[Fearless Females, Women’s History Month, March 5th: How did they meet?]
Yesterday, I showed you Theodoro and Maria’s marriage certificate. I’ve never heard any stories about how they met, but I think I can piece it together.
Families worked and lived on the plantation, rarely traveling far from it. Given the fact that they only had one day off of work each week and work shifts were 10 hours a day, you can understand why they stuck to home.
The Pacheco’s were sent to the Kilauea Sugar Plantation in 1882. There Ana Jacinta (de Melo) Pacheco’s children started their own lives. The oldest went to work as laborers while the younger ones got some sort of education as part of the contract obligation. However, if they were needed at home or out in the field, that’s where they went.
Jozimas and Maria (de Mello) de Braga originally went to the Kealia Sugar Plantation. They were both under contract. They met their obligation in 1883. Soon after, the moved to Kilauea to work the Kilauea Sugar Plantation.
Theodoro and Maria were probably both 8 or 9 years old when they first met. They most likely saw each other daily as they did chores, worked catching rodents in the fields, and went about their schooling. I think it only natural that those who grew up on a plantation together would later end up marrying.
I wish I knew the real story. Maybe Maria hated Theodoro at first because he made fun or her or pulled her braid. Perhaps Theodoro thought Maria was homely and avoided her. It might have been love at first sight. It might have even been an arranged marriage given the old world traditions the Azoreans brought with them. Given the fact that their first child was born 8 1/2 months after the marriage, one can imagine that Theodoro and Maria were already fooling around a little bit. They might have become fearful that Maria was pregnant and so decided to marry.
Whatever the reason, at the 19 they tied the knot on the 22nd of December of 1895. On October 1st of 1896, their first son, Jose, was born.