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VIII. maiden aunts.

That admirable patriot, John A. Andrew, the War Governor of Massachusetts, was emphatically a man of impulses, and he never used a phrase more impulsive and more questionable than when, in speaking of the single women of his own State, he characterized many of them as being “anxious and aimless.” He did not mean the remark as ungenerous, but it was founded on a common error that has since been disproved. In his time it was generally assumed that the great plurality of women over men in some of our older States was due to an inconvenient excess of “single sisters ;” and it was not till Colonel Carroll D. Wright took, with his accustomed thoroughness, the Massachusetts census of 1875 that the disproportion was found really to lie not among single women, but among widows. His figures are as follows, when he analyzes the whole into its parts:

Excess of single women in Massachusetts8,975
Excess of married women1,785
Excess of widowed women52,903
Excess of divorced women817
Total excess of women64,483
Deduct excess of men over women in class “unknown” 1,337
Net excess of women63,1461

1 Mass. Census, 1875, p. 39.

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