Petition #20884719


Jane Davis, a free mulatto woman, seeks to be "separated in bed and board" from her husband, William Edmunds, a free man of color. The couple intermarried in 1835 and "lived together happily and contentedly" for many years. Notwithstanding her "dutiful and affectionate" behavior, Jane now charges that William has broken his "marital vows" by abandoning, deceiving, and maltreating her, and that he is at the moment in "the embraces" of another woman. Moreover, William now denies that he and Jane were ever "united in the bonds of Lawful wedlock," thus publicly "defaming and blackening" his wife’s reputation. He even induces people to believe that Jane is "of doubtful fame & chastity." Jane asserts that their living together is insupportable; she therefore seeks a separation from her husband and financial support during her "natural life." Related depositions provide detailed information about life among free people of color in Philadelphia, where Jane lived for some time.

Result: Motion to dismiss.

12 people are documented within petition 20884719

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Citation information

Repository: St. Landry Parish Courthouse, Opelousas, Louisiana