Seven Wives and Seven Prisons; Or, Experiences in the Life of a Matrimonial Monomaniac. a True Story eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 129 pages of information about Seven Wives and Seven Prisons; Or, Experiences in the Life of a Matrimonial Monomaniac. a True Story.

For our stay at Saratoga, three or four days, was one wild revel.  We rode about, got drunk, went to the Lake, came back to the hotel, and the second day we were there, Eliza sent her sister for a Presbyterian minister, whose address she had somehow secured, and this minister came to the hotel and married us.  I presume I consented, I don’t know, for I was too much under the effect of liquor to know much of anything.  I have an indistinct recollection of some sort of a ceremony, and afterwards Eliza showed me a certificate-no Troy affair, but a genuine document signed by a minister residing in Saratoga, and witnessed by her sister and some one in the hotel who had been called in.  But the whole was like a dream to me; it was the plot of an infamous woman to endeavor to make herself respectable by means of a marriage, no matter to whom or how that marriage was effected.

Meanwhile, the Montpelier papers had the whole story, one of them publishing a glowing account of my elopement with Miss Gurnsey, and the facts of our marriage at Saratoga was duly chronicled.  This paper fell into the hands of Miss Bradley, at Rutland, and as she claimed to be my wife, and had parted with me only a little while before, when I went out to peddle medicines and millinery, her feelings can be imagined.  She read the story and then aroused all Rutland.  I had not been back from Saratoga half an hour before I was arrested in the public house in Montpelier and taken before a magistrate, on complaint of Miss Bradley, of Rutland, that I was guilty of bigamy.

The examination was a long one, and as the facts which were then shown appeared afterwards in my trial they need not be noted now.  I had two first-rate lawyers, but for all that, and with the plainest showing that Margaret Bradley had no claim whatever to be considered my wife, I was bound over in the sum of three thousand dollars to appear for trial, and was sent to jail.  There was a tremendous excitement about the matter, and the whole town seemed interested.

To jail I went, Eliza going with me, and insisting upon staying; but the jailer would not let her, nor was she permitted to visit me during my entire stay there, at least she got in to see me but once.  I made every effort to get bail, but was unsuccessful.  Eight long weary months elapsed before my trial came on, and all this while I was in jail.  My trial lasted a week.  The Bradley woman knew she was no more married to me than she was to the man in the moon; but she swore stoutly that we were actually wedded according to the certificate.  On the other hand, my son swore to all the facts about the Troy spree, and his buying and filling out the certificate, which showed for itself that, excepting the signature of the young woman who also witnessed it, it was entirely in Henry’s handwriting.  I should have got along well enough so far as the Bradley woman was concerned; but the prosecution had been put in possession of all the facts relative to my first and worst marriage,

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Seven Wives and Seven Prisons; Or, Experiences in the Life of a Matrimonial Monomaniac. a True Story from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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