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Indigenous women were, of course, present in the American West, and some pioneers formed relationships with them.Statehood advocates feared that inter-racial marriages would not count as “civilized behavior” and therefore threaten the possibility of transitioning from territory to statehood.In many cases marriage provided a literal ticket for a woman to go West and seek a better life.
The prospect of leaving one’s family, friends, and livelihood, and traveling to a different part of the country to tie the knot with someone whom they had never met in-person seems outlandish to many today. That question, however, comes from a 21st century frame.
This is rather a delicate question to ask, but as I view it of much importance, it will plead its own apology.” The Secretary responded, “You ought by all means to have a good, healthy, patient, well-informed, devotedly pious wife.
There is a Miss Mary Richardson of Baldwin, Maine, who has offered herself to the Board but we can not [sic] send her single.
It inspired many a man – both domestic, and international – to head to the American West in search of fortune.
While some women and children traveled west, men outnumbered them by a long-shot.
Marrying a picture bride eliminated this risk, and it also reduced the time and expense of extensive travel.