Petition #21383427


Mary Catharine Gruber petitions through her next friend, Jacob Long, for protection of her property rights and for alimony from her husband, Philip Gruber. The Grubers married in 1808 after signing a marriage contract that governs the disposition of their property. While Philip was insolvent at that time, Mary had inherited "considerable property" from her previous husband. In 1812, Mary's father had given her a "a negro boy named Jack then about one year old;" Mary claims that the terms of the gift deed effectively gave her "a sole and separate estate in said negro." The petitioner insists that she has always acted "in the most kind and faithful manner" toward her husband, but his "irritable temper and violent character" made it difficult to live with him, citing that "his conduct has become more rude and violent as he has advanced in years." She further laments that he has beaten and threatened her and that he abandoned her a few days ago. The petitioner charges that he is trying to sell the land she inherited and lives on and that he has given a slave woman to his son-in-law and threatens to do the same with Jack, who "is now of great value." Mary asks the court to enjoin Philip from disposing of any more property, to protect her from his violence, and to award her alimony for her support. Philip Gruber refutes many of said charges. He insists "that he be protected in all his Legal rights & especially his marital rights, in and about all the property that may in any manner be the subject of dispute under the said marriage contract."

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Citation information

Repository: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, South Carolina