There are thousands of letters, poetry and newspaper articles documenting this time in history. These documents tell a story of courtship, community bonding and sometimes-family tragedy. The primary documents I have chosen to analyze are the personal letters in 1873, between, Margaret Thompson and William Donnelly. It is not difficult to realize why I have chosen these letters. “The woman Margaret had chosen as her husband a member of the ‘Black Donnelly’s’, a family deeply embroiled in feuds so virulent that they had persisted through emigration from Ireland to tear apart the New World community of Biddulph with murder and arson.” In researching these letters and analyzing other secondary sources, I realized that pioneer women did not necessarily marry for love. They were important factors that ensured a marriage and courtship such as: the consent of the parents, the economical level... [continues]
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