Ever wonder where the saying "all bundled up" came from? Bundling was a courtship practice in the Colonial era where a young man and woman would sleep together in the same bed fully clothed. The custom was apparently brought to this country by the Puritans, believe or not. The custom can be traced back to ancient Rome according to a book History of Bundling: Its Origin, Progress and Decline in America by Henry Reed Stiles (1872). The book was so controversial when first published that it was banned in Boston.
Bundling was billed as a matter of convenience in Colonial America as homes were far apart and a courting man might have to travel a great distance to see his love. It was a way for couples to achieve some level of privacy in homes where space was at a premium while at the same time the girl's father could keep an eye on the couple. There is no evidence that John and Abigail engaged in bundling, but there is another aspect of their courtship which I have no doubt was typical of most couples of the time and that was the father's involvement with a daughter's romantic choice. It was so tantamount that a suitor could be sued in court for failure to seek the father's permission to court his daughter. And when John and Abigail married who presided over their wedding? Her father who married them in his parsonage.