Charlotteans quick to defend ‘respected young ladies’

“Townsmen did not take lightly affronts to their virgins. In Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1845, for instance, three young men had made up enormous posters directing obscenities against ‘some of the respected young ladies of the community,’ the local editor said, and had nailed the signs to the courthouse door.

“Early the next morning the villagers were highly agitated. The town’s young men found the culprit out, gained confessions and rode all three on a rail, each covered in the customary feathery garb. The newspaper piously denounced the rough work, but excused it on the grounds that all townsfolk had agreed about the imperative for ‘summary punishment.'”

— From “Southern Honor: Ethics and Behavior in the Old South” by Bertram Wyatt-Brown (2007)

 

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