Would frontiersmen actually pool their financial resources to bring potential brides west? Would they trust one of their own to go East to find brides for them all? One county in Dakota Territory did just that in 1885. A California newspaper, The Petaluma Courier announced the plan.
The circumstances immediately brought to mind the premise behind my series, Prosperity’s Mail-Order Brides. Books 2 and 3 are in the queue (with titles!), and all have fancy new covers.
Join me for the first of two parts–For Sale: WIFE. Victorian American Newspapers of the mid- to late-nineteenth century (and early 20th century) illustrate the extinct custom of wife selling and wife trading. The newspaper article featured in this blog post showcases this antiquated approach to marriage (and wives as chattel–literally, a man’s property) as part of a greater, overarching problem of crumbling morality.
In 1865 (34 years earlier than Franks’ scheme), a similar incidence in New England didn’t get quite so far but caused quite a stir.