Describing American land as “paradise for men and dogs, but hell for women and horses” goes back to the early nineteenth century and has been applied to Illinois, Texas, Georgia, Idaho, Tennessee, Kansas, and elsewhere.
July 1847, Prairie Farmer, pg. 222:
I heard the remark of an old lady, one of our oldest pioneers, that is pretty much to the point. She said that “Illinois was a perfect paradise for men and horses, but death on women and oxen.”
8 November 1883, Los Angeles Times, pg. 2:
A TEXAS editor has prepared a lecture on “The responsibility of women for the state of society.” Does he mean the state of society in Texas? If so, it is a fearful responsibility. Texas is the traditionally “hard country on women and oxen.”
20 March 1884, Coleman’s Rural World, pg. 94:
As a farming country, with the exception of small bodies of land along the streams, it is simply a failure. Good water is a rarity; and the climate, well, it can better be described to quote the exact language of an old lady when expressing her disgust of Texas: She said it was “the coldest, the warmest, the wettest, and the dryest country on earth, and terrible on women and oxen--but glory to men and dogs.”
5 June 1884, New York Evangelist, “‘Young Man, Don’t Go West’ Or South,” pg. 2:
A lady whose fate has set her in the Flowery Land, writes home “This is the hottest country and the coldest country and the dryest country and the wettest country that ever I saw. It is a paradise for men and dogs, and a hell for women and horses.”
25 October 1885, Atlanta Constitution, pg. 3:
HER LIKES AND DISLIKES OF THE
LONE STAR STATE.
She Says Texas is a Good State for Men and Dogs
but a Mighty Poor One for Women and Hogs—
A Good Country for Money and Crops—
One Honest Negro in the West.
[Copyright 1884. All Rights Reserved.]
Some of the women folks is powerful disheartened; they want to go back to Alabam and Georgy what they come from what they can git a good old fawshion, green, corn-field, greasy, black, nappy-headed nigger to wait on ‘em. One woman ‘lowed she jist wanted to go back to Ala-bam one more time so as to git a real ginny-wsie black nigger (the blacker the better), to mind her chillun and keep ‘em quiet while she tuck one good old fashion ‘fore-the-war gal nap; she hadn’t had nary wink of sleep in daylight sence she married and come to Texas. he ‘lowed it was a old buts a true sayin’, “Texas is fine for men and dogs but hard on women and hogs.”
1 June 1891, American Farmer, pg. 128:
I find it is not only the new countries in the West that the lady wrote home describing a fine country, for men and dogs who have lots of fun hunting, but awful hard on women and horses, but that is a good deal the fault of the women.
26 February 1893, Atlanta Constitution, pg. 2:
He began to talk to her about the country; went into ecstasies over the mountain scenery, the beautiful valleys, the fine water, the fertile lands such magnificent forests. “Surely this must be the finest country in the world for man to live in.” “Yes,” she said, “it is no doubt a good country for men and dogs, but it is hell on women and bulls.”
(Referring to Georgia—ed.)
22 April 1893, Atlanta Constitution, “Just From Georgia,” pg. 4:
Hard on Both of ‘Em.
This happened in Alabama: A school professor was lying on the porch reading, with a shepherd dog by his side, while his mother was out in the field, plowing with a little bull. In answer to a question, the old lady said that that part of the country “was a paradise for men and dogs, but a perfect h-ll for women and bulls!”
26 February 1905, Washington Post, “Down in Tennessee: Queer Ways and Words of Cumberland Mountain People,” pg. B2:
“You have a fine country here.”
To which she replied: “Well, it’s a paradise for men and dogs, but it’s mighty hard on women and mules.”
30 August 1956, Washington Post, pg. 23:
“There is an old saying in the south,” Deems declared, “that southern climate is salubrious for men and mules but hard on women and horses.”
2 November 1958, New York Times, pg. SM26:
THE famous report of the Texas pioneer lady that “this is a fine country for men and dogs but hell on women and horses” would probably fit Alaska without much change, if any.
21 February 1964, Washington Post, pg. C3:
She cited excerpts from the journal of Jane Gay who went to Idaho in 1889 with Alice Fletcher, who was sent by President Cleveland to make land allotments to the Indians. Miss Gay described that country as “good enough for men and cattle but death on women and horses who do the hard work.”
18 October 1971, New York Times, “Lib in Longhorn Country” by Molly Ivins, pg. 37:
The reason we have women’s lib in Texas is because we need it so bad. My friend Wayne Oakes, who is the director of the Civil Liberties Union in this great state, said just the other day: “Texas is hell on women and horses.” Now that wasn’t original with Wayne, but 1,500 horses died here during one summer and it’s enough to make you ponder.
5 January 1975, New York Times, “Texas,” pg. F17:
DALLAS—A Tennessee woman brought reluctantly to Dallas by her husband 125 years ago, took one look at the place—the buffalo, the Indians, the mud and the heat—and demanded to go home.
Forced to stay, she reported by letter to a friend that Dallas was “all right for men and dogs, but hell on women and horses.”
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Thursday, August 10, 2006 • Permalink