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Local History 

Don't Do It Girls

  Anna BakerFrom the Weekly Gazette and Eastern Virginia Advertiser [Williamsburg, Virginia]
February 15, 1860, page 1.

Don't Do It Girls -There is a practice quite prevalent among girls and ladies of the present day, which we are old- fashioned enough to consider improper. We allude to their giving daguerreotypes of themselves to young men who are merely acquaintances. We consider it indelicate in the highest degree. We are astonished that any young girl should hold herself so cheap as this. With an accepted lover it is of course all right. Even in this case the likeness should be returned if the engagement should by any misunderstanding cease. If this little paragraph should meet the eye of any young girl about to give her daguerreotype to a gentleman acquaintance, let her know that the remarks made by young men when together, concerning what is perhaps on her part but a piece of ignorance or imprudence, would, if she heard them, cause her cheeks to crimson with shame and anger. "Were it a sister of ours," we have often said, with a flashing eye,-- "were it a sister of ours!" But that not being the case we give this advice to any body's sister who needs it, with our best bow and most anxious desire that she should at all times preserve her dignity and self respect. --Ledger

Daguerreotypes were "an early photograph produced on a silver or a silver-covered copper plate " [In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
The images used here are from Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division which has an online archive of over 725 photographs.  At least one famous Missourian, Thomas Hart Benton, is represented.

 


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