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The Matrimonial News
San Francisco, CA
A bachelor of 40, good appearance and substantial means, wants a wife. She must be under 20, amiable and musical.
A lady, 23, tall, fair and good looking, without means, would like to hear from a gentleman of position wanted a wife. She is well educated, accomplished, amiable, and affectionate.
Aged 27, height 5 feet 9 inches, dark hair and eyes, considered handsome by all, his friends united in saying his amiable and will make a model husband. The lady must be one in the most extended acceptation of the word since the advertiser moves in the most polished and refined society. It is also desirable that she should have considerable money.
The pioneers in Washington Territory had, by 1860, established prosperous communities along Puget Sound and were busy carving out farms and ranches along the coast and toward the foothills of the Cascades. The temperate climate, rich fisheries and timber resources provided the raw materials upon which to build a comfortable life. There was, however, one serious deficiency in this western Eden: the "fair daughters of Eve" as one newspaper editor put it, were scarce upon the ground.
The lack of marriageable females was a subject of concern among the men who were intent on building an empire in the Northwest. The topic occupied many column inches in newspapers. "There is probably no community in the Union of a like number of inhabitants in which so large a proportion are bachelors. We have no spinsters." The editor of the Puget Sound Herald went on to say that the prosperous and clean-living young men populating the area in 1858 were "eager to put their necks in the matrimonial noose" had they a willing woman to hand.
In the February 24, 1860 edition of the Herald, an advertisement was published with the aim of solving the woman problem:
ATTENTION BACHELORS: Believing that our only chance for the realization of the benefits and early attainment of matrimonial alliances depends on the arrival in our midst of a number of the fair sex from the Atlantic States, and that, to bring about such an arrival a united effort and action are called for on our part, we respectfully request a full attendance of all eligible and sincerely desirous bachelors of this community assemble on Tuesday evening next, February 28th, in Delim and Shorey's building, to devise ways and means to secure this much-needed and desirable emigration to our shores.