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Theophilus Parsons.

Laws of business for all the states of the Union : with forms and directions for all transactions. And abstracts of the laws of all the states and territories on the various topics online

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her husband, Goodyear v. Rumbaugh, supra, and with her husband for her estate, a re-
covery to be for her benefit, or maintain trespass for injury to her property, though he dis-
sents, and he cannot sue therefor alone. Goodyear v. Rumbaugh, supra. Marriage does
not, even with her consent, dissolve her testamentary guardianship. Cummings' Appeal,
supra. His property is first liable for necessaries; for want of it, the wife's. Id. 700. He re-
tains his estate by the curtesy, id. ; but as to when it is generally liable to his creditors, see
id. p. 1093 ; Lancaster Co. Bank v. Stauffer, supra ; Lefevcr v. Witmer, supra. A trustee
may be appointed of a married woman's property, and she may declare trusts. Dunlop, p.
1096. There are also provisions by which claims for personal injury to the husband sur-
vive to the widow, id. p. 1145; by which married women may loan to their husbands, id.,
and for insanity of the wife. Id. p. 1170. If the husband does not provide for his wife,
or deserts her, she has the rights of & feme sole ; and if intestate her property descends as
if he had previously died. Id. 702. In such case, or if divorced a mensa et thoro, she may
maintain an action for slander or libel, and may recover her separate earnings and prop-
erty ; but if her husband is defendant, in the name of her next friend. Id. 702. If of
lawful age, and entitled to a legacy, &c., she may execute a refunding bond and other
instruments to an executor or administrator. Id. 702. No judgment obtained against her
husband before or during marriage shall bind or be a lien on her real estate, or his
interest as tenant by curtesy. And by joining with him she may convey any lands con-
veyed to or acquired by her to her separate use, which conveyance will be as valid
as if in execution of a power contained in the deed creating such estate. Laws of
Penn. 18G3, pp. 212, 215. But if such right has been withheld in the deed, will, 01
other instrument which created the separate estate, she cannot convey. Id. 1867, p. 67



RHOI>E



In RHODE ISLAND, there is a provision substantially like that in Massachusetts as to a
ir..rried woman, coming into the State without her husband, and there living without him.
Itcv. St. (1857), p. 314. Rents and profits of her real estate secured to her. Her chattels
real, furniture, plate, jewels, shares in an incorporated company, money deposited in
savings bank, or debts due to her and secured by mortgage, may be transferred by
joint deed of husband and wife. All other personal estate she may dispose of as if un-
married. Id. p. 316. Any married woman may dispose of her real estate by will, but not
to deprive her husband of his tenancy by the curtesy. Id. 317. Acts and Res., January
Session, 1856, p. 68. Her deposits in an institution for savings are her own property, id.
p. 73. Any policy of insurance for her benefit, not exceeding the sum of $10,000, is hers
independently of her husband, or the person effecting the insurance, or the creditors of
either. Public Laws, 1860, p. 96.



36 MARRIED WOMEN.



SOTJXH CAROLINA.

In SOUTH CAROLINA, the real and personal property of a married woman, whether
held by her at the time of the marriage, or accrued to her thereafter in any way, shall be
her separate property, and not subject to levy or sale for her husband's debts. Statutes
of 1870, No. 220. She may bequeath, devise, or convey her separate property, as if un-
married; and, if she dies intestate, her property shall descend in the same manner as is
provided for the property of husband. She may purchase any property, and contract in
reference to it, as if unmarried. Id. id. Her husband is not liable for her debts con-
tracted before marriage, nor for those contracted after, except for her necessary support.
Id. id. A homestead of the value of $1,000 is exempt from execution. Stat. of 1868,
No. 16, and also $500 worth of personal property. Stat. of 1870, No. 273. When the
action concerns her separate property, she may sue and be sued alone. Stat. of 1870,
Tit. 3. p. 451 ; and judgment may be entered against her separately, and execution be
levied on her separate property. Id. p. 491 .



TEINTVESSEE.

