Monday, May 20, 2013

But he didn't want to marry her!

I thought about not posting this because of its scandalous nature.
However, I work on family history every day lately, and we take the good with the bad, right?

Besides, this so clearly illustrates the thinking of 1894, over a hundred years ago.
I thought it interesting this story was all deemed the man's fault.

So she "wins" his hand in marriage after trying to get him arrested
and in prison because he didn't want to get married.

And why would this woman.....who happens to be the sister of my Great Grandmother....
why would she even want to be married to a man who didn't want her? 

A 12 day trial? And how in the world did they come up with the 50 witnesses to testify?

I found the above article in one of my Mom's binders just recently. 

They went on to have 5 children, and she died at the age of 29.
 I have no idea what kind of marriage they had, but I can guess.

I am so very curious about this trial.
I'm trying to think of a way to learn more about it....
I would especially like to know what those 50 witnesses had to say.

This is my Grandpa Slinkard.
Laura Slinkard in the article above, was his Aunt.

I never noticed it before, but this young Grandpa Slinkard looks similar to my brother Chris.


Anonymous said...

What a crazy story! I would have liked to hear that trial. It's interesting to read the type of journalism that was prevalent back then. "Outraged womanhood has been punished and the peace and dignity of the State of California has been assuaged." Huh? What does this mean? Maybe it made sense back then. And I agree, Jill. Why would she want someone who didn't want to marry her? And does she not bear any responsibility for any of this? I guess you'd have to have been there to understand.

Heather said...

That is the craziest story ever! Yikes! I guess at that time it was better to marry someone who didn't want to, than be considered damaged goods. She probably felt like he was her only option since her "previous chaste character" was blighted.

grandmapeg said...

After reading the article, I agree with you, "why would she want to marry a man that didn't want her" but back then, damaging a woman's character like that, was taken more seriously. We all have skeletons in our family closets, but most don't make it in the newspapers. Thanks for sharing the article. It was very interesting.

the Rich girl said...

I would imagine that with 50 witnesses, the whole town knew she was no longer "of chaste character," so I bet she wouldn't have had any future marriage prospects and almost no future.
Although, I also imagine that the marriage was not a very happy one.

Incredible how differently people think now compared to 100+ years ago.

Grandma Honey said...

On a whim I found the email address of the author of that article back in 1991 and wrote to him yesterday. This morning he called me! We had quite the chat. He wrote that "Slices of Time" column for 11 1/2 years and he remembers working on this particular story. He told me where I could go to look up microfilm of that case. He said there were LOTS of newspaper articles about this case and told me which dates to check. So I hope to be reading all this soon. I can hardly wait. He said I may learn more about my family and their friends from those old articles, and how life was back then.

Oh, and I found out Laura Slinkard gave birth to a baby boy 8 months before this trial. She gave birth to him on April 2nd and filed charges against Danner on April 19th. The trial was that following Dec. So the plot thickens. Perhaps that baby was the talk of the town. Or maybe she tried to hide him since it wasn't even mentioned in this article.

So interesting learning about life back in the day.

Anonymous said...

That makes a lot more sense. If she had a baby, back in those days she would have had to have a husband/provider. Women probably rarely supported families back then. It was a matter of survival to be married.
I still can't get over the style of writing that was acceptable in a newspaper back then!

Lisa said...

It seems like transcripts from the court hearings are all documented by a court reporter & filed away. But...that was a long time ago! What GEMS your Mom saved! Great Post! Where's the dange "like" button??? : )

Sue said...

That's about as interesting and peculiar as family history gets! Thanks for sharing it, Jill!


Anonymous said...

Evidently, one of my relatives, who I never met, (great-uncle?) was a "beach bum" who scavenged the beaches "for a living". This was a huge family embarrassment, and no one ever talked about him. I heard about him for the first time when I was around 40. I wonder what ever happened to him?

Grandma Honey said...

Hey it might be worth doing a search on him, Darlene. WIth the internet now, just about anything is possible.

Den has a grandpa who walked out on his Grandma and their 3 little girls....never to be seen again. He's always been curious about him. So far no luck with finding out anything...but maybe someday.

Ammy said...

Holy cow! I read this toJohn and we were in awe! We thought about all of the people that would be in prison now for acting this way or worse. On another note, my great, great, great, great aunt, Susannah Martin was one of the wiches that was hanged at the Salem Witch Trial. That was crazy stuff too!