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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Wife, the Farmer and the Farmer's Slaves: Adultery and Murder on a Frontier Farm in the Early Eighteenth Century
Author:Penn, Nigel
Periodical:Kronos: Journal of Cape History
Geographic terms:South Africa
The Cape
extramarital sexuality
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Ethnic and Race Relations
History and Exploration
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Women's Issues
Law, Legal Issues, and Human Rights
Abstract:As the only white woman to be executed at the Cape (South Africa) during the 18th century, Maria Mouton (1690-1714) has long enjoyed a unique notoriety. Her crime - inciting her slave lover to the murder of her husband - has been noted by historians and preserved in the folk memory of a district. The Maria Mouton case, examined in this paper, provides details which help to illuminate early Cape colonial attitudes towards marriage, adultery and sexual relationships between masters, mistresses and slaves. Furthermore, it provides a glimpse of farming and labour practices in the Cape frontier zone in the early years. The story unfolded in a particularly interesting time and place - the beginning of the 18th century in the Vier en Twintig Rivieren and Waveren districts, just when the colony began to expand into the interior. Amongst the more significant revelations of the case is the absolute centrality of slaves in the frontier zone, both as labourers and as runaways, as intimate members of the colonial farms and as potential enemies. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]