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Thread: How Personal Ads Helped Conquer the American West.

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    Post How Personal Ads Helped Conquer the American West.

    How Personal Ads Helped Conquer the American West - That tradition of finding partners in the face of social isolation persists today.

    ON JUNE 4, 1871, SARA Baines hopped down from a wagon at Fort Bridger, a remote military and trading outpost at the crossroads of several pioneer trails in what would one day become Wyoming. Baines, a 24-year-old seamstress from Louisiana, had just spent several months traveling 1,500 miles through road-less territory, alone. But she wouldn’t be alone for long—she’d come to Fort Bridger to get married.

    The groom was Jay Hemsley, a 48-year-old farmer who’d left Ohio some years before to seek his fortune out west. The two had met after Hemsley responded to an ad placed in the matrimonial pages of the October 12, 1869, edition of Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly. They corresponded via letter for more than a year before Hemsley proposed. The day after Baines arrived at Fort Bridger, they were married by the fort’s minister in a small ceremony on the banks of Groshon Creek. The next day, they left to open a general store in Placerville, California, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. The Hemsleys were married for 51 years.


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    The rise of personal and matrimonial ads—appeals for companionship in newspapers and magazines, as well as in specialist publications devoted entirely to matchmaking—in 19th-century America was a then-modern solution to an age-old problem. “The development of personal ads track the populating of America,” says Francesca Bauman, who wrote about Baines and Hemsley in her 2020 history of the American personal ad, Matrimony, Inc. Put another way, without personals, Manifest Destiny—flawed, damaging, racist doctrine that it was—couldn’t have, well, manifested.

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    https://www.atlasobscura.com/article...-american-west
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    The rise of mail-order brides.

    Funny, but I think most of those marriages-of-convenience lasted.

    I remember hearing a story about a traveling pastor who only came to town once in a couple of weeks. Sometimes, he do a funeral for someone, and then turn around and marry the dead person's widow or widower to another.
    "What happens is of little significance compared with the stories we tell ourselves about what happens. Events matter little, only stories of events
    affect us.”

    ~Rabih Alameddin


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    I like the ads from the young women looking for elderly gentlemen - object matrimony. They should have been worded: "Attractive young gold digger seeks marriage with elderly gentleman who hopefully won't live too long". LOL.
    "The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.”
    Mahatma Gandhi

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Who View Post
    I like the ads from the young women looking for elderly gentlemen - object matrimony. They should have been worded: "Attractive young gold digger seeks marriage with elderly gentleman who hopefully won't live too long". LOL.
    Mrs. U is 7 years older than me - and had a kid from her previous marriage. We'd just started dating and we were at the big Italian Christmas dinner (my mother was Italian). My Cousin Gloria was there. Never one to keep her mouth shut and probably prodded by my Mother (RIP) she looked at Pam sitting next to me and while staring at her said to me (I was in my second year of law school) 'You have to be careful of who you date because there are some gold digging women out there that would love to hook a young lawyer" Mrs. U, barely looking up from her homemade ravioli dinner, commented: "He doesn't have any gold to dig - and won't for 20 years with all the school debt he has." My short little, 250 lb mustached Grandmother, Mary Antoinette Biancini Bertolini, started laughing so loud and said something like: 'you'll have earned it then' - it busted up the whole table.
    Last edited by DGUtley; 05-01-2021 at 09:58 AM.
    Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect. -- Woody Hayes​

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