As some of you will recall, we recently discussed the use of serial newspaper advertisements to avoid financial liability for an estranged wife in 1840s Nauvoo. I have discovered a few more of them, all fairly rote, as if newspaper editors had boilerplate to provide in the event of the fateful grimace/nod. I have seen one exception, whether a function of poverty, editorial oversight, or idiosyncracy, I’m not sure, though I’m grateful for the delightful image.
For whatever reason, this particular announcement was not repeated (I suspect Norman did not find William Smith’s typo particularly funny, though again I have no evidence; perhaps Norman’s savings were sewn into the purloined mattress). On the same day, I encountered a much sadder version, as we might expect for historical reasons, from an abandoned woman. I felt to grieve for the seemingly endless parade of wronged women as represented by the bereaved Laura Ann. The man wants his pocketbook protected, the woman wants to know whether her missing partner is still alive. (Both are from The Wasp, and I am aware that Mr. Damon may actually have died, though something in my gut tells me he had vanished of his own volition.)