The Heiress a Chambermaid
The Heiress, a Chambermaid appeared in The New York Times of New York, New York in January of 1900. The article reveals a mail-order bride scam by a matrimonial agency wherein two desperate young men were duped. Naturally, marriage bureaus rely on letters, including love letters. This example illustrates how dangerous a romance by mail can be.
The lovely young woman, made even more attractive by her significant fortune, caught the attention of two “lovesick” men. The old saying, “It’s as easy to fall in love with a wealthy girl as a poor one” seems to fit. Our two duped swains had chosen wealth and convinced themselves that heartwarming love soon followed. Those who wed may do so for true love or riches.
Let us begin. The Heiress a Chambermaid. Adventures of Two Lovesick Men in a Hunt for $85,000 Through a Matrimonial Agency.
I wrote a 12-part series of articles about the fraud, truth, and scams surrounding Nineteenth Century Mail-Order Brides–perpetrated by individuals, businesses (such as matrimonial agencies), and the most “trustworthy of citizens.” Sometimes a joke. Sometimes a money-making scam. Lots of public mindset about fools and their money (who seek brides through the mail)…and the link to this 12-part series connects you to the first post. Links to the rest of the series are included at the bottom of that first post (as well as the whole series).
Of my 9 Mail-Order Bride Romances, Sophia’s Leap-Year Courtship is the only one where the arrangements were a scam…and the bride and groom were affected by the fraud (they found each other anyway). One out of nine? Wholly ridiculous odds, according to true-to-history Victorian American newspapers. Perhaps it’s time to write another mail-order bride story–and include a fraudulent advertisement.
Updated July 2019
Copyright © 2017 Kristin Holt LC