that were sometimes used,
but forks were not used until later in colonial
Usually one big pot was placed in the center of the table
and everyone used their fingers or spoons to take out of the pot. Some did, some didn't.

The first school that boys
and girls went to in colonial
days was called a Dame School.
The teacher was a woman and
the children came to her house.
In Dame School. children learned
to read and write. The most important book was the Bible.
Children were specifically taught to read just
so they could read the Bible.

There were also serious books about manners and
scary stories and poems about the terrible things that
would happen if they were not good. There were no laws saying schools had to be comfortable.
And most of them weren't.

Students sat on hard benches.
Schools had only one room which was freezing during the winter.
The only way to keep warm was by using the fireplace. Every boy had to bring firewood for the fire. If he forgot,
he had to sit in the coldest part of the room. Students used a lump of lead to write with, or sometimes a goose-quill dipped in homemade ink.
Paper was expensive so students used birch bark to write on. After Dame School boys went on to
another school to learn more and
girls stayed home.
The New England Primer was the only book.
Once boys knew everything in the New England Primer they could go to another school to learn more. Every schoolmaster kept a birch branch
which was used to whip schoolboys who
did not behave. Other punishments were used as well:
If you didn't know your lessons you were
called a dunce, made to wear a dunce cap,
and sit on the dunce stool. If you were caught biting your nails,
you had to wear a card that said,
"Bitefinger Baby." Some punishments hurt your feelings and
made you feel foolish. Some punishments
just hurt! If you were sick in colonial days, your mother would take care of you. Your bed would be moved near the fire to keep you warm. Then she would think about the kind of medicine to give you. Most families grew herbs in their gardens to make their own medicines.
Colonial people believed that herbs helped cuts heal faster and there were herbs that would make swelling go down. There were even herbs that were thought to help mend a broken arm or leg.

There were also some strange ideas about medicines. Governor John Winthrop of Massachusetts wrote down what do do when someone had a high fever:
"Cut the sick man's nails and put the nails into a little bag of fine linen. Put a live eel into a tub of water. Tie the little bag of nails around the eel's neck. The eel will die, and the sick man will get better." There weren't many doctors and only if you were very sick would someone get the nearest doctor. Sometimes it took an entire day to find a doctor.
Many doctors believed the best way to cure a sick man was to bleed him. The doctor would cut open a vein in the sick man's arm and let some blood flow out.

If the sick man didn't get better, people thought it was the fault of witches. In colonial days many people believed in witches. They said that witches cast evil spells. Sunday was the Lord's day. It was a day to think about God. People would go to a church called a meetinghouse for two hours in the morning and then two more hours in the afternoon Everybody had to go. Babies, too. Babies who were too little to sit up straight were placed in wooden cages, like playpens, where they could lie down.
Children tried not to wriggle around. They tried not to fall asleep during the long prayers and the Bible readings. If people did fall asleep, the watchman would use a long pole to help keep people awake. On one end was a furry fox tail or squirrel tail. This side was used to tickle the noses of older men or women who fell asleep. The other end had a wooden knob that was used on the tops of the heads of children to keep them awake. When the long morning service was over, it was time for lunch. People who lived far away went to the Sabbath House for lunch.
People would then return for the afternoon service. At the end of the long day, the minister told the news of the week. He had good news and bad news. He told who was getting married and who had a new baby. He also told who had broken laws and had to be punished. There were laws that said no one should use bad words or get drunk.

It was against the law for a baker to bake bad bread and for a brewer to brew bad beer.

There were laws that said every man had to work on the towns roads a few days each month. The town of Boston had a law about dogs. The law said if a man was too poor to feed a dog, then he could not own one. A rich man could have only one dog.

There were laws for every day of the week and there were special laws for Sunday. The most important Sunday law was that everyone had to go to the meetinghouse.

Also, on the Lord's Day :
you could not laugh or play games
no one could do any work
you could not make your bed
a man could not shave or cut his hair
it was illegal to kiss your mother or father on Sunday The men of the town voted for the laws. They voted at a town meeting that was held at the meetinghouse. New laws were passed at the town meetings.

Women could never vote. And a man could vote only if he was a member of the church and if he owned land. People who broke laws were punished and punishments in colonial days were cruel.
Hanging was a punishment for many crimes.
If someone stole a silver spoon, he could be put to death.

Some people who broke the laws were whipped at the whipping post.

