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Hearts West: True Stories of Mail-Order Brides on the Frontier

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Overview

WANTED: A girl who will love, honest, true and not sour;a nice little cooing dove, and willing to work in flour.Desperate to strike it rich during the Gold Rush, thousands of men traveled West to the emerging frontier, where they outnumbered women twelve to one. Only after they arrived did some of them realize how much they missed female companionship.Hearts West brings to life true stories of mail-order brides of the Gold Rush era. Some found soul mates; others found themselves in desperate situations. Complete ...
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Hearts West: True Stories of Mail-Order Brides on the Frontier

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Overview

WANTED: A girl who will love, honest, true and not sour;a nice little cooing dove, and willing to work in flour.Desperate to strike it rich during the Gold Rush, thousands of men traveled West to the emerging frontier, where they outnumbered women twelve to one. Only after they arrived did some of them realize how much they missed female companionship.Hearts West brings to life true stories of mail-order brides of the Gold Rush era. Some found soul mates; others found themselves in desperate situations. Complete with the actual hearts-and-hands personal advertisements that began some of the long-distance courtships, this fascinating book provides an up-close look at the leap of faith these men and women were willing to take.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762727568
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/1/2005
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 491,323
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Chris Enss
Chris Enss is an award-winning screen writer who has written for television, short subject films, live performances, and for the movies. She is the co-author (with JoAnn Chartier) of The Globe Pequot Press's Love Untamed: True Romances Stories of the Old West, Gilded Girls: Women Entertainers of the Old West, and She Wore A Yellow Ribbon: Women Patriots and Soldiers of the Old West and The Cowboy and the Senorita and Happy Trails (with Howard Kazanjian). Her research and writing and reveals the funny, touching, exciting, and tragic stories of historical and contemporary times.

Enss has done everything from stand-up comedy to working as a stunt person at the Old Tucson Movie Studio. She learned the basics of writing for film and television at the University of Arizona, and she is currently working with Return of the Jedi producer Howard Kazanjian on the movie version of The Cowboy and the Senorita, their biography of western stars Roy Rogers and Dale Evans (Globe Pequot).

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Read an Excerpt

The Matrimonial News
San Francisco, CA
May 1873

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:
n0
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.

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Table of Contents

(1) Introduction (2) Mary Richardson & Elkanah Walker (3) Eleanor Berry & Louis Dreielbis (4) Asa Mercer (5) Matrimonial News (6) Phoebe Harrington & William Silbaugh (7) The Forlorn Bride (8) Bethenia Owens-Adair & Legrand Hill (9) The Benton Brides (10) A Happy Ride (11) Rachel Bella Kahn & Abraham Calof (12) Elinore Pruitt & Clyde Stewart (13) Trouble on a Bridal Tour (14) The Red Stocking Snoozers (15) Eliza Farnham (16) Bridal Couples (17) Kathleen Forrestall (18) The New Plan (19) Afterword (20) Bibliography
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2014

    Interesting

    I found this book full of interesting facts and stories of women and how and why they came west. If you are looking for a novel type book this is not it. These are real women.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 25, 2012

    Disappointing . Dragged in spots. Interesting subject made d

    Disappointing . Dragged in spots. Interesting subject made dull.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted September 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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