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Children of the cane

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Children of the Cane

Children of the Cane

Boysie and Elsie grew up in bungalows beside each other in a rural cane-farming community. No schools existed in these backwoods, where boys became men at fourteen and girls had their first child at fifteen.

Church sanctioned marriages of children at birth united families. Sons provided labor and daughters produced offspring. The church owned the land and gave stipends to its members based on crop contribution. The larger the family of males, the bigger the reward. Less than a dozen kids in a household fell below the norm. Due to early marriages, many women continued to have children at the same time as their daughters. Some nieces and nephews arrived in the world before their uncles and aunts.

When offspring came of age at fourteen,…………………

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