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2021-01-10 21:31:15
Dakota Territory]: Harris, Walter C. and Mary W.
COLLECTION OF SIX DOCUMENTS RELATING TO A DIVORCE CASE IN THE DAKOTA TERRITORY, BETWEEN A HUSBAND WHO VENTURED TO THE TERRITORY WHILE HIS WIFE RETURNED TO NORTH CAROLINA]
Yankton, Dakota Territory, 1879. Six documents, totaling seven pages, two docketed on verso. Original folds, light toning. Overall very good. A small but interesting collection of documents regarding the divorce of Walter C. Harris and Mary W. Harris, residents of Yankton in Dakota Territory. Walter Harris, a North Carolina man, moved to the Dakota Territory in 1879 and filed for divorce from his wife at a time when such actions were uncommon. Information on nineteenth century divorce cases is scarce; the first year for which national marriage and divorce data is available is 1867, and in 1890, just three couples per thousand were divorced. Here, Walter C. Harris (1846-?) files for divorce from Mary W. Harris (1847-1924) "on the grounds of extreme mental cruelty and willful desertion and that said action is for a divorce on civil grounds and that Mary W. Harris is not a resident of this territory" but resides in Henderson, North Carolina. Little is known of Walter Harris. Census Bureau records show Harris (age twenty-four) living with his wife, Mary C. Harris (age twenty-three) and a four-year-old son named William in Henderson in 1870 while working as a shoe salesman. At the time of the divorce filing, he would have been thirty-three years old and likely traveled West seeking better opportunities or following the promise of riches after gold was discovered in the Black Hills in 1874. At this point in the Dakotas' history, the territory was organizing and experiencing a population boom as a result of the growth of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Very little is known of … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: William Reese Company - Americana [New Haven, CT, U.S.A.]

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