Monday, September 30, 2013

Southern scandals

It has been a couple of weeks since I put up a blog so I am taking care of that today. The digitizing process has been a relatively painless one but now I have begun creating metadata for the first half of the digitized letters. This is the more painstaking process. It’s a bit time consuming but will be worth it in the end when these letters have the appropriate data attached to their digital file.

In the meantime, I can’t help but read some of the letters that I’ve been digitizing. The transcriptions provided in the files I’ve discovered are a bit inaccurate and I may be providing new transcriptions of time allows for this project.

One of the most interesting letters I’ve come across was a young lady writing to her friend telling her of the new gentleman in her life that takes her to all of the plays and brings her flowers at her recitals. She says “He is 6’1” and awfully handsome, a graduate of Cornell University and quite swell.”

She goes on to say that he is from “one of the best families too.”

The letter gets more interesting when she begins to speak about her past relationships as she states “I am so glad Mr. M--- is going out again – and do assure those people he never was thinking of being in love with me. I tried southern flirting and am afraid I carried it a little too far, from some of the remarks I have heard.”

Her flirtatious behavior didn't appear to end at this point! She continues to elaborate further about her other gentlemen suitors:

“Mr. B---- has acted as if I were in love with him and I think, but am not sure, Mr. M--- said I loved him – well let them think so, but you know how much I was in love.”
“You always thought I was engaged and would not tell you – it was awfully foolish to wear rings belonging to men and accept jewelry, but I returned it every bit. I did enjoy myself though and the two beaus made it right lively for me. But my sweet A---- I was never engaged … in my life.”

Given that this letter dates back to the late 1800s/early 1900s, this kind of behavior had to be relatively scandalous in a small town like Clarksdale but I am having a hard time tracking down exactly who this woman was. At any rate, she surely seems to have left her mark on the hearts of the men who attempted to woo her!

1 comment:

  1. Phillip - hope you are able to continue to add content. We are planning a trip to Clarksdale soon, and maybe able to add a few bits.