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Someone's not paying attention

Monday, August 10, 2009



I know this ad doesn't look like much. It reads:

A young widow lady, 20 years of age, is desirous of forming the acquaintance of a professional or Southern gentleman, not over 35, and inclined to good looks, with a view to matrimony. Address Confidence, box 116 Herald office.


So what's the big deal? It sounds pretty legit - in fact, nowhere does she mention money, which makes me think she probably is sincere. But here's the thing. This ad was placed during the tail end of the Civil War, and she wants to meet a Southern gentleman? Honey, you are aware that there is a great big war going on down South? And the Confederacy is losing, badly, and going completely bankrupt? I've pointed out before that there are ads mentioning the war, and I've also talked a bit about how many ads in the 1860s don't mention the war at all. And what you certainly never find are ads in which women want to meet men from the South. There's probably more to it than that, but it does seem to be an odd request. I also find it a bit odd that she wants to meet a professional or Southern gentleman. I assume she would be happy to take someone who was both, but it's not like these two qualities are interchangeable.

Sleep deprivation is keeping this entry short and sweet - come back tomorrow for more!

Having trouble reading the ads? Click one to enlarge!

©2009 Pam Epstein

1 comments:

Anonymous August 18, 2009 at 10:24 PM  

So, this isn't very charitable, but maybe she is a Southern woman, and is patriotic towards the South, but only to the point that if a 'proffesional' gentleman (which I read as wealthy) offered, she'd take the money over patriotism? But then, you've said most of your papers are Northern, so if she was a northern woman, maybe she was a just little confused. :-)

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