Treat the Lady Right

Group of women

Women were scarce in Gold Rush California, amounting to just 8% of the state-wide population in 1850, and only 30% ten years later in 1860—a circumstance that added immeasurably to a woman’s perceived value.  In this article from the 1859 Sacramento Daily Union, the newspaper’s editor scolds a husband for ignoring his lady: “TAKING A DRINK –a gentleman recently took his wife to a theater San Francisco, and towards the close of the play stepped out to imbibe. Getting into a discussion on politics, time passed until the theater closed, and the wife was forced to find another escort in the shape of a very handsome fellow. According to the San Francisco Times he was polite enough to yield up the wife to her husband—a better fortune than the latter deserved after such marked neglect.” 



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