Auguste Carlier published MARRIAGE IN THE UNITED STATES in 1867. Section VI, titled “Marriages in the West”, This sheds light on the attitudes and perspective of Victorian Americans toward marriage, setting the west, mail-order brides, correspondence courtships, and courtship in general. The small section, provided within this article, is definitely worth a read!
Flourishing in Our Midst are “Matrimonial Agencies” Which Seem to Need Attention:
Trysting Places for fools, Old and Young Which Can Be Dispensed With.
One Institution Investigated, the Vile Character of Which its Proprietors Do Not Deny.
The original newspaper article appeared in The Inter Ocean Newspaper, Chicago, Illinois, 28 August 1887.
One common thread through all Articles in this series (Nineteenth Century Mail-Order Bride SCAMS) is the criminal’s intention to capitalize on their victims’ loneliness and desire for love and companionship.
Some brides-elect and grooms-elect actually had their intellect about them enough to recognize when things weren’t quite right (even if fraud was not involved in one out of three incidences)… and made prudent decisions about their course of action.
- Scammers threw out baited hooks to entrap the unsuspecting…and “suckers” fell for it far too often. This article covers a few short newspaper reports of circumstances wherein the honest fell for scams and ultimately paid plenty.
- The Postoffice Department takes steps to Suppress a Matrimonial Bureau. [sic]
- Six young boys run a scam, presenting themselves as a wealthy widow seeking a husband.
Detective Clifton R. Wooldridge made a difference on the streets of wicked Chicago at the turn of the 20th century. Some of the 100 fraudulent matrimonial agencies he shut down are captured in newspaper articles from the era. A significant scam involving Mail-Order Brides, mentioning Detective C.R. Wooldridge is featured in this article.