Some people were ducked in the water on a ducking stool. In colonial days it was against the law for a woman to talk back to her husband. If she did, she had to take the ducking-stool punishment. Some people had to sit in the stocks. They had to wear cards around their necks that told what their crimes were.
To make the prisoners feel ashamed, the punishments took place outdoors where everyone could see. Houses in colonial days were not big or fancy. And they were not warm. Usually, a large log, that needed to be drug into the house by two horses, was burned in the fireplace. Houses in early colonial days only had one room. This room was called the keeping room. This is where the family ate and worked. It is also where the grown-ups and babies slept. Older children slept in the attic. When more and more children were born, the family needed more space. So they built more rooms.

No matter how large the house was, the family still used the keeping room for cooking, eating, sleeping, and working. Most people had plain furniture that they made themselves. There wasn't much furniture in a colonial house because there wasn't much room to put it in.

Most houses only had one chair. It belonged to the father and no one else was allowed to sit in it. The rest of the family sat on wooden benches. One long wooden bench was called a settle. This bench had high sides and a high back. It was not comfortable, but it was warm in the winter because it kept out the chilling winds that blew through the house. Mothers and fathers slept in a jack-bed. The jack-bed was short to save space. The bed was also high so that a smaller bed for the younger children could slide underneath it. The smaller bed was called a trundle bed.
Babies slept in their cradles near the fireplace.
Older children slept in the attic on bags filled with scratchy straw. Some had softer mattresses filled with feathers or bits of wool. There were no bathrooms in colonial houses. There was no running water either. People had to go outside the house for water. They carried the water home from a well in wooden buckets.

People did not bathe often. When they did, they stood in a large wooden tub in front of the fireplace. People had to work hard in colonial days because everything they used the made themselves.

There was spinning and weaving and knitting to be done. The spinning wheels and the looms were homemade, too.

There were gardens to weed, rows and rows of corn to hoe, food to cook, bread to bake, butter to churn -
no end to work. There were dishes and bowls and spoons and mugs to be made.

There were beds, tables, chairs, brooms, buckets and barrels to be made.
And when those things got broken, they had to be fixed.

Making soap and candles took more than a day. Boys and girls were taught that work was good for them. In colonial days, people thought it was a sin to be lazy.

Children got up early and helped with the work. Boys worked before school, after school, and at night. Girls worked just as hard. No matter how hard people worked, they always found some time to play. Colonial children did not have as much time to play as you do.

They played some of the games that you play today. They played games like tag and blindman's bluff, and they sang songs like "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush" and "London Bridge Is Falling Down." Most of all, boys liked to play ball. They played with a leather ball filled with feathers.
They had tops to spin, drums to bang, popguns to pop.
They had hoops to roll, marbles to shoot, and kites to fly.

They also had trees to climb and icy ponds to skate on. The skates were made with wooden runners. Colonial girls played mostly with dolls. Their dolls were made of rags and cornhusks.
Girls also sewed samplers. With tiny stitches, they made birds and trees and flowers and the letters of the alphabet. Sometimes, when crops were good and everybody had plenty to eat, the people had a holiday. They set aside a special day to thank God for their good harvest. On that day, there was feasting and there was fun. Sometimes many families got together to help build a neighbor's house. When the house was finished, the people would have a party to celebrate.

In many towns, a Training Day was held once a month. Men and boys ran races, held fighting matches, and took part in shooting contests. However, there were certain laws about fun.
Sledding was against the law. It was said to be a waste of time.
In some towns, swimming was against the law. It was also said to be a waste of time.

Ministers gave long sermons against dancing. They said dancing was a sin. But, people danced anyway, and in large towns dancing teachers gave lessons to children. Most towns had a town crier. His job was to walk through the streets and call out the news of the day.
If the crier had special news he rand a bell or banged a drum. The people would run to hear what he was saying.

Another way to hear news was to go to the village inn. Travelers from other colonies told what was going on in their towns. There were only a few newspapers in early colonial days. The papers printed news of the thirteen colonies. There news was about what ships were sailing and what cargo the ships carried. The papers also had poems, sermons, and advertisements. You would write with a goose feather or a feather from a wild turkey. This was called a quill pen. Maple bark boiled in water or indigo made good ink.

You would fold the letter and seal it with a blob of hot sealing wax. You would need to pay a man to deliver it. There was no regular mail service in early colonial days.

Sometimes it took the man a month to deliver a letter, and in the winter, sometimes up to two months.
That's only if the man you hired was not killed by Indians or had an accident on the way.

Sometimes it was faster to send a letter to England than send a letter to another colony. Sailing ships carried the mail to England in about four weeks. The Cobbler The Hatter The Blacksmith The Pewterer The Tanner The Silversmith The Cabinetmaker The Clockmaker The Miller The Wheelwright The Cooper The
Barber The Tailor The Whitesmith
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