Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Eliza Lucas Pinckney's Resolutions

 These are a set of Resolutions written by Eliza Lucas Pinckney, as taken from her letters and quoted in this audio book.  She was an extraordinary lady and I really enjoyed the audio book. 

"I am resolved, by the grace of God assisting me, to keep these resolutions which I have frequently made and do now again renew.

"I am resolved to believe in God, that he is and is a rewarder of all that diligently seek him, to believe firmly and constantly in all his attributes. I am resolved to fear him and love him with all the powers and faculties of my soul, and to keep a steady eye to his commands, and to govern myself in every circumstance of life by the rules of the gospel of Christ, whose disciple I profess myself and as such will live and die.

"I am resolved by the divine will not to be anxious or doubtful, nor to be fearful of any accident or misfortune that may happen to me or mine, not to regard the frowns of the world, but to keep a steady upright conduct before my God and before man, doing my duty, and contented to leave the event to God’s providence.

"I am resolved by the same grace, to govern my passions, to endeavor constantly to subdue every vice and improve in every virtue and in order to this I will not give way to any of the least notions of pride, haughtiness, ambition, ostentation, or contempt of others. I will not give way to envy, ill-will, evil speaking, in-gratitude, or uncharitableness in word, in thought, or in deed, or to passion or peevishness, nor to sloth, or idleness, but will endeavor after all the contrary virtues, humility and charity, and to always be usefully or innocently employed.

"I am resolved not to be luxurious or extravagant in the management of my table and family on the one hand, nor niggardly and covetous or too anxiously concerned about it on the other, but to endeavor after a due medium and manage with hospitality and generosity as much as is in our power; to have always plenty with frugality and good economy, to be decent but frugal in my own expenses, to be charitably disposed to all mankind.

"I am resolved, by the divine assistance, to fill the several stations wherein providence has placed me, to the best advantage, to make a good wife to my dear husband in all its several branches and to make all my actions correspond with that sincere love and duty I bear him, to pray for him, to contribute in all my power to the good of his soul, and to the peace and satisfaction of his mind, to be careful of his health and of his interests, of his children and his reputation, to do him all the good in my power, and next to pleasing God, to make it my study to please him.

"I am resolved to be a good mother to my children, to pray for them, to set them good examples, to give them good advice, to be careful both of their souls and bodies, to watch over their tender minds, to carefully root out the first appearing and buddings of vice, and to instill piety, virtue, and true religion into them, to spare no pains or trouble to do them good, to correct their errors, whatever uneasiness it may give myself, and never omit to encourage every virtue I may see dawning in them.

"I am resolved to make a good sister, both to my own and my husband’s brothers and sisters, to treat them with affection, kindness, and good manners, and to do them all the good I can.

"I am resolved to make a good mistress to my servants, to treat them with humanity and good nature, to give them sufficient and comfortable clothing and provisions, and all things necessary for them, to be careful and tender of them in their sickness, to reprove them for their faults, to encourage them when they do well, and pass over small faults, not to be tyrannical, peevish, or impatient towards them, but to make their lives as comfortable as I can.

"I am resolved to be a sincere and faithful friend wherever I profess it, and as much as in me lies as an agreeable and innocent companion and a universal lover of all mankind.

"All these resolutions by God’s assistance I will keep to my life’s end, so help me, oh my God, Amen

"Memorandum: Read over this daily to assist my memory as to every particular contained in this paper, before I leave my chamber, recollect in general the business to be done that day."


  1. Thanks for the encouragement.

    Mrs. Horner

  2. You're welcome and thank you for commenting, Mrs. Horner

  3. Could you repost the link for the audio book, please? I'm a public school teacher and she's mentioned in our 5th Grade American History Textbook. I pull quotes from the people mentioned all the time for students to read and pick for a handwriting assignment. This is the first I've read further about her other than snippets online but the text mentioned and the audio interest me to enable me to fill in the gaps. Thank you. The quotes remind me of those which Jonathan Edwards wrote. Edwards was mentioned when we studied the Middle Colonies. Eliza is mentioned in our studies of the Southern Colonies. I wonder if that was a common thing to do, write Resolutions? Do you know of others who took on that practice?

    1. I'm sorry I didn't respond before this...

      The link to the audio book was at the beginning of this post.

      I don't know if writing resolutions was particularly common at that time or not. The only one I'm thinking of besides Eliza Pinckney and Edwards is George Washingon, but his Rules of Civility are a bit different.

      I'm glad you enjoyed the post!