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Remarriage or the establishment of an independent household was not a possibility for all "grass widows," a popular term for deserted and divorced women.
Schwartzberg, "Grass Widows, Barbarians, and Bigamists: Fluid Marriage in Late Nineteenth-Century America" (Ph.D.
For additional explanation of size of the Widows' Original and Certificate series, see Schwartzberg, "Grass Widows, Barbarians, and Bigamists," chapter five.
"Grass widows" included women "separated from [their] husband[s], either permanently or temporarily for some reason other than death." A certain vagueness characterized the term; it might apply to the divorced, it might refer to a discarded mistress or an unmarried woman with children, and it could apply to men--"grass widowers." Frederic G.
(44) Because Hilderbrand traveled for his work as a steamfitter, Eliza apparently experienced life as a grass widow more than once.