Who Was Frozen Charlotte?
Two important lessons accompany the Frozen Charlotte dolls of the late 1800s:
- Don’t be vain
- Listen to your mother
The china dolls of around 1850 – 1920 were named after a young woman who froze to death on the way to a fancy New Years party. Her mother reminded her numerous times to take a warmer coat, but she resisted.
Then, in the sleigh ride to the party, her man tried again to get her to bundle up, but loving her ‘look’ in the sleigh, she said she was just fine.
Then, as the fateful story ends, she and her beau arrived at the ball and when he peeked in to the carriage, she was frozen stiff as a corpse. In fact, she was a corpse.
It All Began With A Poem
In 1840, an edition of the New York Observer published an article about Frozen Charlotte, the girl who froze on the way to a New Years party.
A writer named Sheba Smith saw the article, and wrote the Frozen Charlotte poem “A Corpse Going To A Ball” about Charlotte and her fateful ride in the chilly sleigh.
Was Frozen Charolette Real?
According to the February 8, 1840 New York Observer article, Frozen Charlotte is very real. The story, however, has obviously been blurred over the years. The original article was about a woman in upstate New York who froze to death on her way to a New Year’s ball.
The article, in turn, inspired the poem; both of which seem to be based upon a real young woman who didn’t listen to her mother’s warning.
Frozen Charlotte And Charlie Dolls Came To Be A Creepy Reminder To Obey Your Parents
It’s unclear how exactly the dolls themselves became associated with the story of Frozen Charlotte. However, the corpse-like dolls that originated in Germany were named after Charlotte much later than her story.
The dolls were used to float in kids’ baths because they were made of a very light porcelain. Parents also added the dolls to cakes, and if you got the piece of cake with the doll, you got good luck.
After awhile, parents started using both Charlotte and “Charlie Dolls” to teach their kids a lesson.
“Here kid. Here’s a super creepy doll named after a young child who froze to death, so you better listen to me.”