The Civil War Connections Blog

another poetic interlude

In the category of “whilst looking for something else entirely….” we give you the following ditty (and cautionary tale), straight out of Harper’s Weekly, from 150 years ago today:

Fashion for the Fireside

To Mrs. J.

I give thee this fire-proof dress, my love.

Wearing all that attire,

It gives me the greatest distress, my love,

To see thee go near the fire.

Shouldst thou tread upon a match, and were they drapery

To catch,

Thou’dst be burned alive;

And the loss of such a wife, whom I love better than my


I could ne’er survive.

That muslin expanse is untrustable

Any where near a light:

But this one is incombustible,

So that it won’t ignite.

And thy Crinoline may swell beyond the biggest Minster-bell:

Yet secure thou’lt be,

In a dress that can’t inflame, from a death that I may


Premature Suttee.