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A jolly young sea captain

Thursday, July 16, 2009


I know someone who is going to be thrilled I posted this ad today!

This is a great one; sadly, it's difficult to read, but here is the text.

A jolly young sea captain, aged 33 years; have $50,000 cash and my own ship, which is engaged in foreign trade; I wish to correspond with a young lady of refinement and good social standing; prefer one of means, but it is not absolutely necessary. I am the average man, neither a saint nor a great sinner, and am a great believer in the golden rule; no agents or illiterate persons need answer this advertisement; object, matrimony. Address SKIPPER OF THE SEAS, 181 Herald.


I like this guy. I'm not sure if a lady of "refinement and good social standing" would have, since he doesn't sound too refined himself. I don't take that as a bad thing, mind; I'd be much more inclined to answer this ad than that of In Good Faith's. Skipper sounds like a lot more fun. On the other hand, I can picture some young society lady, bored with all of the strict social customs, the debutante balls, the decorum, etc, etc, seeing this and imagining - as I do - sailing away to exotic foreign lands. How romantic!!

Okay, now I want to meet a jolly young sea captain!

This ad was from the very end of the 19th century, so it's not too surprising that he specified he didn't want any agents to respond. Agencies - which generally worked the same way that eHarmony does today - were endemic by this time. However, as this ad suggests, agents often replied to real ads to try and drum up business. I'll talk about that some other time; "matrimonial agencies" had become a thriving business and, unfortunately, from what I can tell they were often scams. Our sea captain was obviously aware of that. I hope he found who he was looking for.

Having trouble reading the ads? Click one to enlarge!

©2009 Pam Epstein

4 comments:

Breukellen July 16, 2009 at 1:06 PM  

I'd marry him.

Pam July 16, 2009 at 6:22 PM  

I KNOW!

DSK July 16, 2009 at 8:56 PM  

That is awesome!

dorianegray July 17, 2009 at 6:01 PM  

Oh, that's just great. I love the bit where he doesn't want to hear from "illiterate persons". I so agree!

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