Property rites : the Rhinelander trial, passing, and the protection of whiteness / Elizabeth M. Smith-Pryor.

In 1925 Leonard Rhinelander, the youngest son of a wealthy New York society family, sued to end his marriage to Alice Jones, a former domestic servant and the daughter of a "colored" cabman. After being married only one month, Rhinelander pressed for the dissolution of his marriage on the...

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Online Access: Full Text (via HeinOnline)
Main Author: Smith-Pryor, Elizabeth M. (Author)
Format: eBook
Language:English
Published: Chapel Hill : The University of North Carolina Press, [2009]
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Summary:In 1925 Leonard Rhinelander, the youngest son of a wealthy New York society family, sued to end his marriage to Alice Jones, a former domestic servant and the daughter of a "colored" cabman. After being married only one month, Rhinelander pressed for the dissolution of his marriage on the grounds that his wife had lied to him about her racial background. The subsequent marital annulment trial became a massive public spectacle, not only in New York but across the nation--despite the fact that the state had never outlawed interracial marriage. Elizabeth Smith-Pryor makes extensive use of trial transcripts, in addition to contemporary newspaper coverage and archival sources, to explore why Leonard Rhinelander was allowed his day in court. She moves fluidly between legal history, a day-by-day narrative of the trial itself, and analyses of the trial's place in the culture of the 1920s North to show how notions of race, property, and the law were--and are--inextricably intertwined.
Physical Description:1 online resource (xiii, 391 pages) : illustrations.
Bibliography:Includes bibliographical references (pages 341-372) and index.
ISBN:9780807894170
0807894176
9781469605906
1469605902