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Encyclopedia for the Great Plains

Encyclopedia for the Great Plains

David J. Wishart, Editor

MAIL-ORDER BRIDES

The word “mail-order bride” suggests.

Among Plains Indians, sight-unseen wedding had been usually arranged by using a m >bride price,” meant to compensate your ex household for the impending loss in her labor. But intercultural wedding ended up being unusual. A prominent Cheyenne chief requested of the U.S. Army the gift of 100 white women as brides, but the army refused in 1854, at a peace conference at Fort Laramie. Russian immigrants brought using them the tradition of koopla, whereby marriage agents had been compensated a cost to set guys with prospective partners through the Old nation. Likewise, japanese and chinese obtained “picture brides” from their homelands, ladies who that they had come to know just through grainy photographs. In accordance with historian Glenda Riley, Asian ladies entered such relationships due to parental stress, to flee poverty, or even conceal a reputation that is sullied. It had been customary for the males to keep all costs, like the female’s passage and any wedding costs incurred.

Through the top several years of overland migration, a huge selection of huge number of white females traveled west, nevertheless the bulk had been currently hitched, also it had been believed that “suitable” solitary females didn’t go west alone. Even though many cowboys eschewed wedding for perpetual bachelorhood, homesteaders believed that married men made better farmers.

Through the 1830s before the change associated with the century that is twentieth settlers pined for “that helpful and crucial article of home furniture–a spouse.” Therefore serious ended up being the shortage of solitary white females of marriageable age in Nebraska, recounts Mari Sandoz in Old Jules (1935), her portrait that is classic of homesteading, “a guy had to marry something that got from the train.”

By 1865 it absolutely was approximated that there have been as much as 30,000 solitary females straight back east, lots augmented because of the Civil War widows. Continue reading Encyclopedia for the Great Plains