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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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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CSO for personal use (for details see http://www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 21 November 2017

Married Women and Property

Married Women and Property

Chapter:
(p.80) 5 Married Women and Property
Source:
Families in Crisis in the Old South
Author(s):

Loren Schweninger

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807837504_schweninger.8

In southern states during the antebellum era, a married woman was subordinate to her husband in her person and property, and could not use state laws to secure and claim premarital or inherited property. This chapter analyzes how southern white married women dealt with the question of property when faced with the disintegration of their marriages. Before the passage of protective laws, many married women seeking divorce, separation, or alimony encountered economic uncertainty and hardship. These women petitioned state assemblies and chancery courts to retain property as a matter of fairness and equity. To get a portion of the wealth they had earned individually or jointly with their husbands, women sued for alimony and obtained sequester orders to prevent the sale of accumulated family holdings.

Keywords:   antebellum, married woman, property, premarital property, inherited property, divorce, separation, alimony, family holdings

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