Friday, July 20, 2012

Anne Barnes, Chp. 9, Gen. 4, 1784

Warning: Contains past views of women and their importance in society.  By no means do I support these views or believe in them! I have included them in this story because it is part of U.S. history.

Dear Aunt Abigail,

     It is early January.  How I miss you!  Antoine and I have not been getting along well.  I am starting to feel as if I am an object and not a person.  We learned two months ago that I am with child (the baby will arrive in late July), and since then he has refused to let me leave the house!  What an absurd... absurd... I don't know!  It's foolish.  And absurd!  And ever unfair!

     These quarrels are really making me unhappy.  Antoine orders me clean the house everyday.  I cook every single meal.  And then there's the weaving loom...

     Antoine forces me to weave cloth every day.  He says it's for the children.  When I  asked why we could not just buy clothes, he became upset.  

     "Of course we're going to purchase clothes, Anne.  I just want you to be making them blankets and such.  You're the mother.  You should do something."
     I bit my tongue, but I wanted to ask him what HE was doing to help.  I mean, I guess he is earning the money.  Forgive me for being selfish, Aunt.

     Between weaving, cooking, cleaning, and looking presentable (for the many, many other advocates that Antoine invites to his study area [and Antoine forces me to spend hours in the powder room, applying makeup, so much that I almost feel like a statue, and I promptly remove the makeup once the guests leave]), I am simply exhausted.  Antoine often spends the whole day in his study and is very cranky at night.  We rarely have any alone time with each other, besides sleeping.  I guess I know how some of the slaves feel, doing all of this work!

     Antoine keeps threatening me to purchase slaves, but I stood my ground on this one.  I told him that I could handle all of this work, but inside, I know it will be nearly impossible once the child arrives.  But my father was firm on his anti-slave beliefs.  And for once, I actually respect one of his beliefs!

     Thank you for your wonderful recipe that you sent me.  I love your salads.  Antoine... really... liked it.

     I love you!
          Anne Barnes


     But Antoine didn't like the salad.  He hated it.  Anne did not have the heart to tell her dear Aunt Abigail, though.

     Anne, naturally, was very meticulous.  She followed every small detail of Aunt Abigail's recipe.  Anne took it so seriously, in fact, that it took her nearly three quarters of an hour to prepare a small group salad: just for Antoine and her.

      Cautiously, she slowly diced the vegetables into thin slices.  Anne made sure each piece was even and balanced. Lettuce, tomatoes, onions, peppers, eggplants.
      Satisfied with the perfectly crafted pieces, Anne carefully transferred the veggies to a mixing bowl.

     She gently mixed the vegetables and even added a slight bit of huile d'olive (olive oil).  A little nervous, Anne poured the contents of the mixing bowl to a large dish.  Anne prayed that Antoine would like the meal.  He had to!  Besides, Anne felt proud of herself for making this meal all on her own.  It was going to be a success -- right?

     The salad looked delicious!  Anne even tried a tiny bite, for good measure.  It tasted just like home.  Anne smiled.  Antoine was going to love it!

     Antoine had been waiting in the dining room.
     "It's about time, Anne!" Antoine laughed.  "I knew not that a salad needed such preparation.  I am starving!"
     "You're going to love it, Antoine!  This recipe is of my Aunt Abigail's.  She is a wonderful cook."  Anne said excitedly.

     They were seated and Antoine scooped up a bite on his fork, examining it.
     "Ah, you put olive oil in.  I told you I do not like olive oil!"  Antoine frowned.
     "I did not know that!  You never told me that!  I am so sorry, I just thought--"  Anne pleaded but Antoine silenced her with a shake of his head.
     "I told you."

     Anne did not dare protest, in fear of further upsetting him.  Instead, she watched intently as Antoine ate a bite of the salad.  He chewed slowly, then stopped, then swallowed.  Then... he started... laughing?

