Your Face (kandigurl) wrote,
Your Face


I guess everyone likes silly, old-english words! SO HERE IS TODAY'S:

basket-fortune: A small fortune, said of a girl's marriage-portion.

The thing with these words is that I am never entirely sure what they mean? This sounds sort of like a dowry. But the little story (each word comes with a little story, too, OH YES) that goes along with it...okay, on the third read-through, it still sounds like a dowry. HERE, READ:

Arrival of the "Casket Girls"

On about this date in 1728, the first of Louisiana's "casket girls" arrived from France with namesake caskets of clothing given them as inducements. (Dowry?) On arrival, they were supervised and "matrimonially distributed by Ursuline nuns. Herbert Asbury explained: "They were lodged together, and during the day the men of the colony were permitted to see them in order that a choice might be made, but when night fell they were guarded by soldiers. Husbands were soon found for all of them, or as a French official put it, 'this merchandise was soon disposed of, so great was the want of the country.'...The casket girls would seem to have been extraordinarily fertile, each becoming the mother of an enormous family. Proof of these biological miracles is furnished by the fact that practically every native family of Louisiana is able to trace its descent in an unbroken line from one of the filles à la cassette."

SO, I'm guessing the "basket-fortune" is the clothes and shit they brought with them in their "caskets". NEAT.

Guys! This is really interesting! Are any of you from Louisiana? Got any cool stories about family history and stuff to back this up?

It's a good thing today's word was neat, because I really don't have a lot to post about. We'll see if that changes by lunch time!

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