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Encyclopedia associated with Great Plains

David J. Wishart, Editor


The definition of “mail-order bride,” because it relates to a wedding arranged via communication between US people into the Great Plains within the nineteenth century, is mostly a misnomer. Twentieth-century folklore has it that a homesteader could peruse the Sears and Roebuck or Montgomery Ward catalogs and purchase a wife to be sent to their dusty home in the same way easily as he could purchase a rifle, kitchen kitchen stove, or belly remedy, but you a lot more interesting. Arranged long-distance wedding existed within the Plains in a selection of communities, took a number of types, and expanded away from many different social, financial, and social phenomena, but never included the literal purchase, purchase, or ownership of females, while the term “mail-order bride” indicates. Continue reading