By Elizabeth Urban Alexander
The felony campaign of Myra Clark Gaines (1804?--1885) has all of the trappings of vintage melodrama -- a misplaced inheritor, a lacking will, a bootleg courting, a questionable marriage, a bigamous husband, and a homicide. For a part century the daughter of recent Orleans millionaire Daniel Clark struggled to justify her declare to his huge, immense fortune in a case that captivated the nineteenth-century public. Elizabeth city Alexander faucets voluminous court docket documents and letters to solve the twists and turns of Gaines's litigation and display the reality in the back of the mysterious saga of this infamous woman.
Myra, the daughter of actual property inheritor Clark and Zulime Carrière, a gorgeous younger Frenchwoman, was once raised via buddies of Clark and stored blind to her actual parentage until eventually 1832, whilst she came upon her actual lineage in letters between her foster father's papers. She thereupon again to Louisiana with stories of a misplaced will and a mystery marriage among Clark and Carrière and claimed to be Clark's lacking inheritor. was once Myra the valid daughter of the widespread service provider or the "fruit of an adulterous union?" The courts could decide.
The nice Gaines Case wound its tortuous direction during the usa felony procedure from 1834 till 1891. It used to be thought of through the U.S. splendid court docket seventeen occasions and pursued even after Gaines's loss of life by way of legal professionals attempting to recoup charges. via courageously bringing her case to the court and doggedly holding it there, Alexander asserts, Gaines helped instigate a brand new form of kin legislation that supplied certain safety of ladies, kids, and marriages.
Though Gaines by no means recovered greater than a tiny fraction of the rumored hundreds of thousands, this riveting chronicle of her fight for legitimacy and legacy as instructed through Elizabeth city Alexander is a gold mine for a person drawn to felony heritage, women's reviews, or a superb yarn beautifully spun.
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Extra info for Notorious Woman: The Celebrated Case of Myra Clark Gaines (Southern Biography Series)
Notorious Woman: The Celebrated Case of Myra Clark Gaines (Southern Biography Series) by Elizabeth Urban Alexander