Archiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2005-01 > 1104969576

Subject: Excerpt Of History
Date: Wed, 5 Jan 2005 18:59:38 EST

January 5

1643 First divorce in the colonies
In the first record of a legal divorce in the American colonies, Anne Clarke
of the Massachusetts Bay Colony is granted a divorce from her absent and
adulterous husband, Denis Clarke, by the Quarter Court of Boston, Massachusetts.
In a signed and sealed affidavit presented to John Winthrop Jr., the son of
the colony's founder, Denis Clarke admitted to abandoning his wife, with whom
he had two children, for another woman, with whom he had another two
children. He also stated his refusal to return to his original wife, thus giving the
Puritan court no option but to punish Clarke and grant a divorce to his
wife, Anne. The Quarter Court's final decision read: "Anne Clarke, beeing
deserted by Denis Clarke hir husband, and hee refusing to accompany with hir, she is
graunted to bee divorced."
January 5

1825 Alexandre Dumas pere fights a duel
On this day, 23-year-old Alexandre Dumas fights his first duel. He sustains
no serious injury, although his pants fall down in the fight. He'll later
fill his romantic works, including The Three Musketeers, with duels, battles,
and daring escapades.
Dumas was the son of one of Napoleon's generals, but his family struggled
financially after his father's death in 1806. Dumas went to Paris to find work
and was hired by the household of the Duke D'Orleans, who became King
Louis-Philippe. Dumas began writing plays, which became huge hits with the public,
then turned to historical novels. He published The Three Musketeers in 1844,
followed by The Count of Monte Cristo in 1845.
Dumas led a tempestuous life filled with ruinous love affairs. His
illegitimate son also became a writer-the two were later known as Dumas pere (French
for "father") and Dumas fils (French for "son"). The son reacted against his
father's lifestyle by writing highly regarded contemporary dramas supporting
marriage and family, with titles like "The Natural Son" (1848) and "The
Prodigal Father"(1859) . Dumas pere died in 1870. Five years later, his son was
admitted to the elite Academie Francaise. Dumas fils died in 1895.

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