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people and European immigrants. Such women were generally the wives or sisters of male missionaries, though occasionally women travelled without their male relatives. Two English Quaker women, for example, Elizabeth Hooton and Joan Brocksopp, went to Barbados and Jamaica in the 1660s and 1670s, where they read the Bible publicly and challenged ministers.

Women's independent religious activities in colonial areas were limited, as they were in Europe, by ideas about women's weaker nature and inferior status, and also by fears about the possibility of sexual contact between European women and native men. The earliest European colonizers, whether soldiers, missionaries, traders, or officials, had almost all been men, who had regularly engaged in sexual relations with indigenous women. Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch authorities initially encouraged sexual relations and even marriage between European men and indigenous women as a means of making alliances, cementing colonial power, and increasing the population. The directors of the Dutch East India Company gave soldiers, sailors, and minor officials bonuses if they agreed to marry local women and stay in the Dutch colonies as 'free-burghers'. This policy was opposed by some Dutch missionaries, but accepted by others, who hoped marriage with local women would not only win converts but also give missionaries access to female religious rituals. The Directors of the British East India Company gave additional encouragement in 1687, decreeing that any child resulting from the marriage of any soldier and native woman be paid a small grant on the day of its christening.

There were limits to this acceptance of inter-marriage, however, often explicitly along racial lines. Rijkloff von Goens, one of the Dutch governors of Sri Lanka, supported mixed marriages, but then wanted the daughters of those marriages married to Dutchmen so that the Dutch 'race' would 'degenerate' as little as possible. In the Dutch colony of the Cape of Good Hope (South Africa), though the races were not segregated and there was much sexual contact between European men and African women, this colour hierarchy was so strong that it largely prevented inter-racial marriage. Until 1823, slaves in Cape Colony could not marry in a Christian ceremony. A man wanting to marry a slave had to baptize and free her first. Slaves marrying among themselves often devised their own ceremonies, or married in Muslim ceremonies even though Islam was not a recognized religion.

By the second and third generation, many European men preferred women of mixed race as marital partners. In Dutch and English areas, some of these women were Catholic, the children of marriages between Portuguese men and local women. Protestant church authorities worried about the women retaining their loyalty to Catholicism, raising their children as Catholics and

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