An Exploration of Mail-order Brides in America

More Questions

Who wrote this article?

What are other sources that are relevant to mail-order brides in America?


Caly McCarthy created the online article Go West, Young Woman! during her 2016 summer internship in the Curatorial Department of the National Postal Museum. She is a student of history, and environmental studies at Dickinson College. Her research interests include environmental history, epistemology, and women’s history (with special attention to contextualizing social norms).


This bibliography is organized by topic. Some of the contents of the entries are exclusively about mail-order brides, and others had only a page or two of relevant information. Regardless, such works have been placed under the category that their page or two contributed towards.

Domestic Mail-Order Brides: Books, and Articles

  • Enss, Chris. Hearts West: True Stories of Mail-Order Brides on the Frontier. Guilford, CT: Two Dot Books, 2005.
  • Enss, Chris. Object: Matrimony: The Risky Business of Mail-Order Matchmaking on the Western Frontier. Guilford, CT: Two Dot Books, 2013.
  • Drury, Clifford M. Nine Years with the Spokane Indians: The Diary, 1838-1848, of Elkanah Walker. Glendale: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 1976.
  • Pacific Northwest Missionary Collection. Washington State University Libraries Digital Collection.
  • Sinke, Suzanne M. Dutch Immigrant Women in the United States, 1880-1920. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2002.
  • Sinke, Suzanne M. “Marriage through the Mail: North American Correspondence Marriage from Early Print to the Web.” In Letters across Borders: The Epistolary Practices of International Migrants, edited by Bruce S. Elliott, David A. Gerber, and Suzanne M. Sink, 75-94. New York: Palgrave McMillan, 2006.
  • Zug, Marcia A. Buying a Bride: An Engaging History of Mail-Order Matches. New York: New York University Press, 2016

Domestic Mail-Order Brides: Newspaper Clippings, and Letters

Picture Brides: Books, and Articles

  • Calof, Rachel Bella, and Rikoon, J. Sanford. Rachel Calof’s Story: Jewish Homesteader on the Northern Plains. Indiana University Press, 1995.
  • Ichioka, Yuji. “Amerika Nadeshiko: Japanese Immigrant Women in the United States, 1900-1924.” Pacific Historical Review 49, no. 2 (1980): 339-357.
  • Kaprielian-Churchill, Isabel. “Armenian Refugee Women: The Picture Brides, 1920-1930.” Journal of American Ethnic History 12, no. 3 (1993): 3-29.
  • Lee, Erika, and Yung, Judy. Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.
  • Papazian, Dennis. “Armenians in America.” ( Het Christelijk Oosten 52, no. 3-4 (2000): 311-347.
  • Saloutos, Theodore. The Greeks in the United States. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1964.
  • Sunada, Sarasohn, Eileen, ed. The Issei: Portrait of a Pioneer: An Oral History. Palo Alto: Pacific Books, 1983.

Picture Brides: Newspaper Clippings

Westward Expansion

  • Appleton, LeRoy H. “Westward Advance, 1849-1860” [map]. In: Atlas of American History (New York: Scribner’s Sons, 1943), 118-119.
  • Harvard University Library Open Collections Program. “California Gold Rush (1848-1858).”
  • Idaho Museum of Natural History. “Westward Expansion.”
  • Levy, Joann. They Saw the Elephant: Women in the California Gold Rush. Hamden: Archon Book, 1990.
  • Oakland Museum of California. “Gold Fever! Spreading the News.”

Institution of Marriage

  • Coontz, Stephanie. Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage. New York: Penguin Books, 2005.
  • Yalom, Marilyn. A History of the Wife. New York: Harper Collins, 2001.