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1776-systematic rapes Marguerite Rivas sipoet sipoet1@aol.com On 05/09/2000 5:29:00 PM, Liza(1) wrote:
>Forgive me if I am remiss, but
>I believe proper resignation
>would have meant the woman
>would do what she could in
>order to survive the ordeal.
>Apparently, the women of
>Staten Island did not "resign
>themselves" and died. Hence
>the "entertaining
>courtmartials" were a recount
>of the horrific events.

That's an interesting reading of the letter."Resignation" would be surely what one would do in order to survive. However, by qualifiying "resignation" with "proper" it would seem to me that Rawdon implies that women should resign to being raped,because it is "proper" to do so. By the tone of his letter, I don't think he was advocating their doing that for their survival, but rather that the soldiers should have what they considered their due. I gathered from my research that women could and did report the rapes to British authorities. Lord Percy is mentioned in a subsequent passage of the letter as one to whom a woman made a complaint of rape against several grenadiers.
The tone of the rest of Rawdon's letter is one of absolute amusement. He obviously cared little for the welfare of the women of occupied territory; they are little more than "fresh meat" to him. I haven't come across any indication in my research that these women were killed, however. A soldier could have been court-martialed for less.
Later in his letter, Rawdon talks about the Southern women who "behave much better in these cases" because they don't lodge official complaints of rape. He then recounts an odious anecdote to illustrate his point.



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