For the majority of merchant and upper class women during the Antebellum period in the South and Border states, marriage and family defined their way of life. The arena in which they could make life choices was small – at least compared to ours today. So the decision about whom to marry was important, not only to themselves but often to their families as well. Whether they could marry for love, or were persuaded to marry strategically to shore up their family’s wealth, was a question they dealt with in their most intimate diaries and letters.
Lecture is free and open to the public thanks to the generosity of Cathleen H. Farr.