Object: Matrimony: The Risky Business of Mail-Order Matchmaking on the Western Frontier

Object: Matrimony: The Risky Business of Mail-Order Matchmaking on the Western Frontier

by Chris Enss

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Overview

Desperate to strike it rich during the Western Gold Rushes and eager for the free land afforded them through the Homestead Act, men went west alone and sacrificed many creature comforts. Only after they arrived at their destinations did some of them realize how much they missed female companionship. One way for men living on the frontier to meet women was through subscriptions to heart-and-hand clubs. The men received newspapers with information, and sometimes photographs, about women, with whom they corresponded. Eventually, a man might convince a woman to join him in the West, and in matrimony. Social status, political connections, money, companionship, or security were often considered more than love in these arrangements. Complete with historic photographs and actual advertisements from both women seeking husbands and males seeking brides, Object Matrimony includes stories of courageous mail order brides and their exploits as well as stories of the marriage brokers, mercenary matchmakers looking to profit as merchants did off of the miners and settlers. Some of these stories end happily ever after; others reveal desperate situations that robbed the brides of their youth and sometimes their lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780762773992
Publisher: TwoDot
Publication date: 10/16/2012
Series: Footprint Dream Trip Series
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 168
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Chris Enss is an award-winning screen writer who has written for television, short subject films, live performances, and for the movies, and is the author or co-author of more than twenty books. She lives in Grass Valley, California.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v

Foreword vii

Introduction x

A Wife Wanted 1

Annie Gayle & Horace Knapp 2

The Matrimonial News 7

An Unlikely Match 18

Left at the Station 21

Destined for Disappointment 24

The Busy Bee Club 30

Marriage & Money 35

Annie Stephens & Asa Mercer 41

Making Matrimony Pay 48

The Bride & the Hoarder 55

Matrimonial News Features 58

The Murderous Mail-Order Bride 63

The New Plan Company Catalog for Matrimony 67

Without Any Courting 78

"I Do" for a Price 83

Edith Collins & William Moore 88

The Business of Marriage 95

Buying for the Bride 103

The Shifty Matrimonial Agent 108

Hannah Gould 114

Want-Ad Brides 119

Runaway Brides 125

Fred Harvey 132

Happily Ever After 137

Afterword 142

Bibliography 146

Index 150

About the Author 154

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