Race and Slavery Petitions Project

Petition 20486255 Details

State:District of Columbia
Location Type:County
Salutation:To the Honorable the Judges of the Circuit Court for the District of Columbia
Filing Date:1862-January-4
Ending Date:1862-June-12

General Petition Information

Abstract:Kate McConnell seeks a divorce from her husband, Dr. James McConnell, on the grounds of adultery. She avers that her husband confessed to committing adultery with a "person, or woman of bad repute." In addition, she was informed that he was "too intimate with one of the chambermaids, a negro woman." Mrs. McConnell states that after receiving this information, she concealed herself in a room adjoining her husband's room and overheard a conversation between Dr. McConnell and the chambermaid. "The Said Dr. James McConnell made propositions to her, saying he wanted to stay with her while his wife was absent and advanced towards her and caught hold of her; She told him his wife was in the adjoining room, and would hear him." The petitioner then revealed herself and rebuked her husband. Mrs. McConnell further states that following this incident, she went to visit some friends in Virginia. While she was there, she had an accident which caused her to give premature birth and become very ill. Her husband was notified, but Mrs. McConnell avers that he stayed only four or five days with her. Dr. McConnell traveled for some time before writing the petitioner and informing her that he was establishing a practice in Cleveland, Ohio. Mrs. McConnell then received reports that Dr. McConnell "had commenced his 'old practices,' of living, and cohabiting with persons or women of notorious bad moral character." She prays for a divorce and the restoration of her maiden name.
# of Petition Pages:6
Related Documents:Decree, 12 June 1862
Pages of Related Documents:2

People Associated with Petition 20486255

Free Persons of Color:0
Other People:0

Citation Information

Repository: National Archives, Washington, D. C.

  • Records of the United States Circuit Court, Chancery Records, Old Divorces
  • Document Number 7
  • Box: 1

Processing Information

Record Created:7/16/1996
Record Final Edited:12/13/1999
Record Last Updated on:1/10/2006 4:28:00 PM