The Boardinghouse in Nineteenth-Century America
Publication Year: 2007
Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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Introduction. Houses and Homes
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"Writing in the late 1990s about the increasing prevalence of grown children living with their parents, the etiquette expert Judith Martin ('Miss Manners') deplored the tendency of both parties to view their circumstances as 'some sort of landlord-boarder arrangement.' While she acknowledged that..."
1 Away from Home
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"In 1820, eighteen-year-old John Locke, the son of a congressman by the same name, left his home in Ashby, a rural community in northwestern Massachusetts, for Boston. Accompanied by his father, Locke made the journey so many young men and women would makeâââââââââââ¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬ââââââââââ¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬from countryside to city, from..."
2 Keeping House
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"Make no mistake. Susan Brown Forbes did not keep a boardinghouse. As the advertisement she placed in the Transcript made clear, she offered rooms in a 'private family.' Forbes defined family generously; she regularly entertained eight to ten lodgers at No. 6 Waverly Place, a house she and her husband had rented with the specific intention of taking in boarders. If her description seems..."
3 "The Most Cruel and Thankless Way a Woman Can Earn Her Living"
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"A veteran landlady interviewed by the New York Times in November 1889 pronounced boardinghouse keeping 'the most cruel and thankless way a woman can earn her living.' She ticked off a laundry list of grievances: 'weary days and sleepless, anxious nights,' suspicious landlords, boarders..."
4 Boarders' Beefs
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"A BOARDING-HOUSE COLLOQUY: Landlady (deferentially). Mr. Smith, do you not suppose that the first steamboat created much surprise among the fish when it was first launched?"
5 Nests of Crime and Dens of Vice
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"In many respects Mary Surratt was a typical boardinghouse keeper. Her husband, less than competent in business affairs, died in 1862, leaving behind a Maryland plantation, a house in Washington, D.C., and numerous debts. The Civil War wreaked further havoc. Maryland abolished slavery in 1864, but by..."
6 "Will They Board, or Keep House?"
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"ââ¬ÅWill they board, or keep house?ââ¬ For Eunice Beecher, wife of the famousââ¬â soon to be infamousââ¬âpreacher Henry Ward Beecher, this was the momen- tous choice newly married couples faced. Beecherââ¬â¢s domestic advice books, com- pilations of the columns she published in the Christian Union, counseled new..."
7 Charity Begins at Home
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"Homes dominated the nineteenth-century American landscape. Most secure in meriting this nomenclature were the single-family, increasingly sub- urban, domiciles of the new middle classes. Residents of tenements, board- inghouses, and modest cottages might also invoke the term, but, as many..."
Epilogue "Decay of the Boarding-House"
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"The boardinghouse, the New York Times declared in 1878, 'represents the sinking industry of Manhattan, and . . . in its sinking evokes few tears even from them whose lachrymose glands are most easily and needlessly disturbed.' In claiming that boarding was a 'sinking industry,' the Times reporter..."
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Essay on Sources
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Page Count: 232
Illustrations: 10 halftones
Publication Year: 2007