Religious Studies

Masterless Mistresses: The New Orleans Ursulines and the by Emily Clark

By Emily Clark

in the course of French colonial rule in Louisiana, nuns from the French corporation of Saint Ursula got here to New Orleans, the place they expert girls and women of eu, Indian, and African descent, enslaved and loose, in literacy, numeracy, and the Catholic religion. even though spiritual girls had won attractiveness and authority in seventeenth-century France, the hot global was once much less welcoming. Emily Clark explores the variations required of the Ursulines as their detailed lady piety collided with slave society, Spanish colonial rule, and Protestant hostility.

The Ursulines received prominence in New Orleans in the course of the social providers they provided--schooling, an orphanage, and shelter for abused and widowed women--which additionally allowed them a self-sustaining point of company wealth. Clark strains the conflicts the Ursulines encountered via Spanish colonial rule (1767-1803) and after the Louisiana buy, as Protestants poured into Louisiana and have been dismayed to discover a robust neighborhood of self-supporting girls and a church congregation ruled via African american citizens. The single nuns contravened either the patriarchal order of the slaveholding American South and the Protestant building of femininity that supported it. by way of incorporating their tale into the background of early the US, Masterless Mistresses exposes the bounds of the republican version of nationwide unity.

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