Civil War Etiquette
Civil War Etiquette: Martine’s Handbook and Vulgarisms in Conversation- ”Civil War Era Etiquette: Martine’s Handbook and Vulgarisms in Conversation,” originally published in 1866 as a man’s guide to gentlemanly behavior.
Imagine how shocked the author would be to hear the profane greetings, writing and language used today, every sentence from a young girl/guy laced with the “F” bomb.
How far we’ve come? or have we?
“The true aim of politeness, is to make those with whom you associate as well satisfied with themselves as possible. …it does whatever it can to accommodate their feelings and wishes in social intercourse.”
Today we care little of what those around us think of us. We live in a mentality of “you don’t like what I have to say” “F” you.
Curse or discuss “impolite” subjects when ladies are present
Leave a lady you know unattended, except with permission
Use tobacco in any form when ladies are present
Greet a lady in public unless she acknowledges you first (see “Always” #12)
Eat or drink while wearing gloves
Help a lady with her coat, cloak, shawl, etc.
Offer to bring a lady refreshments if they are available
Offer your arm to escort a lady (with whom you are acquainted) into or out of a building or a room at all social events, and whenever walking on uneven ground
Remove your hat when entering a building
Lift your hat to a lady when she greets you in public (Merely touching the brim or a slight “tip” of the hat was very rude)
Grab your hoops or lift your skirts higher than is absolutely necessary to go up stairs
Lift your skirts up onto a chair or stool, etc.
Sit with your legs crossed (except at the ankles if necessary for comfort or habit)
Lift your skirts up onto the seat of your chair when sitting down (Wait for, or if necessary, ask for assistance when sitting down at a table or on a small light chair)
Speak in a loud, coarse voice