Tag Archives: Godey’s Lady’s Book
Housekeeper's Alliance

Mrs. Chatwitt on Domestic Help (1864)

The want of good domestic help in the United States is a great evil, and one which daily increases; and, were it not for the influx of foreigners, I do not know but necessity would drive all housekeepers to some great boarding-house system, thus banishing the holiest of all places– our homes and our private firesides.

No one can travel through our country towns, especially of the Free States of the West, without being struck with the careworn, faded expression of women scarcely thirty years of age; and the merest glimpse at their cares and duties, and the hard work that inevitably falls to their share, shows plainly, why they are broken down ere they are in their prime; shows why there are so many motherless children; why there are so many men mourning over the beloved of their youth, and the breaking up of their household ties; why there are so many with second and third wives.

The young housekeepers, the day after marriage

The young housekeepers, the day after marriage

Look at a young girl entering upon the duties of matrimony, loving and beloved, and anxious to fulfill her domestic and social duties. Watch her year by year until a little family have clustered around her; see with what energy and amiability she has striven against sickness, poor help, and all the thousand trials and perplexities that no one but American housekeepers can understand. With an infant in her arms and an inexperienced girl to help her, she superintends her housekeeping, receives company, nurses her children, acts the seamstress, and strives for her husband’s comfort; and soften her miserable help deserts her when she can least do without. What wonder health and beauty give way! And she could not retain her spirits, and hope against hope that she will be relieved in time to recruit her failing health and energies, but for that calm trust, which I glory in saying most of my countrywomen possess, in an all-wise Creator, an overruling Providence, and a kind Heavenly Father. Yet, though God overrules all things, He does not wish us to fold our hands over this evil; even with faith in Him, we must endeavor to remove it, and look to Him to bless our efforts, not our passiveness. What can be done? Will not some one take up a pen, and tell us what is practicable?– not theories; something practical?


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The Shepherd’s Dog

Without the shepherd’s dog the whole of the mountainous land in Scotland would not be worth sixpence. It would require more hands to manage a flock of sheep than the profits of the whole stock would be capable of maintaining.

Well may the shepherd, then, feel an interest in his dog.

It is, indeed, he that earns the family bread, of which he is content himself with the smallest morsel. Neither hunger nor fatigue will drive him from his master’s side; he will follow him through fire and water. Another thing very remarkable is the understanding these creatures have of the necessity of being particularly tender over lame or sickly sheep. They will drive these a great deal more gently than others, and sometimes a single one is committed to their care to take home. On these occasions they perform their duty like the most tender nurses.

Can it be wondered at, then, that the colley (collie) should be so much prized by the shepherd; that his death should be regarded as a great calamity to a family, of which he forms, to all intents and purposes, an integral part; or that his exploits of sagacity should be handed down from generation to generation?

Source: Godey’s Lady’s Book, August 1864

Godey’s Lady’s Book— Louis Antoine Godey began publishing Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1830. He designed his monthly magazine specifically to attract the growing audience of literate American women. The magazine was intended to entertain, inform, and educate the women of America.

Image: Illustration by Arthur Wardle, for A history and description of the collie or sheep dog in his British varieties (1890)

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Ruby’s “Easter Hat” – April 1883

For much of the 19th century Godey’s Lady’s Book’s editors used the magazine to showcase the literary work of American authors. This short story,  Ruby’s “Easter Hat”, appeared in the April 1883 issue.

Ruby’s “Easter Hat”

“I wish I was dead, so there;” and Ruby Brown stood the picture of lovely despair, gazing down at a yellow mass at her feet, consisting of six dozen crushed eggs. Poor Ruby had been a whole month saving and hoarding these treasures which were to play an important part in the purchase of a lovely “Easter bonnit,” Aunt Rushy had contemptuously called it, when Ruby had said in a pleading tone:

“But auntie, all the girls are going to have pretty new hats to wear Easter Sunday.”

“Easter bonnits, indeed,” snapped Aunt Rushy, “better be thinkin’ of the good Lord, and how he riz on that day, then hey their minds on bonnits.”

“But auntie—”

“Now, no buts, Ruby Brown; girls in my time wusn’t thinkin’ eternally ’bout bonnits and gimcracks; and Easter Sunday wasn’t made a show day for bonnits, either.”

