During the same Parliament, the General Assembly considered the status of Africans in Virginia. Although many planters who bought Africans kept these individuals as slaves for life, there was no law guaranteeing a settler`s right to do so. Some men also questioned whether a black child born in Virginia was a slave. Lawmakers (men who owned the majority of Africans in Virginia) determined that «all children born in this country were bound or free only according to the condition of the mother,» that is, a child born to a slave woman would also be a slave for his life. In addition to guaranteeing the right of settlers to own an individual as property, this law made African women the key to the expansion of slavery in Virginia. The General Assembly also sought to limit the size of the colony`s free black population by severely punishing interracial couples and white women who gave birth to mulattoes. By establishing white participation in race relations as a transgression, scholar Kathleen M. Brown argued, the General Assembly placed Africans in the role of moral spoiler and further alienated African women from the white women`s colony. While the patriarchal ideal dominated both theory and practice in the mid-eighteenth century, a minority of adult women successfully operated outside this norm. This was especially true for widows who, as female soles, continued to buy and sell land, negotiate contracts, and manage households with servants and slaves. The majority of widows remarried, but many did not, preferring to remain single and independent. In some parts of Virginia, these widows and other unmarried women were an important economic force, accounting for up to 15 percent of landowners and owning nearly 20 percent of the land.

Today, a woman is considered to retain her status as a sole woman even after marriage. An example of the current law is section 451.290 of the revised laws of the State of Missouri, as the law existed in 1997: Blackstone does not consider it a violation of the principle of female clandestinity for a woman to act as a lawyer for her husband, as if he were out of town, «Because it does not imply separation from it but is rather a representation of, sir… In the second half of the 19th century, when Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony headed the National Woman`s Suffrage Association, which also published a newspaper, Anthony had to sign contracts for the organization and the newspaper, Stanton could not. Stanton, a married woman, was an undercover woman. and Anthony, mature and single, was a female sole, so Anthony could sign contracts under the law and Stanton couldn`t. Stanton`s husband should have signed instead of Stanton. Surviving records indicate that some husbands and wives of the noble class struggled to determine who controlled the household. The planter elite believed that they should impose their authority on their wives and manage household chores in their homes. The need to control his wife was crucial because the inability to handle a woman was a sign that a man was not in control of her life.

William Byrd II, for example, noted his frustration on occasions when his wife, Lucy Parke Byrd, did not submit to his authority. Byrd defied her husband, perhaps in part because she wanted to direct the labor of the slaves who worked in her home. It was not known what work a good woman should do if her husband owned slaves to work for his benefit. Feme sole literally means «a single woman». According to the law, an adult woman who is not married, or who, with regard to her property and property, acts alone and not as a hidden woman. The plural is femes sole. The expression is also spelled femme sole in French. Partly because of the efforts of journalists, hundreds of Bacon joined Bacon`s army. Among them were contract servants and slaves to whom Bacon had promised freedom in exchange for their participation. This gathering of free men, contract servants, slaves, and women threatened the security of the nascent Virginia Patriarchate. After the rebellion collapsed in 1677, the rulers of the colony passed laws to suppress future alliances. A series of laws passed in the last quarter of the seventeenth century tightened restrictions on slaves, while the Act of Reliefe punished those who «purport to speak, write, disperse, or publish, by words, writing, or otherwise, any matter or thing subject to rebellion.» First-time offenders had to pay a fine of £1,000 worth of tobacco and stay in supplies for two hours – except in the case of married women or undercover women who had to pay the fine or endure twenty lashes on their bare backs.

A woman with the status of feme sole can thus conclude contracts and sign legal documents in her own name.