‘A nest of the most notorious profligates on earth’

“Some women came to the new world to get away from a man, in the form of a harsh master or unsatisfactory lover…..Women who were independent enough to sail to America by themselves were also inclinded to take matters into their own hands if they got stuck in unhappy marriages after they arrived. In the early 18th century, a minister described North Carolina as ‘a nest of the most notorious profligates on earth…. Women forsake their husbands, come here and live with other men.’ ”

— From “America’s Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines” by Gail Collins (2003)

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