Abstract

In a commendable attempt to make available to current undergraduates authentic documents written by colonial American women, some recent editors unfortunately have reprinted several fakes composed in the nineteenth century. Those attributed to "Dorothy Dudley" and "Mary Titus Post" already have been publicly exposed as fraudulent but still have been republished as genuine. This article focuses on a so-called "Puritan Maiden's Diary," purportedly written by one "Hetty Shepard" in 1675-1677, and demonstrates conclusively that it was in fact composed in the late nineteenth century by its nominal editor, Adeline E. Herbert Slicer. The article closes with some observations about patterns of women's diary-keeping, pointing out that historians should have been more skeptical about any document claiming to be a personal journal penned by a seventeenth-century American woman.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2036
Print ISSN
1042-7961
Pages
pp. 141-154
Launched on MUSE
2010-03-25
Open Access
No
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