In TENNESSEE, the wife may manage her own and her husband's property, when he is
incapacitated, Code of Tenn. (1858), p. 488; and her property is not liable in such case
for his debts. Id. id. Property acquired by her, subsequent to an abandonment by him,
or separation from him, in consequence of ill usage, is not liable for his debts. If
she live with him again, it is. P. 488. Marriage contracts are not good where more
property is concerned than the portion actually received with the wife at the time of mar-
riage; but subsequent legacies to her are considered as property received by her. P.
369. A feme covert may dispose by will of her own estate. Id. p. 488. A homestead
of the value of $500 is exempted from execution, and shall not be aliened, if the owner be
married, except by the joint deed of him and his wife. Id. p. 431.



TEXAS.

In TEXAS, the marriage of a female minor gives her all the right she would have if of
age. Paschal's Digest of Texas Laws (1860), art. 4632. All property acquired by either
party before marriage, or by gift, devise, or descent afterwards, is the separate property of
each; but the husband has the management of the whole. Id. art. 4641. Property
acquired by either during marriage, in other ways, is common ; the husband may dispose
of it during coverture; if there are no children, the whole goes to the survivor, otherwise
one-half. Id. art. 4642. The parties may be jointly sued for necessaries and for ex-



MARRIED WOMEN. 37

penses benefiting the wife's separate estate. Id. art. 4643. Execution may be levied on
common property, or her separate property, at the plaintiffs option. Id. art. 4644. Mar-
riage-agreements must be made before a notary, and may be acknowledged by a minor
with the parent's or guardian's consent, id. art. 4633, and are unalterable after marriage.
Id. art. 4634. A reservation of property therein to be good must be recorded. Id. art.
46.35. Husband and wife may sue jointly and separately, for her effects. Id. 4636.
The homestead, not exceeding fifty acres of land, and not exceeding five hundred dollars
of improvements (or, if in a town or city, two thousand dollars in value), is exempt from
execution. Const, of Texas, art. 7, 22. The wife acts jointly with her husband, when
she is appointed executrix or administratrix. Id. art. 1234. The survivor takes the
common property subject to its debts, nor is it necessary for her husband to administer
on such property on her death ; as he has the same control of it then that he had in her
lifetime. In case of his death, she has the same control, till she marries ; when it will be
subject to administration. Id. art. 4647, 4652. Husband may fill antecedent contracts,
and be compelled to give bonds for the proper management of the common property. Id.
art. 4650. Her separate property is not chargeable with necessaries procured for him.
Id. art. 4641, 4. The common property is liable for all debts contracted during mar-
riage. Id. art. 4646. Either may by will give to the survivor the power to keep his and
her separate property together, until each of the several heirs come of age ; and to manage
and control it, subject to law and the provisions of the will. Id. art. 4653.



VERMONT.



In VERMONT, in case of desertion, the Supreme Court may authorize a wife of eighteen
years of age, to convey her real estate, and the personal estate which came to her hus-
band through her, if in the State and undisposed of by him; and require any one owing
her husband money in her right to pay it to her; and the proceeds, and her own earn-
ings, and those of her minor children shall be held by her for her own use. Laws of
1869, No. 13 ; and Gen. Stat. (1 863), p. 469. If the real estate of a wife be taken for pub-
lic use, the damages are to be secured to her benefit. Id. p. 470. The wife of a man under
guardianship may join with the guardian in making partition, &c. Id. p. 470. The wife
of a man confined in the State prison is as a feme sole as to suits for causes arising after
his sentence. Id. 471. Married women may devise by will their inheritable real estate.
Id. 471. The rents, &c., of all her real estate, and her husband's interest in it, shall be
exempt from attachment or execution for his sole debts, nor can he convey them without
her. Id. 471. She may insure the life of her husband for her own use, if the premium
do not exceed $300. Id. 472. The homestead, not exceeding $500 in value, exempt from
sale on execution. Id. p. 456 ; Acts of 1851, No. 29. The earnings of a married woman
and her deposits in Savings bank are not subject to trustee process by her husband. Gen.
Stats, pp. 305 and 549. The annual product of her real estate is subject to the payment
of necessaries for herself and family, and for .work and materials for their benefit. Stocks
and bonds given to her by a parent are governed by the same law. Id. 47, 18. When
abandoned by her husband, she may maintain an action in her own name, as if unmarried.
Laws of Vermont, 1866, p. 43. All personal property, and rights of personal acquired



38 MARRIED WOMEN.

during coverture, or by inheritance, or distribution, shall be held to her sole and separate
use. Id. 1867, p. 29.



VIROIISTA.

In VIRGINIA, the husband of an insane wife may make a deed to bar her right of
dower, on leave of court; but the same interest in the proceeds shall be secured to her.
Code of Virginia, Tit. 36, c. 128, 11. If the husband die intestate, and without issue
by her, she has the personal property which he had from or with her, and which he has
not disposed of, if his other personal estate suffices to pay his debts. Id. Tit. 33, c. 123,
10. She can make no will except of her separate estate, or by a power of appointment.
Id. Tit. 33, c. 122, 3. A homestead not exceeding 160 acres of land, including the
buildings thereon, and not exceeding $1,200 in value. Acts of Assembly, 1867, ch. 139.

In WEST VIBGINIA, the Code of Virginia remains in force in these respects.



WISCONSIN.

In WISCONSIN, the marriage of a feme sole executrix or administratrix extinguishes
her authority. Rev. St. c. 67, 8 ; c. 68, 13, and of a female ward terminates the guar-
dianship. Id. c. 80, 27. The husband holds his deceased wife's lands for life, unless she
left by a former husband issue to whom the estate might descend. Id. c. 62, 30. Pro-
visions exist by which powers may be given to married women, and regulating their exe-
cution of them. Id. c. 58, 8, 15, 40, 44, 57. If husband and wife are impleaded, and
the husband neglect to defend the rights of the wife, she, applying before judgment, may
defend without him ; and if he lose her land by default, she may bring an action of eject-
ment after his death. Id. c. 3, 3, 4. The real estate of females married before, and
the real and personal property of those after, Feb. 21, 1850, remain their separate prop-
erty. And any married woman may receive, but not from her husband, and hold any
property as if unmarried. Laws of 1850, c. 44. She may insure the life of her husband,
son, or any other person, for her own exclusive benefit, but the annual premium must not
exceed $300. Laws of 1862, c. 182. A homestead of forty acres, used for agricultural
purposes, or one-fourth of an acre within a recorded town plot, or city, or village, is ex-
empt from sale on execution. Rev. St. c. 134, 23. Laws of 1863, ch. 88. Laws of
1864, ch. 270.

It should be added, that the wife may everywhere even by com-
mon law be the agent of the husband, and transact for him his
business transactions, making, accepting, or indorsing bills or notes,
purchasing goods, rendering bills, collecting money and receipting
for it, and in general entering into any contract so as to bind him,
if she has his authority to do so. And while they continue to live



MAEKIED WOMEN. 39

together, the law considers the wife as clothed with authority by
the husband to buy for him and his family all things necessary in
kind and quantity for the proper support of his family ; and for
such puz chases made by her, he is liable.

The husband is responsible for necessaries supplied to his wife, if
he does not supply them himself. And he continues so liable if he
turns her out of his house, or otherwise separates himself from her,
without good cause. But he is not so liable if she deserts him
(unless on extreme provocation), or if he turns her away for good
- -,ause.

If she leaves him because he treats her so ill that she has good
right to go from him and his house, this is the same thing as turn-
ing her away ; and she carries with her his credit for all necessaries
supplied to her. But what the misconduct must be to give this
right, is uncertain. Some English cases are very severe on this
point. In one, a husband brought a prostitute into his house, and
confined his wife to her own room under pretence of her insanity.
But the court held this to be insufficient. The Supreme Court of
New York, in commenting upon this case, said that "the doctrine
contained in it cannot be law in a Christian country." In America
the law must be, and undoubtedly is, that the wife is not obliged to
stay and endure cruelty or indecency.

It may be added, that if a man lives with a woman as his wife,
and represents her to be so, he is liable for necessaries supplied to
her. and for her contracts, in the same way as if she were his wife ;
and this even to one who knows that she is not his wife.

The statutes of which we have given an abstract are intended to
secure to a married woman all her rights. But in all parts of this
country, women about to marry or their friends for them often
wish to secure to them certain powers and rights, and to limit these
in certain ways, or to make sure that their property is in safe anu
skilful hands. This can only be done by conveying and transfer-
ring the property to TRUSTEES ; that is, to certain persons to hold
the same in trust. This is done by a legal instrument, which is
almost always an Indenture; by which is meant an instrument
under seal between two or more parties. This instrument must sec



40 MARRIED WOMEN.

forth precisely, and with legal accuracy, just what the trust is ;
that is to say, just what the trustees, or the woman, or her husband
may do, and just what tlrey must do. This is one of those instru-
ments which require peculiar care and exactness. We give as
models, or forms, two, differing in their terms and purposes. Both
were drawn by very skilful lawyers, and with such changes, of
omission or addition or alteration, as the circumstances of any case
or the wishes of the parties make necessary, will be useful and safe
guides in the preparation of such instruments.



An Indenture to put in Trust the Property of an Unmarried

Woman.

This Indenture of two parts, made and concluded this day of

, A.D. eighteen hundred and , by and between

of , singlewoman, of the first part, and , and

, of , of the second part,

Witnesseth, That the said party of the first part is seized and possessed
of certain real and personal estate, to wit, one undivided moiety of the reversion
in and of a messuage and land in , bounded as follows :

a mortgage of a lot of land bounded on Street, and described in the deed

of to , which is recorded in the Registry of

Deeds, lib. , fol. ; a mortgage of a lot of land bounded on

Street, and described in the deed of , recorded in

the said Registry, lib. , fol. ; a mortgage of two lots of land bounded

on Street, and described in the deed of to , re-

corded in the said Registry, lib. , fol. ; a mortgage of a lot of land

bounded on Street, and described in the deed of to

recorded in the Registry aforesaid, lib. , fol. ; one hundred shares in

the capital stock of the Bank in ; twenty-five shares in the

capital stock of the Bank in ; and fifty shares in the capital

stock of the Bank of ; also a note of hand signed by the said

, for the sum of fifteen thousand dollars ; a note of hand signed by the
said , for the sum of three thousand dollars ; a note of hand signed by

and , for the sum of two thousand five hundred dol-

lars ; a note of hand signed by , for the sum of six thousand dollars,

which notes are severally secured by the lands and tenements, mortgaged as
aforesaid ; also a note of hand signed by , for the sum of one thou-

sand dollars.

All which real and personal estate the said party of the first part is desirous
that the party of the second part should have and hold in trust for certain uses



MARRIED WOMEN. 41

and purposes hereinafter set forth and expressed ; and in conformity with said in-
tention, and for the purpose of carrying the same into effect, the said party of the
first part, in consideration of the sum of five dollars paid to her hy the party of
the second part, the receipt of which she doth hereby acknowledge, and for divers
other good considerations moving her thereto, hath given, granted, sold, and
conveyed, and doth give, grant, bargain, sell, and convey, all the said lands, tene-
ments, and real estate, and doth hereby bargain, sell, transfer, assign, and set over
all the aforesaid chattels and personal estate, as the same are above specified and
described, unto the snid and , and their heirs and as-

signs. To have and to hold the said granted premises unto the said
and , and their heirs and assigns, and to the survivor of them

and his heirs and assigns forever to their own use, but in trust nevertheless for the
purposes, objects, and intents hereinafter set forth and expressed, and for none
other, namely:

First, That the said trustees and their successors in the said trust shall permit
the said party of the first part, without any hinderance or interference by them, so
long as she shall remain sole and unmarried, and shall see fit so to do, to receive
and take in her proper person, or by her agent or attorney, the rents, income,
dividends, interest, and profits of the said trust estate, real and personal, without
any accountability therefor, to them the said parties of the second part ; but if
required by her, the said party of the first part, so to do, the said trustees and their
successors shall collect and receive the said rents, income, and profits of the trust
estate, and shall from time to tune pay over the same unto the said party of the
first part for her own use.

Secondly, That from and after the solemnization of the marriage of the said
party of the first part, whenever that event may take place, the said trustees and
their successors shall collect, take, and receive all the rents, income, and profits of
the trust estate, real and personal, and shall from tune to time pay over the same
to the said party of the first part, to and upon her separate order or receipt, made
and signed by her, at or about the time of such payments respectively and for her
proper use, free from the control or interference of any husband she may have.

Thirdly, That at and after the decease of said party of the first part, the said
trustees and their successors shall be seized and possessed of the said trust estate
to and for the use of such person or persons as the said party of the first part, by
any last will and testament, duly executed, if she die sole and unmarried, or, in
case she be at her decease a married woman, by any paper writing signed by her
in presence of two or more credible witnesses, shall order, and appoint to take, re-
ceive, and hold the same, and in such shares and manner, and upon such terms and
conditions, as she shall direct, order, and appoint as aforesaid ; and in case the said
party of the first part shall omit to make any such will or testamentary appoint-
ment, then the said trustees and their successors shall hold the trust estate to the
use of such person or persons as by the laws of this Commonwealth would, in case
the party of the first part had died seized and possessed of the then existing trust
property in her own right, have been entitled to the same as heirs-at-law, or dis-



42 MAEEIED WOMEN.

tributees ; provided always that in such case the husband of the said party of the
first part, if she leave a husband, shall be entitled to his life estate in all the real
estate, as if he were tenant by the curtesy in and of the same, and be subject to
all the duties incident to a tenant by the curtesy.

Fourthly, That the said trustees and their successors shall keep the said trust
estate, real and personal, constantly invested hi the most safe and profitable man-
ner in their power, but relying always on their discretion in this behalf, and shall
accordingly have power to sell and dispose of any of the said trust estate, and to
make and pass all necessary deeds and instruments of conveyance thereof, and to
purchase any other estate, real or personal, and the same to sell again, and so from
tune to time to change the property composing the trust fund and estate ; pro-
vided always that all real and personal estate which may be purchased by them
the said trustees with the trust moneys, or the proceeds of sale of the trust prop-
erty, shall be conveyed and assigned to them and their successors as trustees as
aforesaid, and shall be holden always upon the same trusts, and with the same pow-
ers, and for the same purposes, as are set forth and declared in this indenture of
and concerning the estate firstly above described and conveyed to the said trustees.

Fifthly, That the said trustees or their successors, in case the said party of the
first part shall so order and direct, shall invest the trust money or estate, or such
part thereof as they shall be ordered as aforesaid, in the purchase of such house
for the habitation and dwelling of the said /(arty of the first part as she may select,
and shall lay out and expend such other part of the said trust money and estate
as she, the said party, shall order and direct, in the purchase of such furniture,
plate, horses, and equipages, as she may choose and select for her own use ; and
shall permit her, the said party of the first part, with any husband she may have,
to occupy and inhabit the said house, and to use and enjoy the said furniture,
plate, carriages, and horses without impeachment of waste, and without any ac-
countability to them the said trustees for the reasonable wear and use thereof, or
injury by casualty ; and the trustees shall keep the said house and furniture insured
against fire, and, in case of loss or injury by fire, shall lay out and expend the
money which they may receive from the assurers, in the repairing or rebuilding of
the said house, if so directed by the said party of the first part, and in the purchase
of other and new furniture, plate, horses, and equipages in place of those which
have been injured or destroyed by fire, and shall permit the said party of the first
part to use and enjoy the same in manner aforesaid. And the said trustees and
their successors shall, when required by the said party of the first part so to do,
cell and dispose of any house which may have been purchased by them for the per-
sonal occupation and habitation of the said party of the first part, and shall in
manner aforesaid lay out the proceeds of sale of such house, and such other moneys
as she shall direct, in the purchase of such other house as she shall select and direct
them to purchase, and shall permit her to occupy the same in manner above set
forth and expressed ; and they shall also, when directed by the said party of the
first part, sell and dispose of any of the furniture and other chattels, so as afore-
said, purchased by them for her use, and shall from time to tune lay out and ex



MARRIED WOMEN. 43

pend the proceeds of such sales and such other suras of money as they shall be
directed by the said party of the first part to do, in the purchase of such other
furniture, plate, horses, and equipages as she shall select for her own use ; and
shall permit her to use and enjoy the same in manner aforesaid : provided always
that in case of any attempt by any person to sell or remove the said furniture or
other chattels out of the personal care and custody of the party of the first part,
without the consent of the trustees, they shall forthwith take possession thereof,
and convert the chattels so attempted to be removed or sold, into money, and shall
hold the said money upon the trusts and for the uses set forth in this indenture ;
and in all the cases in which any order or direction shall be given by the said party



Online LibraryTheophilus ParsonsLaws of business for all the states of the Union : with forms and directions for all transactions. And abstracts of the laws of all the states and territories on the various topics → online text (page 6 of 70)