By Field, Corinne T.; Syrett, Nicholas L
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Additional resources for Age in America : the colonial era to the present
Early adolescence, and specifically the ages of twelve and fourteen in European and Euro-American church and civil law, was a time in life recognized for its importance and power. Around the time they achieved sexual maturity, colonial Americans of all backgrounds and faith traditions recognized that adulthood was approaching, and they devised culturally and religiously appropriate customs in order to smooth the transition from childhood to maturity. It is perhaps no wonder that Father Bigot either mistook or confused the joint policy of New England and New France to repatriate children under twelve regardless of their personal preferences, because the age of fourteen for boys especially was so strongly a part of the church and civil laws observed in the colonial northeastern borderlands.
Father Joseph François Lafitau explained in 1724 that an Indian child’s introduction to work happened early: “As soon as they have grown a little larger, they follow their mothers and work for the family. ” According to the Jesuit Lafitau, Native people saw early childhood as a time when children were morally unaccountable. ”14 Age and Captivity in Colonial Warfare | 31 By age seven, Native children were separated according to their sex and educated to work as women (farming, gathering, preparing food, and making or repairing household items) or men (hunting, fishing, fighting, and providing political and spiritual leadership).
2 (2011): 189–212; Tine DeMoor and Jaco Zuiderduijn, “The Art of Counting: Reconstructing Numeracy of the Middle and Upper Classes on the Basis of Portraits in the Early Modern Low Countries,” Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History 46, no. 1 (2013): 41–56. 5 Thomas Foxcroft, The Day of a Godly Man’s Death, Better Than the Day of His Birth (Boston, 1722), 31. 6 Holly Brewer, By Birth or Consent: Children, Law, and the Anglo-American Revolution in Authority (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005).