The Decision to Emigrate

“It is interesting to look at the decision to emigrate to Oregon or California in the light of the legal model of husbands’ power. In their diaries and recollections many women discussed the way in which the decision to move was made. Not one wife initiated the idea; it was always the husband. Less than a quarter of the women writers recorded agreeing with their restless husbands; most of them accepted it as a husband-made decision to which they could only acquiesce. But nearly a third wrote of their objections and how they moved only reluctantly.”