     "Where did you buy this food?  Dear, this is tasteless.  It tastes like... like... it tastes like cotton!"
     Shocked, Anne struggled to speak.  "C-c-cotton?" 
     "Yes!  Cotton!  Wherever you purchased this food, never go there again."  Antoine made a noise of disgust.  "It was unbeknownst to me that a salad could taste so... horrible.  I do not like cotton.  Let alone cotton salads."
     Anne was unsure of what to say.  She was heartbroken.  She had hoped the meal would be a success; yet, it was anything but. 

     Strengthened by a sudden surge of hope, Anne declared, "I will get better.  Wait and see.  Soon you will not be able to get enough of my cooking!"
     Antoine was skeptical.  "I will believe it when I see it."  He did not take another bite, and despite Anne's hunger and adoration for the salad, she did not, either.

     Fortunately, for Anne, cooking became easier.  She cooked grits (which Antoine thought were decent, but "not delightful") and pea soup, as well as potato soup (Antoine's favorite) quite often, and the supper was often accompanied by tea or wine.  Anne also loved to make pudding as a special treat.
     But, Anne refrained from making the salad for Antoine; however, she still kept Abigail's recipe (from time to time, Antoine would catch her eating a vegetable salad covered in olive oil).


JULY 3rd, 1784

     Anne's pregnancy progressed slowly.  Often, she found herself bored with cleaning and sitting at the weaving loom, and one day, Anne found herself longing to meet the family who lived across the street.
     Antoine had forbade her to meet them (and had forbade her to leave the house during her pregnancy) since, since they were "lower class" and did not deserve to converse with the "upper class".  But Anne had once been a child of the "lower class", and she was curious.

      Before she knew it, Anne was walking up the steps to the front door!  A young woman about the same age as Anne stood on the porch.  They smiled at each other and the woman invited Anne inside.

     Anne glanced around the inside of the house.  It was extremely bare.  There were no fancy paintings, no family portraits.  No impressive rugs.  A simple foyer, small sitting room.  It felt homey, much more welcoming than Antoine's mansion had been when Anne had first arrived, and immediately, she felt relaxed.
      "Are you Anne Barnes?  The wife of Antoine Barnes?"  The woman asked excitedly.
     Anne nodded.  "Yes, I am she."
     "I have wanted to meet you for so long, but..." the woman trailed off, looking down.
     "I understand.  It is difficult for me to get used to living in the upper class.  I went through my childhood without having any shoes, so, as you can imagine, it is quite a difference."  Anne giggled.
      This information seemed to put the woman at ease, which also made Anne feel better.  She did not wish to make the woman uncomfortable.

     "I don't believe I caught your name?"
     "Oh, how rude of me!  My name is Eileen Herron.  My husband is Demarcus Herron.  Ever pleased to meet you, Anne."  Eileen raised an eyebrow.  "I see you are expecting..."

     "Oh -- yes!" Anne laughed, slightly embarrassed.  "I apologize if it is improper for me to walk around in my evening wear, but I had to get out of the house, if only for a moment.  You see, my husband will not let me leave until the child is born.  I could not stand it any longer... I hope you do not find this rude of me," and added sheepishly.

     "Oh, no!  Not at all!" Eileen laughed.  "My husband and I would like to have children as well, but we have decided that now might not be a good time since he is trying to make a name for himself as an advocate.  I don't want him to be too stressed out with a little one screaming all the time!  At least not yet," Eileen added with a wink.
     "My husband is an advocate, too!" Anne gasped, happy to have found something in common with Eileen.
     "Oh, yes; we know!" Eileen nodded.  "In fact, Demarcus wishes to work with Antoine someday."

     "Really?  Well, Eileen, I will be sure to put in a good word for him.  Antoine always seems to have one of his advocate friends over... I am sure he would enjoy a new one."
     "Thank you, Anne!  That is so sweet of you."  Eileen's eyes had a faraway look in them.  "You must love that ballroom.  I have heard so much about it.  I have always wanted to dance there with Demarcus, but we never were invited."
     "Actually, we have not had many dances.  Antoine does not think it good for my health since I am with child.  But I still have to clean.  And cook.  And weave.  I find that tiring within itself!"  Anne paused.  "But the next time we have a dance, I will invite you and Demarcus!"

