Monday, July 28, 2008

Married for Money??

I enjoy finding and reading old letters. It's best if I know the people who are mentioned in the letters but even if I don't - they are fun.

Over the weekend I received a copy of a letter from 1897, that belonged to my husband's great-great grandmother...the letter was to her from HER mother.

The letter is a poor photocopy of a handwritten copy (don't know who copied it out or when) of the original. I would like to have had the original or a photocopy of the original - but at least this one is probably easier to read.

Mama is writing from Mastodon, Mississippi on September 6, 1897. Numerous times, numerous people are referred to as DEAREST or DEAR so and so...dearest daughter, dear Annie, Dear Josie.

My favorite part of the letter is when dear old mom is recounting some neighborhood "gossip"..."Mrs. F. Neal, who was a Bowsy, married a man 35 and she was 67. Almost all the widows in this country are marrying young. They say she gave him $5,000 a few days after she was married."

So did Mrs. F. Neal (who was a Bowsy) - pay $5,000 to a young man to marry her? In "today's dollars" the $5,000 might equal around $100,000 (?). I'd say a widow lady from the late 1800's would have looked every day of her 67 years if not a great deal older.

Why were "almost all the widows in this country marrying young", in the late 1800's?

2 comments:

CanadianGrandma said...

It would be interesting to know how long this woman and her young husband remained married or whether she lived only a short time after they wed!

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