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Property RitesThe Rhinelander Trial, Passing, and the Protection of Whiteness$
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Elizabeth M. Smith-Pryor

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780807832684

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807894170_smith-pryor

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: Defending the Citadel of Whiteness from the “Awful Stain”

: Defending the Citadel of Whiteness from the “Awful Stain”

(p.112) Five: Defending the Citadel of Whiteness from the “Awful Stain”
Property Rites

Elizabeth M. Smith-Pryor

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the familial objections to the marriages of Leonard and that of his uncle William, who also married an Irish immigrant maid more than forty years earlier. These familial responses provide an understanding of the ways in which ideas about gender, race, and marriage played a critical role in the forging of a white upper class in New York. Consequently, analyzing the way New York's upper class dealt with a misalliance, a seemingly minor challenge to their power, may help us better understand how the white upper class wielded their influence and worked to defend their citadels from attack.

Keywords:   Leonard Rhinelander, New York upper class, William Copeland Rhinelander, gender, race, marrige

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