Race and Slavery Petitions Project

Petition 20185307 Details

Location Type:County
Salutation:To the Honorable James B. Clark Chancellor of the Middle Division of the State of Alabama (CLARK, James B.)
Filing Date:1853-February-26
Ending Date:1853-November

General Petition Information

Abstract:At age fifteen, Jane Adams believed William Chapman's "repeated professions & promises of fidelity and affection," and thinking he possessed all the prerequisites for matrimonial happiness--honesty, sobriety, industry, and chastity--she accepted his proposal of marriage. They were wed in 1834. Jane's father, John Adams, gave her a separate estate of cash and three slaves worth two thousand dollars. Shortly after their marriage, however, William became "Cold in his affections & pitiful in his passions," leaving her for extended periods "in Search of other & Strange Women." He committed adultery on numerous occasions. She, however, remained with him "notwithstanding her husbands great want of affection & fidelity & his occasional harsh & brutal treatment." She bore him six children, two of whom died, but when he brought a woman suspected of murder to live with them, she fled to her father's house. William Chapman, Jane charges, continues to live "with other & base & vicious Women." "She has done all that Woman Can or ought to do," she asserts, "to reclaim her wayward husband." She seeks a divorce.
# of Petition Pages:4
Related Documents:Affidavit, John Adams, 8 April 1853; Order for Publication, 23 May 1853; Order Pro Confesso, 8 August 1853; Affidavit, William M. Lapsley, 29 November 1853; Dismissal, November 1853
Pages of Related Documents:2

People Associated with Petition 20185307

Free Persons of Color:0
Other People:0

Citation Information

Repository: Dallas County Courthouse, Selma, Alabama

  • Records of the Circuit Court, Chancery Records 1852-1854
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  • Page: 413-18
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Processing Information

Record Created:11/9/1995
Record Final Edited:7/8/1999
Record Last Updated on:5/30/2007 12:07:00 PM