A Voice of Her Own: SC Women in Politics – Colonial & Antebellum Women
By the early 1800’s cultural expectations in South Carolina society dictated that women should remain only in the private or domestic sphere- away from the man’s world of government and commerce. Middle and upper-class women were expected to act as hostesses for their husbands, run their households, and supervise the slaves.
During this period, and for many years after, South Carolina women had no legal rights. Women could inherit money and property, but once a woman married, her husband gained sole ownership of her property. Single women and widows were allowed to own their property, but they had few options for independent living.