Thursday, September 3, 2020

Did You Know...


A bit of interesting trivia I ran across. Originally in the United States divorces were granted by legislators not the courts. In the case of Washington D.C. it was the U.S. Congress who had to determine whether to grant the divorce or not. Gradually the power to grant a divorce was transferred to the courts and by 1886 it was mandated that only courts could grant divorces.

While the power was still vested with the legislatures, divorce notices often appeared in the papers

Interestingly some of the notices express a clear intent that the debts of the person who left will not be paid by the abandoned spouse. 

BURNHILL, John & Elizabeth: Whereas Elizabeth Burnhill, my wife, hath eloped from my bed and board, and living an adulteress with another man, this is to forewarn all persons whatever from trusting her on my account, as I will pay none of her debts, and I mean to apply to the next General Assembly of Maryland for an act of divorce. (Signed and dated) John Burnhill, Prince Georges County, MD, March 17, 1809 [Notice in the National Intelligencer, Wash, DC, April 12, 1809.]

HOWARD, Jesse and Amelia. All persons are hereby forbidden to trust Amelia Low (late my wife Amelia Howard) on my account, we having been divorced by mutual consent, as the law directs, and I will pay no debts of her contracting. (Signed and dated) Jesse Howard, May 4, 1819. [Notice in the National Intelligencer, Wash, DC, May 6, 1819.]

No comments:

Post a Comment