That admirable patriot, John A. Andrew
, the War Governor
, 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 Massachusetts||8,975|
|Excess of married women||1,785|
|Excess of widowed women||52,903|
|Excess of divorced women||817|
|Total excess of women||64,483|
|Deduct excess of men over women in class “unknown” ||1,337|
|Net excess of women||63,1461|