Petition #21686308


Cornelius Jackson, a free man of color, seeks a divorce. Jackson represents that over twelve years ago he married Sarah Briggs, a free woman of color, with whom he had two children. However, "after they had lived together for about 3 years your complainant discovered that his wife was unfaithful to him and was committing often and flagrat adultery with others." Since they separated nine years ago, Briggs has had "several children by other persons and is Still regarded in the light of an abandoned woman." He continues, "Your complainant ought long ago to have commenced a proceeding for divorce but he disliked to do so, but now feels it a duty to himself and his children to be separated from one who has so improperly and illegally sinned." Therefore, Jackson prays for "an absolute annulment of the bond of matrimony." Depositions by several free women of color represent that Jackson was abusive towards Briggs and that he took Roberta Mabry, a free woman of color, as his mistress before his wife abandoned their common home.

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Citation information

Repository: Circuit Court Clerk's Office, Petersburg, Virginia