I am reading a wonderful book call Hearts West by Chris Enss. It is true stores of Mail Oder Brides on the Frontier. It is fascinating reading about how woman overcame their shyness and became the women of the frontier.
Giving up everything they had known to venture to a place they’ve not been, in order to meet a man who is unknown to them. They may have had a few words sent to them by letter, or it could have been as simple as a man came to town, posted an ad to single women to attend a meeting. The meeting would then explain how the west needed woman to help settle it, and make it more genteel. Not to mention the fact that men outnumbered woman by at least six to one.
These woman traveled by ship, by wagon train to get to their destination. Think of what kind of hardships they had to endure to get to “their man”. It is hard to think what they might have endured in the early to mid 1800’s.
I am sure some of them stayed happily married while others were abused or abandoned. Doesn’t sound much different from today, does it?
Personal ads were used by woman to find a mate also. The book shows an advertisement place by Dorothy Scaraggs, Marysville, California newspaper, April 1849.
A Husband Wanted
By a Lady who can wash, cook, scour, sew, milk, spin, weave, hoe, (can’t plow), cut wood, make fires, feed the pigs, raise the chickens, rock the cradle,saw a plank, drive nails, ect, (gold-rocker, I thank you sir), These are few solid branches, now for the ornamental. “Long time ago” she went as far as snytax, read Murray’s Geography and through rules in Pike’s grammar. Could find six states on the Atlas. Could read, and you can see she can write, Can–no, could paint roses, butterflies, ships, ect. great many things to numerous to be name bare. Oh, I bear you ask, could she scold? No, she can’t you, you ____ _____good-for nothing!
Now for her terms. Her age is none of your business. She is neither handsome nor a fright, yet an old man need not apply, nor any who have not a little more education than she has, and a great deal more guid, for there must be $20,000 settled on her before she will bind herself to perform all the above.
We still have mail order brides today. Think about how many woman go on-line and find compatible mates. We haven’t changed much in some areas over the past couple of hundred years. I find it rather surprising. As the saying goes, “What goes around, comes around”.
Would you be a mail order spouse? Let’s discuss it. That’s my two-cents for today.