Post by Doris McCraw/Angela Raines-author
With Winter and Spring discussing who will be in charge, the weather has not been conducive to being outdoors, or for major traveling. (As of this weekend, winter is winning as you can see by the photo I took on Saturday April 30, 2016). Taking a break from the Medieval short story I'm finishing, this post is a result of some library and online quick research. The subject: Matrimony and the mail order spouse business. The need of people to find love. I start you with this piece from the
Daily Alta California, Volume 25, Number 8439, 6 May 1873, from the California Digital Newspaper Collection.
A quick look at 19th Century Newspapers and Newspaper Archive under Wanted-Matrimony and Mail Order Brides gave some additional information on this 'business' of finding a spouse and putting loneliness to rest.
The New York World in 1885 had the following ads:
A GENTLEMAN of 30 desires the acquaintance of a lady from 16 to 20, petite and blonde;driving,theatres and matrimony; enclose photograph and give full particulars.D'Enclos, box 18U World Office.
A GENTLEMAN, aged 32, desires the acquaintance of a lady about 20, brunette and tall; theatres and matrimony; Enclose photo and full particulars. Address
Myron, Uptown World Branch Office, 1238 Broadway.
A GENTLEMAN, 30 years of age, wishes to meet a well-to-do widow. A, B. C., box H3 World Office.
A GENTLEMAN of means desires a lady correspondent; one living out of town preferred. Address Cirayson, box 34 New York World Office.
And the ads were not just men looking for women. In the same issue these two ads appeared.
A REFINED WIDOW, aged 33 desires the acquaintance of a refined gentleman, suitable age, with means, matrimonially inclined; no triflers need answer. Address box 4,4Th Ave
A LADY desires acquaintance with wealthy gentleman; view, matrimony, B. A., World Office, 554 3rd Ave
So you can see, there was no end to ways men and women tried to find each other. Chris Enss wrote a book called "Pioneer Hearts: True stories of Mail Order Brides on the Frontier.” While I enjoyed her book, what caught my eye were her resources. Three pages, front and back listing books, newspapers, private letters in University Libraries. The researcher in me wanted to spend the rest of the year hunting them down. But I stayed put.
But not everything was bliss, as I'm sure you all know. Even as late as 1922 there was still businesses trying to answer the need of finding wedded bliss. Here in part is a piece of that news.
Hamnimonton, N.J. Aug 18.Hamnionton's "'cupid court" blew up with a bang today and 2,000 persons who applied to the Co-perative Lovers Union for mates will have to go out in the open market.
So the next time you think you have a hard time finding love, just look to the past. Until the next First Sunday of the Month, I'll be writing, researching, and hopefully finishing up the Medieval, The Twins and the paper on Colorado Women Doctors. Have a wonderful Spring!
Angela Raines is the pen name for Doris McCraw. Doris also writes haiku posted five days a week at - http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com and has now passed one thousand haiku and photos posted on this blog. Check out her other work or like her Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/1I0YoeL
One Christmas Knight
HOME FOR HIS HEART