“If I could have the eggs, auntie,” pleaded Ruby, ignoring her last remarks.

“Well, take ‘em; I don’t, know as I care, if you can save enuff ‘tween this and then. You’ll hey to hey a bonnit eny how shortly after Easter.”

Ruby ran joyfully out into the coop to gather the first installment, after giving Aunt Rushy an affectionate little hug.


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Good Style, Godey's Lady's Book

Good Style in Godey’s Lady’s Book, April 1895

A girl sees a pretty fashion plate, she has it copied by a good dressmaker. The dress is put on, it is good and expensive, but where is the style? It is not there. The wearer is young, she has a pretty face; what is it that makes her look ordinary, commonplace?

She stoops.

Another girl has an inexpensive dress, she has such a look of thoroughbred that if she speaks, people listen; at each turn of her head one sees a new beauty in her face. Wherever she moves our eyes follow her; what is it which makes all she wears look well?

It is the true dignity and ease of her carriage.

Without a good carriage a pretty face is thrown away, the most perfect dress-cutting and fitting are thrown away, even refinement of manner is hidden under a bushel. To carry herself well is almost the only personal distinction left to a woman; it positively alters her features.

With the head erect, the chest expanded, and the back teeth slightly set together (keeping the mouth open often accompanies stooping), the chin gains decision,the upper lip shortens, and really the nose straightens.

The pleased feeling of not being at a disadvantage with the world gives a look of pleasure to the eyes, dresses when made and worn do look like the stylish fashion-plate from which they are copied, and life is a sweet success.

Godey’s Lady’s Book— Louis Antoine Godey began publishing Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1830. He designed his monthly magazine specifically to attract the growing audience of literate American women. The magazine was intended to entertain, inform, and educate the women of America.

Collection:  Godey’s Lady’s Book
Publication: Godey’s Lady’s Book
Date: April, 1895
Title: Good Style
Location: Philadelphia, PA

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A Record of Women in 1887

To round out Women’s History Month 2014, here is an 1887 list of notable women published in Godey’s Lady’s Book.  The list covers women who have made waves in the political, artistic, charitable, and educational arenas

  • Baroness Burdette-Coutts has given away in charity about $20,000,000.
  • Miss Anna Dickinson is slowly recovering from her recent severe illness. She is at Honesdale, Pa.
  • Women are the State librarians of Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.
  • The women of Santa Cruz, Cal., have organized a town improvement association, at the instance and wish of the Mayor.
  • Mayor Susanna Madora Salter

    Mayor Susanna Madora Salter

  • The first woman Mayor in this, or any country, is Mrs. Susanna M. Salter , of Argonia , Kansas . Mrs. Salter was born in Ohio.
  • Miss Marietta Holley (Josiah Allen’s Wife) received $11,000 for the manuscript of her new book, “Samantha at Saratoga.”
  • The Princess of Wales is this year an exhibitor at the Royal Society of Painters in Water Colors. She sends a picture of Windsor.
  • Mr. John D. Lankerman has just given $1,000,000 for a German Hospital, to be in charge of Lutheran Deaconesses of Philadelphia.
  • Eight Englishwomen have been imported by a New York company to cut velvet—an art that is but little known in this country.
  • Miss Modington, an American girl, has gained the Moscheles prizes at Leipsic. The test piece was the composer’s G minor concerto.
  • The Woman’s Tribune , of Nebraska, edited by Mrs. Clara Colby, a daughter of Mrs. Duniway, of Oregon, will hereafter be issued weekly.
  • Miss Nielson, the first Danish lady physician, has just begun to practice at Copenhagen. She took her degree with the highest honors.
  • The Bombay Gazette has inaugurated a new reform by employing sixteen Anglo-Indian girls as compositors, and a woman as proof reader.
  • Mrs. Frank Leslie, now in Paris, will go to the city of Mexico in September to arrange for the publication there of a Spanish-American newspaper.
  • Miriam Florence Leslie

