Petition #20184101


Elizabeth Langford seeks to divorce her husband, Joseph. Shortly after their marriage in 1838, Joseph "commenced treating your Oratrix very uncivilly, unkindly and in unhusbandlike manner," keeping her in "constant alarm terror and dread" and threatening to abandon her. While Elizabeth "was lying on a bed of sickness and in a state of pregnancy several miles distant from any of her relatives (and when no persons save themselves could bear witness to the crime) the Defendant desired your Oratrix to take stuff to destroy her unborn child!" Langford continued to terrify her by brandishing firearms and attempting to stab the "negro" girl sent by her father to attend her. Elizabeth was "induced to send the negro girl home for fear the defendant would murder her and was consequently left in a very weak and delicate situation to attend to all the household business without a servant or any other person she could command to render her any assistance." By 1839, Langford had left his wife, but he returned and "taking advantage of the absence of your Oratrix clandestinely seized and carried off her [seven-month-old] child at a time when the child was too young to set alone." Elizabeth blames her husband's treatment of the child for "its death." She asks the court for a divorce.

Result: Granted.

3 people are documented within petition 20184101

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Citation information

Repository: Shelby County Archives, Columbiana, Alabama