Saturday, October 20, 2018

Civilizing The West

From Southern Lady:
It is often said that women were the key to civilizing the West—representations of family and comfort, stability and order. Through my research, it became evident that the two most powerful tools used to civilize the West were the Bible and Godey’s Lady’s Book. Both were wielded with exacting skill by women for the purpose of creating a better world for all.

The average woman who went west left behind the comforts of home. She had heard the horror stories of sickness, wild animals, and unfriendly natives, not to mention the lack of mercantiles that could provide the essentials of daily living. She was often required to leave behind her lovely wedding gifts and precious family heirlooms—so God help the man who suggested there was no room for her Godey’s.

Godey’s Lady’s Book was the thread that connected many a pioneer woman to the civilization she’d left behind. The magazine provided stories and poetry along with how-to articles in sewing, cooking, arts and crafts, and medical needs. A woman sitting in her dirt floor soddy in Kansas could flip through the pages to learn how to make her house a home, she could teach her daughters how to style their hair in the latest fashion or how to make the perfect apple butter. (Read more.)

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