Petition #20185307


At age fifteen, Jane Adams believed William Chapman's "repeated professions & promises of fidelity and affection," and thinking he possessed all the prerequisites for matrimonial happiness--honesty, sobriety, industry, and chastity--she accepted his proposal of marriage. They were wed in 1834. Jane's father, John Adams, gave her a separate estate of cash and three slaves worth two thousand dollars. Shortly after their marriage, however, William became "Cold in his affections & pitiful in his passions," leaving her for extended periods "in Search of other & Strange Women." He committed adultery on numerous occasions. She, however, remained with him "notwithstanding her husbands great want of affection & fidelity & his occasional harsh & brutal treatment." She bore him six children, two of whom died, but when he brought a woman suspected of murder to live with them, she fled to her father's house. William Chapman, Jane charges, continues to live "with other & base & vicious Women." "She has done all that Woman Can or ought to do," she asserts, "to reclaim her wayward husband." She seeks a divorce.

Result: Dismissed.

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Citation information

Repository: Dallas County Courthouse, Selma, Alabama