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They Loved to Laugh (Young Adult Bookshelf) Paperback – April 1, 1997
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A young Presbyterian girl, orphaned in an epidemic, is brought home by the Quaker doctor that treated her parents. She is to stay with his family at their farm until they can contact her mother's relations.
At first Martitia struggles with learning how to work on the farm as she has lead an idle life in order to keep her hands pretty. Also, Martitia is appalled by the rough ways of the boys (playing practical jokes and teasing) but after awhile, she grows to love the family. The strictly Quakerish grandfather, who disapproves of his family's tendency to laugh ("My son and his boys serves mammon),becomes precious to the girl who eventually decides that she wants to remain with the family instead of going back to an idle life among her relations. This presents some difficulties, as there was a law in North Carolina prohibiting non-Quakers from leaving guardianship of their children to Quakers.
This book is a wonderful way of learning about life in the States in the 1830's. After reading the book you will know much more about the Quakers and what they believed, the apprentice system, silk harvesting, domestic chores like bread making and weaving, and the role of the weaver in families at that time!