Petition #21683717


When the widow Adelia O. Cohen decided to marry John S. Turner in 1832, she convinced her future husband to enter into a marriage contract that would give her "sole and separate control" of her "considerable property," which included two slaves. Very soon after the marriage, John S. Turner's conduct grew progressively worse, until he became more of "a monster in human form, than a man." She accuses him of physical abuse, slander, and wasting "every atom of her property." In fact, within the last week, he has made a "violent assault upon her, choked her--bruised her body, and beaten her in the most brutal manner." She claims that he has enlisted the help of one John Bothingham to execute a "pretended bond" on which he has now defaulted, all for the purpose of forcing her, since he does not own anything himself, to relinquish her property. As a means of supporting herself, Adelia had opened a "house of private entertainment, and a small grocery." The petitioner reports that an officer has now come to her house and levied an execution signed by one of her husband's friends "upon every article in the tavern & grocery with a few small exceptions." Adelia prays for a separation from her husband. She also prays that her husband be made responsible for his own debts and that Bothingham be restrained from selling her property.

Result: Injunction granted; dismissed.

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Citation information

Repository: Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia