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Women's Rights in Early New York

Document 4


An Act for the more effectual protection of the property of married women

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An Act for the more effectual protection of the property of married women

Transcription

An act for the more effectual protection of the property of married women.

The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assembly, do enact as follows:

§1. The real and personal property of any female who may hereafter marry, and which she shall own at the time of marriage, and the rents issues and profits thereof shall not be subject to the disposal of her husband, nor be liable for his debts, and shall continue her sole and separate property, as if she were a single female.

§2.  The real and personal property, and the rents, issues and profits thereof, of any female now married shall not be subject to the disposal of her husband, ______________________________ but shall be her sole and separate property as if she were a single female except so far as the same may be liable for the debts of her husband heretofore contracted.

§3.  It shall be lawful for any married female to receive, by gift, grant devise or bequest, from any person other than her husband and hold to her sole and separate use, as if she were a single female, real and personal property, and the rents issues and profits thereof, and the same shall not be subject to the disposal of her husband, nor be liable for his debts.

§4.  All contracts made between persons in contemplation of marriage shall remain in full force after such marriage takes place.

State of New York
In Senate, March 29th, 1848
This bill was read the third time and passed:
By order of the Senate

Hamilton Fish, President
Approved April 7, 1848
John Yancy[sic]

State of New York
In Assembly April 6, 1848
This bill was read the third time and passed.
By order of the Assembly.
A.K. Hadley, Speaker

Short Answer Questions

  1. In what year was this law enacted?

  2. Why do you think there needed to be a law for the protection of the property of married women? Who was the law protecting the property from?

  3. Do you think this law would have been necessary under Dutch colonial rule? Why or why not?

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This DBQ is available as a printable worksheet in PDF format.