Monday, June 29, 2009

Amanuensis Monday: A marriage in 90 lines

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

My maternal grandmother was married three times. The first in 1919 lasted briefly, and I know little about the husband beyond his first name. The second lasted about ten days shy of three months in 1927. I know a lot of details about those three months - from 90 lines in the divorce complaint filed by her husband.

The short of it is my grandmother wasn't ready for marriage yet, and it didn't take her long to figure that out. (She kept a copy of the complaint in a box with other mementos - I would never have known to check California court records for any marriages or divorces.)

5 Plaintiff
6 VS.
8 Defendant )
10 Plaintiff complains of defendant and for cause of action
11 alleges:

12 I

13 That plaintiff and defendant were intermarried at
14 Oakland, California, on the 30th day of April, 1927.

15 II

16 That plaintiff has been a resident of the State of
17 California for more than one year and of the City and County of
18 San Francisco, in said state, for more than three months next
19 preceding the commencement of this action.

20 III

21 That plaintiff and defendant separated on or about the
22 19th day of July, 1927; that the length of time from marriage
23 to separation was about two months and twenty days.

24 IV

25 That there are no minor children the issue of said mar-
26 riage; that there is no community property belonging to plaintiff
27 and defendant.

28 V

29 That since the said marriage and prior to the commence
30 ment of this action, defendant has treated plaintiff in a most

Page 2

1 cruel and inhuman manner, and more particularly as follows, to
2 wit:

3 That on or about the first day of July, 1927, while
4 Plaintiff and defendant were at their home in San Francisco,
5 California, and entertaining company, the defendant, without
6 cause or provocation on the part of plaintiff or any other per-
7 son, became angry, left plaintiff and their company, retired
8 to her room and went to bed, without bidding their said com-
9 pany good night.

10 That during the month of May, 1927, defendant
11 left plaintiff and stated that she was going to Kansas City
12 to visit her brother who, she claimed, was sick at that time,
13 and was gone for the period of about one month, that for more
14 than three weeks of said time she did not write to plaintiff but
15 once, and not until after he had telegraphed to her to ascertain
16 the cause of her silence.

17 That after defendant returned to their said home in San
18 Francisco, defendant assumed an entirely different attitude
19 toward plaintiff, their home and affairs, and seemingly took
20 no interest in plaintiff or their said home whatever, and on
21 many and various occasions expressed, by words and deeds, her
22 dissatisfaction with plaintiff and her married life in general,
23 continually alluding to what she would or would not have her
24 next husband do, ridiculing plaintiff in everything he did, and
25 continually threatening to leave plaintiff.

26 That on or about the 8th day of June 1927, while
27 plaintiff and defendant were visiting mutual friends in San
28 Francisco, their hostess absented herself from the room for a
29 short period of time, and while she was gone, defendant insisted
30 on putting on her coat to start home, without waiting for the

Page 3

1 return of her hostess.

2 That on or about the 19th day of July, 1927, upon plain-
3 tiff's return to their said home, plaintiff found a note written
4 by defendant, stating that while she was in Kansas City she did
5 not want to return, but was prevailed upon to do so by her broth-
6 er, and stating that she was going to leave, and that she knew he
7 felt something lacking in her, that she was not cut out for
8 married life, and that she was gong to go to El Paso, Texas.

9 That the following day and on or about the 20th of July,
10 1927, plaintiff received another letter written by defendant,
11 stating that it seemed to her a force stronger than herself com-
12 pelled her on, and that she did not know why she could not be
13 like other people.

14 That all the acts and things herein complained of have
15 and do cause plaintiff great and grievous mental suffering,
16 and humiliation.

17 WHEREFORE, plaintiff prays judgment that the bonds of
18 matrimony heretofore and now existing between plaintiff and de-
19 fendant be forever dissolved.

21 Attorney for Plaintiff

24 DALE B. RIDGELY, being duly sworn, deposes and says: That
25 he is the plaintiff in the above entitled action; that he has
26 read the foregoing complaint and knows the contents thereof, and
27 that the same is true of his own knowledge, except as to matters
28 herein stated upon information and belief, and that as to those
29 matters he believes it to he true.


30 Subscribed and sworn to before me
this 12th day of August, 1927.

L.A. MURASKY, Court Commissioner
of the City and County of San Francisco,
State of California.

Some of the legalese is interesting, such as the term 'intermarried'. Marriage is usually 'between' people, so it seems a bit redundant.

Naturally, I am somewhat happy about the marriage not lasting, as it allowed my grandmother to return to St. Louis and meet my grandfather several years later.

If you choose to join me in Amanuensis Monday and post your transcriptions, feel free to add a link to your post below, or in the comments.

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