" Wanted- A Wife ", Cupid's Hopeful Era Classified Ads

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
18,842
Location
Central Pennsylvania
russian wedding.jpg

Traditional ways of carrying off one's bride varied! This NYPL era image, a Russian wedding whereby groomsmen galloped off after the galloping-off couple, pretending to harass the groom who was pretending to have swiped his bride seems exhausting. But kinda fun. More sedate? Placing a classified advertisement in the local newspaper. Less exhausting.

Perhaps not so crazy? Think about it. There was limited scope, in the era, for a young man desirous of meeting a prospective bride. Church communities were extremely strong and various social groups can be seen, meeting on a regular basis. Still. Inside one's sometimes limited, daily boundaries, perhaps She did not exist?

wife wanted 1853.JPG

Pre-war, you note there's a ' Matrimonial ' section, by mid 1850's

When still other classified ads in Godey's, Harpers and Leslie's offered entire books all about how to attract husbands, somewhere existed young folks, who very much wished an introduction.

wife wanted 1865.JPG

"..... but rather diffident ", isn't he dear? 1865

Found a good number pre-war, some during ' our ' years, a scam or three and massive disapproval on the part of more than a few editorials. Still, as one endearing young man simply states " .... lack of conversational powers, arising from bashfulness " , it can be supposed his loneliness was stronger than his fear of censure. Don't you just hope a like-minded young lady began a correspondence? Perhaps they one day lived a bashful, quiet life together, in sweet seclusion.

wife wanted may 2.JPG

Here is our bashful young man, for whom we wish a happy future! Poor guy- note the slightly defensive sentence? There were some sneers in print over these.

wife wanted london.JPG

One from the UK, illustrating a world wide call to the altar.

wife wanted may.JPG

' Commence correspondence ', not pack up and leave. Had a thread on a trooper whose post war wedding was due to his letters becoming a romance- daughter published them after her parents died. Most wonderful letters and proudest daughter you'll ever see.

wife wanted ny 1865.JPG

Again- ' approve ', the disclaimer. Hope it went well.

wife wanted poem 2.JPG

Found several of these between 1861 and 1865- love them!

wife wanted ohio 1861.JPG

' Fair competency '- he is saying he can support a wife and family. In a day when women's work was so poorly paid, it was awfully important.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
18,842
Location
Central Pennsylvania
Oh, how sweet. Though I have a feeling brothers and fathers would not approve...

I never thought of that! You're so right! AND sorry, as archaic as it may sound in 2018, getting a kick out of the idea any would-be swain of yours better behave themselves- brothers are awesome.
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
18,842
Location
Central Pennsylvania
Was thinking about the bashful part, some young man inserted in his hopeful ad? Found it a little dear. Of course there were dangerous men out there. This long term letter writing thing was probably very helpful. Hadn't bumped into that until two strangers began writing during the war, wrote for 3 years. He lived through horrific cavalry battles, went home and ' Happily Ever After ' doesn't come close. Throw out your fairy tales, princes and princesses- read their story!
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

GS

Retired User
Joined
Jan 31, 2017
Messages
2,532
I love these glimpses into the lives, hearts and minds of our forefathers. Now... my own heart would lean to the one writing a plea in poetry, but my head would conclude that the one professing business success and a hopeful future for us would win out.
 
Top