H. Armstrong Roberts / ClassicStock / denisgorelkin / Getty Images

A young farmer hoped to tempt a future wife by bragging about his extensive acreage.

Elisabeth Sherman
June 21, 2017

As far back as 1865 (and probably since the beginning of humans), people were using food to reel in a mate. Case-in-point: This 1865 newspaper solicitation entitled “Chance for a Spinster,” from a young man hoping to snag a wife, which Bustle was the first to discover.  How does he plan to tempt a potential spouse into his heart? By boasting about his crops, of course.

Ok, so he’s just 18 years old, so maybe we should cut him some slack. But he’s already running his very own eighteen-acre farm, where he has planted buckwheat, which “looks first rate,” as well as “bully” (1860s slang for admirable) oats and potatoes.

The farm is also home to a petting zoo’s worth of animals: nine sheep, a two-year-old bull cow, and two heifers, which his future wife will presumably be responsible for milking.

On top of a running farm he’s also got a “good set of teeth,” (hygiene is important!) and he’s a patriot, enjoying both the Fourth of July and the “Star Spangled Banner.”

Courtesy of Harper's Weekly

The young man is very straight forward when it comes to his desires, stating “I want to get married…That’s what's the matter with me. But I don’t know how to do it.”

The personal plea is a little heartbreaking, as the man seems to have a romantic disposition.

“I want to buy bread-and-butter, hoop skirts, and waterfalls for some person of the female persuasion,” he writes.

A guy that buys you dinner and indulges your love of fashion, with a poetic sensibility to go along with his generous spirit? Actually seems like a pretty sweet deal.

Unfortunately – in a precursor to the common practice of making fun of outrageous Tinder profiles on Twitter – the advertisement appeared in the “Humors of the Day” section of Harper’s Weekly, which printed jokes and other hilarious happenings gathered from the news of the time.

Still, we hope our lonely young seeker of love eventually did find someone willing to go live on his buckwheat farm with him, good teeth and all.