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Notes Introduction Editorial Method. Throughout the text, I have changed the dates of the Julian cal­ endar used by seventeenth-century Virginians, which marked the new year as March 25 . Instead, I have used the modernized Gregorian calendar year, which begins the new year on January r . I have retained original spelling and punctuation throughout the book, with the exception of contractions and signs. Colonial records often employ various spellings of the proper names of individuals, and for the sake of clarity, I have chosen to regularize them. r . York County, Virginia, Deeds, Orders, Wills [hereafter cited as YCDOW] 3ff., 149, 169. 2. William Waller Hening, The Statutes at Large: Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, vol. 2 (New York, r 823; reprint, Charlottesville, Va., 1969), r 66-67. 3· Kathleen M. Brown concurs that the 1 662 legislation "affirmed ideals of male authority" and "admitted that many men could not control their wives," while it si­ multaneously "stigmatized slanderwith a gender-specific punishment that demeaned and trivialized the political import of women's words." See Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs: Gender, Race, and Power in Colonial Virginia (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1996), 147-148. Mary Beth Norton also argues that statutes such as the 1 662 law served an important social function by identifying misbehaviors and singling them out for community attention. See Founding Mothers and Fathers: Gen­ dered Power and the Forming ofAmerican Society (New York, 1996), 253. 4· Norton, Founding Mothers and Fathers, 2 5 3 (quotation), 2 5 3 -69 (on the social function and sexual nature of gossip); Brown, Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anx­ ious Patriarchs, 286. On the gendered patterns of slander in the early Chesapeake, see Mary Beth Norton, "Gender and Defamation in Seventeenth-Century Maryland," William and Mary Quarterly, 3d ser., 44 ( January 1987): 3 -39; Brown, Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs, 145 -49; and Clara Ann Bowler, "Carted Whores and White Shrouded Apologies: Slander in the County Courts of Seventeenth­ Century Virginia," Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 85 (October 1 977): 41 r-26. For discussions of slander and defamation in other North American colonies, see Norton, Founding Mothers and Fathers, 2 I I-I7, 232-76; Cornelia Hughes Day­ ton, Women Before the Bar: Gender, Law, and Society in Connecticut, I 639-1789 (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1995), 285 -328; and Jane Kamensky, Governing the Tongue: The Politics of Speech in Early New England (New York, 1997), 7 1-98. 5 . Ibid., 22. 6. Norton, Founding Mothers and Fathers, 1 3 -14, 289-92; James Horn, Adapt­ ing to a New World: English Societyin the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1994), 136-41; Allan Kulikoff, Tobacco and Slaves: The Development of Southern Cultures in the Chesapeake, r68o-r8oo (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1986), 38-44; Russell Menard, "From Servants to Slaves: The Transformation of the Chesapeake La­ bor System," Southern Studies 1 6 (1977): 3 5 5 -90; Edmund S. Morgan, American Slav­ ery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia (New York, 197 5 ), 235 -49, 145 Notes to Pages 4-8 305 -I5; and the essays collected in Thad W. Tate and David L. Ammerman, eds., The Chesapeake in the Seventeenth Century: Essays on Anglo-American Society (Chapel Hill, N.C., I979). 7. Lois Green Carr and Lorena S. Walsh, "The Planter's Wife: The Experience of White Women in Seventeenth-Century Maryland," William and Mary Quarterly, 3d ser., 34 (October I997): 543 (quotations), 5 42-7I (inclusive). 8. Norton, Founding Mothers and Fathers, 1 3, 287-92. 9. Morgan, American Slavery, American Freedom, 235 -92; Brown, Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs, I 37-86; Warren M. Billings, John E. Selby, and Thad W. Tate, Colonial Virginia: A History (White Plains, N.Y., I986), n-r r8. IO. Brown, Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs, I08-36, 247318 . I r . Kamensky demonstrates the importance of considering the cultural practice of speech and the importance of the spoken word in early New England. While the sig­ nificance of the spoken word in New England differed from that of the Chesapeake, her work is a critical reminder of the power of speech in early America. See Govern­ ing the Tongue, passim. I2. Oliver P. Chitwood, Justice in Colonial Virginia (Baltimore, I905 ), 82-84, 97ror . For studies of Virginia law in reception and practice, see David T. Konig, '"Dale's Laws' and the Non-Common Law Origins...


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