The Kingdom of Matthias presents a varied dramatis personae of characters: work forces and adult females of different categories brought together by spiritual beliefs, location, household ties, and friendly relationships. This narrative brings into concentrate the lives of two adult females named Isabella: Isabella Van Wagenen and Isabella Matthews Laisdell. The narrative in its bizarre nature provides illustrations of differences and similarities in their lives. Pulling from The Kingdom of Matthias, category talks, and the class text edition this paper examines the ways that race and gender affected the legal rights of both Isabellas and of adult females in general during the 19th century. Specifically, it does so by finding the rights of their hubbies and male parents and besides includes a treatment of dominant impressions of matrimony and maternity that examine whether these impressions applied every bit to both Isabellas.
The one Isabella Van Wagenen is a name remembered with an dawn of awe, regard and honor to day of the month. Isabella who changed her name to Sojourner Truth was born around 1787 in Ulster County New York as Isabella Hardenbreg ( last name of her proprietor Colonel Hardenbreg ) . Upon the Colonel ‘s decease, she was inherited by his boy, Charles, and later auctioned off along with her brothers when Charles died in 1808. She lived in deplorable and awful conditions most of her life ( Murrin 85 ) . At Colonel Hardenbreg ‘s plantation she shared a common country with 12 other slaves. She had several proprietors in her life ; some were rough and barbarous work Masterss, some were kinder than other slave proprietors and yet others were apathetic. Equally hard as her life would look it is really the tests and trials that she went through that forged her into the wise, determined and singular adult female that she is remembered as ( Murrin 201 ) . The many old ages of bondage, losing her parents, whippings and humiliation by her proprietors merely served to learn her the value of wit in tough times, made her a tough adult female both mentally and physically and turned her into one of the greatest militant for rights of adult females and inkinesss and minorities. In their book, The Kingdom of Matthias, Johnson and Wilentz describe her as being cryptic. Life for adult females was really hard in the 19th century but for a black adult female it was peculiarly distressful and cruel. Populating in a patriarchal society where adult females either belonged to their male parents or hubbies or in the instance of black adult females, their proprietors was peculiarly hard ( Johnson and Wilentz 45 ) . Their mundane lives were dominated and dictated by these oppressive male figures in their lives and they were robbed off their self-respect. Womans were whipped for existent and sensed evildoings by their hubby or male parents and were treated like kids who knew no better.
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In the book The Kingdom of Matthias, the ego proclaimed prophesier of God, Matthias, had his followings populating on a farmhouse a few stat mis outside of New York where he could order each and every minute facet of their lives, from their vesture, diet, fundss and even sexual life. Matthias ran the farmhouse ( which he named Mt. Zion ) merely like any oppressive patriarch would: with a rough manus and peculiarly intense hatred for adult females ( Wilentz & A ; Paul 85 ) . He steadfastly believed in the subjection of adult females and believed they existed to cook, clean, attention for the place and act as sexual objects for the work forces. It is in such oppressive conditions that Isabella Van Wanegen lived. In fact at one clip Matthias whipped Isabella when she was ill because he believed that the ill ‘harbored degage liquors and Satans ‘ ( Wilentz & A ; Paul 122 – 123 ) . She joined Matthias ‘ cult through her maestro Elijah Pierson the Tishbite who believed that he was an incarnate of John the Baptist fixing the manner for Matthias ‘ coming. The cult, despite its obvious defect in philosophy, was a title-holder for the rights of the hapless and oppressed and back so there was no deficit of hapless and laden common people. Life at Mt. Zion was about community and togetherness. The people who lived there all believed in their prophesier, they had a common religion and they were intimate and really near to one another and this served to interrupt down any racial or colour barriers. This enabled Isabella to experience accepted and valued among at Mt. Sion where she was an of import beginning of information for Mathias.
Isabella Matthews Laisdell was Matthias ‘ girl. She was brought up in slightly better conditions than Isabella Van Wanegen although she did non get away the patriarchal domination of her male parent. Bing Caucasic, she was non subjected to slavery like Van Wanegen. Matthias, a steadfast woman hater, was so deep into his hate of adult females that even his ain girl could non get away. In fact, before get downing his cult, he had applied to be a member of the Presbyterian Church but he was rejected because of his violent nature and it was this rejection that drove him to get down his ain followers based on the Old Testament instructions ( Lecture notes 3 ) . He declared that adult females who nagged and belittled their hubbies would be cast off ( Johnson and Wilentz 93 ) . When he moved to Mt. Sion, he was successfully seduced by Anne Folger, the married woman of Benjamin Folger and he declared her to be his lucifer spirit harmonizing to a disclosure given to him by God, therefore her matrimony to Benjamin was nullified. Matthias so sent Benjamin to convey his kids to the farm ( Mt. Zion ) . Benjamin had sex with Isabella before conveying her dorsum as payback to what Matthias had done to him, and made a he point of informing her male parent of this. Matthias was ferocious and badly whipped his girl before believing the affair through and make up one’s minding that she and Benjamin were ‘match liquors ‘ and ought to be wed despite her current matrimony to Charles Laisdell. This clearly illustrates the similar problems undergone by both Isabella Van Wanegen and Isabella Matthews Laisdell under the Fe fist regulation of Matthias. Isabella Mathews besides experienced whippings from her male parent all her life. Matthias was a wildly violent adult male who easy lost his pique and this cost him several occupations. He often roughed up his married woman ( Margret ) and kids which included immature Isabella.
In decision, the 19th century society was really conservative about matrimony. The function of the adult male was to supply for his married woman ( who he owned ) and kids. The adult female ‘s map was to take attention of her place and kids and submit to her hubby ( Lecture notes 2 ) . The patriarchal theoretical account was propagated and enforced by the church which integrated domestic authorization in its disposal construction and work forces led their households to church. Infidelity was non tolerated at all. It is in this scene that Matthias fashioned and dissolved matrimonies between his followings in any mode that he pleased. He took Anne Folger as his married woman even though she was already married to Benjamin Folger, Catherine Galloway, a widow, had sex with the married Benjamin and was confused and hurt when he was declared to be a ‘match spirit ‘ to Isabella and so married her. Matthias and his sermonizers had several sexual spouses plucked from their immature female followings. This signifier of broad life was merely excessively much for the so society to accept as normal and it proved to be the ruin of Matthias and his cult after the decease of Elijah when the trough imperativeness had a field twenty-four hours with wild sexual accusals leveled against the cult.