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Madam Restell

I appreciate all of your input on the Poll and will try to find articles that meet your interests. Not surprisingly, Julia’s innermost thoughts came in first. Second was societal issues of the time. Therefore, I am posting an ad from an April 1840 issue of the Herald, the newspaper Julia and Garret read. The ad advertises the services of a “Madam Restell”. There is a wonderful blog, “The Wickedest Woman in the World, Madam Restell”, that gives an interesting view of her life.  Another blog, “Victorian Gothic, Who was Madam Restell?”, 

Madam's mansion

Madam’s mansion

Was she a woman concerned with women’s health, or was she a blood thirsty opportunist, con-artist, looking for a means for extorting money from desperate women?

The following is a transcription of the advertisement:

male Physician, is happy to have it in her power to say
that since the introduction into this country, about a year ago
of her celebrated Preventive Powders for married ladies, whose
health forbids a too rapid increase of family; hundreds have
availed themselves of their use, with success and satisfaction
that has at once dispelled the fears and doubts of the most
timid and skeptical; for, notwithstanding that for twenty years
they have been used in Europe with invariable success, (first
introduced by the celebrated Midwife and Female Physician,
Madame Restell, the grandmother of the advertiser, who made
this subject her particular and especial study,) still some were
inclined to entertain some degree of distrust, until become con-
vinced by their successful adoption in this country. The re-
sults of their adoption to the happiness, the health, nay, often
the life of many an affectionate wife and a fond mother, are too
vast to touch upon within the limits of an advertisement– re-
sults which affect not only the present well-being of parents, but
the future happiness of their offspring. Is it not but too well
known that the families of the married often increase beyond the
happiness of those who give them birth would dictate? In how
many instances does the hardworking father, and more espe-
cially the mother of a poor family, remain slaves throughout
their lives, tugging at the oar of incessant labor, toiling to live,
and living but to toil; when they might have enjoyed comfort
and comparative affluence; and if care and toil have weighed
down the spirit, and at last broken the health of the father, how
often is the widow left, unable, with the most virtuous inten-
tions, to save her fatherless offspring from becoming degraded
objects of charity or profligate votaries of vice? And even
though competence and plenty smile upon us, how often, alas!
are the days of the kind husband and father embittered in be-
holding the emaciated form and declining health of the com-
panion of his bosom, ere she had scarce renched the age of
thirty–fast sinking into a premature grave–with the certain
prospect of himself being early bereft of the partner of his joys
and sorrows, and his young and helpless children endear
ing attentions and watchful solicitude which a mother
alone can bestow, not unfrequently at a time when least able
to support the heart-rending affliction! Is it desirable then
–is it moral for parents to increase their families, regard-
less of consequences to themselves of the well being of their
offspring when a simple, easy healthy and CERTAIN remedy is
within our control? The advertiser feeling the importance of
this subject and estimating the vasr benefits resulting tho thou-
sands but the adoption of means prescribed by her, would re-
spectfully arouse the attention of the married, by all that
they hold near and dear to its consideration. Is it not wise
and virtuous to prevent evils to which we are subject by simple
and healthy means within our control? Every dispassionate, vir
tuous, and enlightened mind will unhesitatingly answer in the
affirmative. This is all that Madame Restell recommends or even
recommended. Price Five Dollars a package, accompanied with
ull and particular directions. For the convenience of those un
able to call personally, “Circulars” more fully explanatory
will be seul free of expense (postage excepted) to any part of the
United States. All letters must be post-paid, and addressed to
MADAME RESTELL Female Physician. Principal office
148 Greenwich street, New York. Office hours from 9 A.M.
to 7 P.M. Philadelphia office, 39 1/2 South Eighth street.
my 14 1md *&2mwy*