    Miriam Florence Leslie

  • Mlle. Florence Menk-Meyer, a young pianist and composer in Paris, is called “the Liszt of the future.” Her brilliant playing attracts great audiences.
  • The Chicago Board of Education has just elected two ladies, Mrs. Ella F. Young and Miss Lizzie L. Hartney, assistant superintendents of schools.
  • Miss Mary Fridley has been elected musical director to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Prof. Lynch in the Georgia Musical Association.
  • Mrs. Susan L. Mills, with her late husband, founded Mills College, Oakland, Cal. She is now the principal and has added $50,000 to the endowment.
  • Miss Julia Thomas lectured on “Health” and “Physical Culture,” at the summer session of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, at Ocean Grove, N.J.
  • A gift of $10,000 toward a new library building by Mrs. Thomas H. Powers and her daughter, Mrs. Mary P. Harris, has been accepted by the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Mrs. Clara Foltz, the brilliant woman lawyer of the Pacific coast, has become editor of the San Diego, Cal., Daily Bee , and has preceptibly brightened up the busy little insect.
  • Mrs. Abingdon Campton, better known in the musical world as Louisa Gray, has written the libretto and music of a charming little operetta entitled “Between Two Stools.”
  • The women of New York have been granted more patents than their sisters in any other State. The women of Massachusetts, Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin, rank next in order.
  • Fraulein von Bulow has just left Berlin for Zanzibar to establish there a hospital in the interest of the National German “Frauenbund,” or Samaritan Society of German Women.
  • Archduchess Marie Valerie, of Austria, who is betrothed to the heir presumptive to the crown of Saxony, has literary tastes, and is a frequent contributor to German magazines.
  • Mme. Demont Breton, the daughter and pupil of the illustrious French painter, has made a great mark this year in the salon with her two pictures, “Danse Infantine” and “Le Pain, Dauphiné.”
  • A woman with her feet unwrapped

