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Families in Crisis in the Old SouthDivorce, Slavery, and the Law$
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Loren Schweninger

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780807835692

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807837504_schweninger

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The Evolution of Divorce Laws

The Evolution of Divorce Laws

(p.1) 1 The Evolution of Divorce Laws
Families in Crisis in the Old South

Loren Schweninger

University of North Carolina Press

Harriet Laspeyre, the daughter of a prominent political and slaveholding family in North Carolina, pleaded for separation from her tyrannical husband, Bernard Laspeyre, who took most of her slaves and lived in open adultery with one of them. Drawing on her case, this chapter provides insights on the various issues faced by men and women of antebellum South who sought to end their marriages, including laws on marriage, divorce, alimony, and women's property.

Keywords:   Harriet Laspeyre, Bernard Laspeyre, antebellum South, marriages, divorce, alimony, women's property

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