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An Act providing for the relief and support of women who may be abandoned by their husbands, and for other purposes. which passed and took effect, January 11, 1811

Sue Frary on 13 June 2005
Joseph R. Swan, Statutes of the State of Ohio of a General Nature In Force August, 1854: with References to Prior Repealed Laws (Cincinnati, Ohio: H. W. Derby & Co., 1854), 870-872
The Shaker Cabinet at The Warren County Historical Society
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of the
of a
In Force August, 1854:


Published in pursuance of the Act of the General
Assembly of April 18, 1854


Page 870


Section Section
1, 2, 3. Rights and proceedings of wife when husband abandons her and joins certain religious sect.
4. The children.
5. Grants, &c., of husband, void.
6. Penalty for enticing husband to join certain sects, &c.

An Act providing for the relief and support of women who may be abandoned by their husbands, and for other purposes.

[passed and took effect, January 11, 1811. 9 vol. Stat. 115.]

  Whereas, it is represented to the general assembly that a sect of people in this state, called and known by the name of Shakers, inculcate and enjoin upon all who become attached to them, that they must lead a life of celibacy, in consequence of which women have been abandoned by
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their husbands, robbed of their children, and left destitute of the means of support: Therefore,  
(1.) Section I. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio, that if any man, being joined in the marriage relation, shall renounce the marriage covenant, or refuse to live with his wife, in the conjugal relation, by joining himself to any sect, whose rules and doctrines require a renunciation of the marriage covenant, or forbid a man and woman to dwell and cohabit together, in the conjugal relation, according to the true intent and meaning of the institution of marriage, it shall and may be lawful for the wife, in such case, to file her petition in the office of the clerk of the court of common pleas, or of the supreme court, at least two months before the time of the sitting of said court, and shall also serve the adverse party with a copy of said petition, within one month from the time of filing the same, which petition shall state the true cause of complaint. And in case he shall not reside in her county, she shall publish such notice in some newspaper published in said county, or in the next adjacent county in which a newspaper is published. Rights and proceedings of wife, when husband abandons her and joins certain religious sect.
(2.) Sec. II. That is shall be the duty of the clerk of such court, where the petition is filed, to issue a summons, requiring the person complained of to appear before the said court to answer the allegation of said petition; and if the party complained of shall not appear, or, appearing, shall deny the facts stated in the petition, the court shall proceed to hear and determine the same. Same.
(3.) Sec. III. That if it shall appear to the said court, that the woman complaining has been lawfully married to the man of whom complaint is made, and that he hath renounced or violated the marriage covenant by joining such sect as above described, the court shall take such measures as to them shall seem right, to ascertain the amount of property, real and personal, of such husband, and shall decree such part thereof to the woman as shall appear just and equitable. Same.
(4.) Sec. IV. That if the said husband and wife shall have a child or children, (yet being in a state of minority) the husband so violating the marriage covenant, shall be considered as having renounced and divested himself of all the authority he could have otherwise exercised over his children, and the court shall decree such part (or the whole) of the remainder of his property, real and personal, as to them shall seem right, to the use and support of the child or children aforesaid; and such child or children shall be and remain under the care and direction of the mother: Provided, that the court shall have power, if they shall deem it necessary, to appoint a guardian or guardians for such child or children, agreeably to the provisions of the thirty-fourth and thirty-fifth section of the act, entitled “an act for the proving and recording wills and codicils, defining the duties of executors and administrators, the appointment of guardians, and the distribution of insolvent estates,” passed February tenth, The children.
one thousand eight hundred and ten; and provided also that if the court shall deem it necessary, they may direct such child or children to be bound to apprenticeship, agreeably to the sixth section of the act, entitled “an act for the Chase, 680.
relief of the poor,” passed February nineteenth, one thousand eight hundred and ten. Chase, 696, 514.
(5.) Sec. V. That all gifts, grants, or devises of money or property, real or personal, which may be made by any man as aforesaid, violating the marriage covenant, to such sect as before described, or any members of such sect, which may tend to deprive his wife or children of that support to which they are entitled, according to the true intent and meaning of this act, shall be utterly void; and all money or property so given, granted or devised, may be recovered at the suit of the party injured. Grants, &c. of husband, void.

5 O.R. 190.

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Penalty for enticing husband to join certain sects, &c. 6.) Sec. VI. That if any person shall, with an intent of causing any man or woman to renounce the marriage covenant; or abandon their wives, husbands, or children, entice or persuade such person to join any sect or denomination of persons whatever, whose principles and practice inculcate a renunciation of the matrimonial contract, or the abandonment of wives and children, or either of- them, - contrary to the true- intent and meaning of the marriage institution, shall, on conviction thereof, be fined in any sum not exceeding five hundred, dollars, at the discretion of the court having, by law, jurisdiction ; and that all fines incurred under this section, shall be paid into the treasury of the proper county for the use of the same : Provided, that nothing in this section contained shall be construed or understood to extend to any person for delivering any public sermon, exhortation or address.
  This act shall take effect and be in force from the passage thereof.

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This page created 13 June 2005 and last updated 8 March, 2008
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