Beauties of nine towns (1895)

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Beauties of seven towns

Their individual charms are somewhat hard to define

Characteristics of the girls in several great municipalities

Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, St Louis and Washington girls contrasted

Special Correspondence to the Globe

To accurately describe the typical American girl seems almost impossible, for each state and city has its own particular type of reigning belle. There is the New York girl and the Boston girl, and the Chicago girl, and the California girl, of whose mental and physical attributes we have heard so much.


The Boston girl is slender, pale, large eyed and earnest. The surest way to her heart is an acquaintance with differential calculus, or at least an interest in comparative philology.

She eats brown bread and beans every Sunday and is convinced that spectacles lend an air of distinction. Her dress is plain to an extreme, and her whole appearance neatness personified.

Usually her hair is brown and her eyes either blue or gray, and often she is attractive because her complexion, though pale, is clear and her expression frank and open. Clear-headed and practical, she has decided views not only upon startlingly abstruse subjects, but upon the political events of the day.

A quiet, determined, fearless little body, she can carry out undertakings that seem far beyond her strength.

She is inclined to think a life devoted to study and philanthropy a desirable one, and her opinion of marriage simply for the sake of marriage is not high. But when the right man comes to woo, he finds under apparently chilly exterior a strength and warmth of affection little suspected.


Languid, dark, creamy-skinned and a young woman at sixteen is the Baltimore girl. Her speech is slow and has a slight drawl that is sometimes bewitching and sometimes provoking. Her eyes are full, soft and dark, and; her figure plump and round. She says she is going

“deown teown” for going to town, says she saw a “keow” (cow) while she was “aout,” the horse “nullified” (balked), and the crowd “squandered” (dispersed). She marries early, for she has plenty of opportunities, this sweet, languid Baltimore damsel. Her plump little hand, so soft and white, and her dainty arched instep and Cinderella foot are among her greatest beauties.

Her lips are red, soft and full, and perfect peacefulness and rest are ail about her. She takes the world easily and worries not at all. She is a good housekeeper and a fine cook. She troubles herself but little with the new ideas anent women and their work, but is content to go on in the same old-fashioned way that her mother and her grandmother be fore her went. She is rather fond of lectures and similar entertainments, but seldom exerts. herself enough to be very enthusiastic over anything. An awful flirt is this Southern girl, but a faithful, devoted wife and a true, warm-hearted woman.

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New York

The New York girl is as different from the Washington maiden as the English young lady from the French damsel. The Englishman visiting Gotham for the first time rubs his eyes in amazement as he is presented to belle after belle of the most correct English type. These girls are as faultlessly and fashionably gowned as his countrywomen, but their tailor-made costumes seem to fit them better and to be worn with an indescribable air that he cannot remember to have noticed in his own fresh-faced, rather heavy sisters.

The manners of the New York girl have the same high-bred repose as those of her transatlantic cousin, but her conversation is more original and more daring. She has her own opinions on most subjects and expresses them whenever she thinks it necessary or agreeable.

She plays tennis, believes in chaperones and is more frequently fine looking and healthy than strictly beautiful. Sometimes, however, she is more than this. She is a full-blown beauty and an acknowledged society queen, reigning not alone in the drawing rooms of the New York Four Hundred, but carrying off the palm in European salons for beauty, grace and wit.

>> Next page: Chicago, Philadelphia & Washington DC

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