     "You have no idea how much that would mean to me, Anne.  How can I ever thank you?  It is so good to have a friend around here.  I, too, am always cooking and cleaning, and I am often bored."
     A friend?  I have a friend?  Anne thought.  She had never had a friend before, but now she knew how good it felt to have someone who cared about her (besides Antoine and Abigail).  A smile crept onto her face.  "Thank you for being my friend, Eileen."


      Anne returned home.  It was getting late, so she headed straight to the bedroom, only to find a very upset Antoine.

     "I specifically told you to stay inside the house at all times while you are with child.  What do you do?  You leave the house!  Not only do you leave the house, but you visit some poor, lower class family across the street.  Those people are nothing!  They are poor nobodies and they certainly do not deserve to live across the street from us!  YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO MINGLE WITH THEM!"  Antoine yelled.
     "They have no money, no education -- nothing.  They are a waste of our time!  You even went out in your evening clothes!  Do you know what kind of damage that will do to our reputation?"  He shrieked. 
     "Antoine, does that make me a waste of your time, too?  After all, I used to live in the lower class!"  Anne's voice wavered. 

     "Don't you dare talk about those people that way!  They are good people -- they just have less money -- and Eileen is my friend!"  Anne's voice was strong and stern.  After she said those words, Anne was surprised they had come out of her own mouth.  She felt stronger.  Those words had taken her up to Antoine's level, for once!

     "Your aunt has taught you wrong.  Your values are wrong.  Your opinions are wrong.  Your ideas are wrong!  You can't cook, can barely clean the whole house, you sure cannot weave well at all, you like the poor even though we are rich, and you, for whatever reason, seem to think that you can do whatever you want.  You are a woman.  You can't."

     As Antoine's words sank in,  Anne felt as though she needed to get away from him.  This was the type of conversation she couldn't handle.  Why did I say anything?, she thought miserably.  Whenever I speak, I upset people, she thought.  No!  That's not true. I helped Eileen -- I made her happy.
     Instead, Anne walked right past Antoine and tried to leave the room.

      That is, until the labor pains set in.


     Many hours later, on the morning of July 4th, three beautiful children were born.  One girl, two boys.  Anne loved holding her sweet daughter, named Antoinette May Barnes.

     Franklin Charles Barnes also stole her heart though...

      ... and it was impossible to forget about Bartholomew Jeremiah Barnes.


~July 4th, 1784~
 Dear Diary,

     Though it was declared on July 4th, 1776 that America was finally in the hands of us Americans, I feel as though I can finally grasp what that "Independence Day" means.  Partly this is because my children have been born into a country that will belong to them, and their generation someday -- their lives will not be owned by other peoples from another country.  We are a free country, and my children are free!  And, lucky for them -- they have been born on the very day that America became America!

     I feel more connected to Independence Day now that I live in Charleston.  We are in the center of action of America, here.  Detroit is far from here, and news always reached us slower there.  I am sad that I have not written of Independence Day nor its declaration until now, but I hope it is some compensation for me to understand it better today.

     Antoine and I have had our troubles, but I do forgive him for his insults.  I hope he forgives me.  I apologized.  He even apologized.  We have our differences in opinion about the poor.  He acknowledged that he would not stop me from visiting the Herrons, though he is unhappy about it.  He is right, in a sense.  I cannot do anything I want.  But he can.  It is my job to raise these children to the best of my ability.  And I will do just that, even if I am a woman.

     Until next time,
          Anne Barnes


*The Antique Legacy*
Anne Barnes

Side note: Hey, all! There will be an heir vote to vote for the 5th generation heir here: or you can visit  Please just vote on one of these ;)


  1. asdfghjkl;' Antoine. Smh. I hope Anne raises her children to a higher standard than he was raised! Once again, a lovely chapter. I loved how long it was:)

    -the chipmunk

    1. Hey, Chipmunk! :D

      Grr... Antoine is bleh... :(

      I don't think you will be too disappointed with the children! There is an heir vote going on! If you have a sims 3 account, you can vote at

      If not, you can vote here on the blog at if you would like to. I hope you vote! I really can't decide who to pick on my own :)

      Hehe, they do seem to be getting longer, don't they?!