Left My Bed and Board

Perplexing Case.

Hon. James H. Knowlton, one of our most eminent Western advocates, met with the following perplexing adventure in his early practice in Wisconsin:

A stranger came into his office and abruptly informed his that his wife had deserted him, and wished to have her replevined at once. Knowlton told him that that remedy would not meet his case exactly, and went on to inform him that if he would be patient until the desertion had continued one year, he could obtain a divorce. —

The stranger said he did not know that he wanted a divorce. What he mostly feared was that his wife would run him in debt all over the country.

“In that case,” said Knowlton, “you had better post her.”

What his client understood him to mean by posting, remains a mystery to this day. He said, in a meditative way the he didn’t know where she had gone, and beside, that she was fully as strong as he was, and he didn’t believe he could post her, even if he knew where to find her.

Knowlton hastened to inform him that by posting his wife he meant puting a notice in a newspaper, saying:

“Whereas my wife Helen has left my bed and board without any just -”

“But that ain’t true,” interrupted the client — “that ain’t true. she didn’t leave my bed — she took it away with her.”

The Adams Sentinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Sep 25, 1861

CAUTION.

WHEREAS my wife Anne, late widow of David Risher, had left my bed and board without just cause, on the 26th inst. — This is therefore to caution all persons, from trusting or harboring her on my account, as I am determined to pay no debts of her contracting after this date.

BALTZER KOONTZ, Son.
Bethlehem tp. July 27.

The Ohio Repository (Canton, Ohio) Aug 19, 1824

NOTICE. — WHEREAS MY WIFE, Anna Rolland, has left my bed and board I shall pay no more bills of her contracting from this date.

LEVI (his X mark) ROLLAND,
Fitchburg, Jan. 23, 1874.

The Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) Jan 29, 1874

Caution.

NOTICE is hereby given to all persons, that my wife Hannah Fosdick has left my bed and board, and has taken one of my children with her, John H. Fosdick. I hereby forbid all persons harboring or trusting her on my account, or in behalf of the child, as I will pay no debts of her contracting after this date; as I will support the child when returned to me at Norwalk.

JOHN M. FOSDICK.
Norwalk, Sept. 4, 1844

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Sep 24, 1844

NOTICE.

I, the undersigned, caution the Public against trusting my Wife LYDIA M’WHIRTER — she having left my bed and board last October, without any provocation and against my consent. I will not pay any debts of her contracting from this date.

JOHN M’WHIRTER
Baltimore July 17, 1841.

The Adams Sentinel (Gettsyburg, Pennsylvania) Aug 2, 1841

CAUTION AND NOTICE.

WHEREAS my wife Elvira Bridges, without any good cause or reasonable excuse there for, has left my bed and board and absconded with my two children this is to caution all persons from harboring her or them and to give notice that I shall pay no debts of her contracting or pay any expense for their or either of their support having suitably provided for them at my house in Bucksport.

EPHRAIM BRIDGES, Jr.
Bucksport Oct 12 1841

Bangor Daily Whig and Courier (Bangor, Maine) Oct 26, 1841


NOTICE.

MY wife, REBECCA, left my bed and board, and refuses to live with me under any consideration whatever, after intercessions and propositions of every kind, that an affectionate husband could make. I, therefore, hereby warn all persons not to harbor or trust her on my account, as I have arrangements made for her board, and by calling on me, or on Messrs. Wareing & Benson, or C. & J. Culp, she can have information, and be conducted to the house.

MATHEW M’KELVEY.
Plymouth, Huron County, Nov. 16, 1842.

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Nov 29, 1842

Pass Him Round. — Mrs. Elizabeth Peterman, of Rochester, Fulton county, Indiana, thus notices her absconding husband: “Left my bed and board, last August, thereby making my expenses lighter, my dearly beloved companion, David Peterman, without any just cause or provocation. All the old maids and young girls are hereby forewarned against harboring or trusting him on my account, as I am determined not to be accountable for his debts, or, more especially, for his conduct. Papers will please copy, and oblige a female who is rejoicing at her happy riddance.” — Indiana Blade.

The Adams Sentinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Apr 13, 1846

Dennis O’Shanessy advertises as follows in the Columbus Republican: “I hereby give notice that my wife Bridget has left my bed and board and that I will not pay her debts, as we are not married.”

The Ohio Democrat (New Philadelphia, Ohio) Apr 12, 1872

Poetry Against Prose.

The following notices appear as advertisements in the Ticonderoga Sentinal of recent date:

NOTICE.

Whereas my wife Josephine has left my bed and board without just cause or provocation, all persons are hereby forbidden to trust or harbor her on my account, as I shall pay no debts of her contracting hereafter.

W.O. MEASECK.
_________
NOTICE.

No bed or board as yet we’ve had
From William O. or William’s dad.
Since last September, when we were wed,
Have furnished him both board and bed;
And for just cause and provocation
Have sent him home to his relation.

MRS. JOSIE MEASECK.

Josie has the best of it in wit if nothing else.

The Ohio Democrat (New Philadelphia, Ohio) Oct 5, 1893

NOTICE.

To whom it may concern: All persons are hereby notified that Joseph Leipert has left my bed and board without any cause or reason therefor, and that hereafter I will not be responsible for any board, lodging, clothing, food, expenses, or other article furnished him.

Dated at Corning, Iowa, February 26, 1898.

ANNA LEIPERT

Adams County Free Press (Corning, Iowa) Mar 10, 1898

NOTICE.

My husband, John S. Sanders, having left my bed and board, notice is hereby given the public not to sell him anything in my name as I will not be responsible for debts or bills contracted by him.

MRS. ANNA M. SANDERS,
New Oxford, Pa.

New Oxford Item (New Oxford, Pennsylvania) Sep 5, 1918

To all Whom it may Concern.

My wife, Francis Catching, having separated from me, and having left my bed and board without any just cause or provocation, I hereby notify all persons not to trust or give her credit on my account, as I will pay no bills, debts, or obligations contracted by her from and after this date, of any nature or kind whatever.

JOEL P. CATCHING.
Missoula, M.T., Feb. 23, 1883.

The Daily Miner (Butte, Montana) Mar 4, 1883

MY WIFE, Mrs. I.H. Tupen, having left my bed and board, I will not be responsible for any debts contracted by her after this date, December 11, 1919. Irving H. Tupen.

P.S. — Her name formerly was Miss Avy Alice Cutlip.

Woodland Daily Democrat (Woodland, California) Dec 19, 1919

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2 Responses to “Left My Bed and Board”

  1. housesandbooks Says:

    I found several notices like this in the early newspapers of Bloomington, IN, dating to the 1830s. Because of the fact that most woman of the early 1800s legally had no rights to hold property of her own, and because they were viewed by the courts as virtual possessions of their husbands, I suspect that only those women who were made desperate from domestic abuse, alcoholism, etc. would venture to flee their homes. A small degree of these escapes might have been due to adultery, but the majority were probably cases of extremely unhappy marriages. Think about it: what kind of awful husband would take out a public notice against his own wife if he loved her?

  2. oldnews Says:

    I think the ones who took out notices on their wives didn’t want to get stuck with any bills the women ran up, for one thing, whether they were lousy husbands or not. If a husband really loved the wife, he might have been very hurt by her taking off; that might be reason enough to post a notice.

    Anyway, I thought these notices were amusing; regardless of reasons.

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