    A woman with her feet unwrapped

  • In recent news from China we hear that it is no longer fashionable for the women to have small feet. The majority of the Chinese ladies now have large feet—that is to say, feet in proportion to their bodies.
  • Olivier Desarmoises is a young authoress of high promise. She has been admitted to the society of Gens de Lettres, and was proposed as a member by the distinguished authors Alexander Dumas and Coppée.
  • Frances Power Cobbe has written during the last twenty-five years fifteen books, and about twenty-five pamphlets on theology, woman’s claims, vivisection, and an enormous quantity of articles for newspapers and magazines.
  • Princess Olga has written an historical novel dealing with events in Russia in recent times. The name of the book, which will be published by Messrs. Chatto and Windus, is “Radua; or, the Great Conspiracy of 1881.”
  • Miss Kate Field was recently given a reception at Salt Lake City by the Woman’s Relief Corps of the G.A.R., and was presented with a gold badge set with diamonds, in recognition of her services in securing anti-Mormon legislation.
  • Mme. Griess-Traut, of Paris, vice-president of the Association for the Improvement of the Condition of Women, is circulating a “Declaration of Women against War,” addressed to the members of both Chambers of the French Legislature.
  • It is rumored in Washington that the Pope will bestow the Golden Rose on Miss Caldwell, who gave $300,000 to the new Catholic university. The wife of General Sherman is the only American woman who has hitherto received the Golden Rose.
  • Mary A. Hendricks, of Charleston, S.C., has patented a folding invalid chair. It is designed as a commode or as an upright reclining chair, or both, at pleasure, and when not in use may be folded in small compass for transportation or storage.
  • The W.C.T.U., of Cleveland, has been invited by the common council of that city, to name two ladies who shall act as janitor and matron at the Central police station. This action ought to extend to every city and large town in the United States.
  • Two graduates of Vassar, one of ’85, the other of ’86, publish a weekly newspaper, The Atlantic Highlands Independent. They run their own press and, with the assistance of one compositor, set their own type. Their success thus far has been very good.
  • Vassar College has just conferred the honorary degree of L.L.D. on Mrs. Christine Ladd Franklin, of Baltimore, whose attainments in mathematics and logic had previously been recognized by her appointment as fellow of the Johns Hopkins University.
  • Two Venetian ladies named Silvestri have formed at Vienna a school for young girls to learn the art of mosaics, and have given them the Palazzo Sceriman in which to work. They execute orders of all kinds, sending the work in sections to any part of the world.
  • A most important step has been taken in France, in the election of a lady, Madame Kemorgard, to a place in the Higher Council of Public Instruction. A very wide constituency—teachers and others, and women as well as men—was required to attain this result.
  • Miss M. Louise Graves, of Springfield, Mass., and Miss Poole, daughter of Librarian W.F. Poole, of Chicago, and both graduates of Wellesley College, sailed the 25th of June, as Missionaries to Japan. Hope they will not insist on the bonnet as a means of grace.
  • Mrs. Bessie White Hagar, of Louisville, Ky., has compelled the State Board of Pharmacy to grant her a certificate to dispense medicines as a chemist. Although she had a pharmacist’s diploma, the Board refused to examine her, but have now been compelled to do so by the courts.
  • The Queen of Holland presented a remarkable gift to the King on his seventeenth birthday. The ladies in waiting carried in an immense bouquet, which they placed before his Majesty. The King was greatly surprised when suddenly the top of the bouquet opened, and the head of his infant daughter peeped out of the flowers.
  • Fifteen years ago the Northwestern University, at Evanston, Ill., opened its doors to women, and to-day they are going in and out through those doors in numbers almost equal to the young men. Of the 1,204 students in its several colleges the past year, it has just given graduation papers to 251; and of these, 75 are young women.
  • The Illinois Women’s Press Association is taking rank among the best organizations of woman workers. Miss Mary Allen West, editor of the Union Signal , is its very efficient President, and over sixty names complete its roll. Its platform is broader than that of the Massachusetts Society, as it admits any woman “who has published original matter in book form or in any reputable journal.”
  • Mrs. L.F. Baldy, of California, is about to establish a colony of silk culturists in Maryland. A tract of 100 acres near Odenton will be divided among ten colonists, and by next spring she hopes to have the experiment fully under way. She proposes to raise grapes along with the silkworms, as the worms require but six weeks of care. Mrs. Baldy is a member of the Women’s Silk Culture Association of the United States.
  • A novel feature has been introduced by Grand Rapids in the shape of a military company composed of young ladies. They are students of the High School. They are very proficient in military tactics, and have given several exhibitions marked with great success. At an entertainment given recently, the beneficial features were a competitive drill with a company of young men, and the presentation to them of a banner by Gen. Innis.
  • A “Ramabai Circle” for the elevation of women in India has been formed at Cornell University. Pundita Ramabai, the eminent Hindoo lady who is visiting and speaking in this country in the interest of her country women, is a very accomplished lady, who receives from her father the same education he gave his son. She was the professor of Sanscrit at an English College before coming to this country. She has written a book called the “High-Caste Hindoo Woman;” and hopes to raise a fund in this country to benefit widows of this class by educating them.
  • Mme. Aime Humbert is the president of the head office of the Union Internationale des Amies de la Jeune Fille, Mlle. Anna de Perrot is secretary, and Mme. Georges de Montholin treasurer. This union is a society for the protection of young girls. It has organized offices in every European town. The principal office, is at Neufchatel; the principal French office is at Lyons. Mme. Coste is the president. All the European offices are under the control of the head office at Neufchatel.
  • “Ex-President Sarmiento, the founder of the public school system in the Argentine Republic, is the leading advocate of higher education of women in South America, having gained his advanced ideas while Minister to the United States. Through his instrumentality, some forty American girls, graduates of Vassar, Wellesley, Mt. Holyoke, and other instutitions have been employed under ten years’ contracts by the Argentine Government it the normal schools and female seminaries of this country, and their success has been phenomenal. These teachers receive salaries varying from 100 to 160 dollars per month, and are placed in positions, social as well as professional, which they could not hope to acquire at home. In every instance they have conducted themselves with the most commendable dignity.
  • Miss Ramsay, who took classical honors at Cambridge University this year, over all male students, comes from a race of classical scholars. Her father, Sir James Ramsay, of Banff, N.B., was distinguished at Oxford, where he took a double first. Her uncle, Dr. George G. Ramsay, is Professor of Latin at the University of Glasgow, and her great-uncle, who formerly occupied that chair, was the author of Ramsay’s “Roman Antiquities.” Miss Agnata Francis Ramsay was born in January, 1867, and was educated at home until she had nearly attained the age of fourteen, when she was entered as a scholar at St. Leonard’s School, St. Andrews, N.B., and she obtained a scholarship at Girton in 1884. She did not begin the study of Greek till 1883, and her teachers were women, both of whom had been students at Girton. Miss Ramsay is 20 years old.


Collection: Godey’s Lady’s Book
Publication: Godey’s Lady’s Book
Date: September, 1887
Title: Record of Women
Location: Philadelphia, PA

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