Warren Co., TN
November 9, 1829
To the Tennessee Legislature of the State of Tennessee now in Session.
The Petition of Martha McGee of the County of Warren and State of Tennessee. by her next friend Richard Forrest. Here with unto adjoins honorable body that some thing like ten years ago she intermarried with a certain Clendenan McGee of the same county and state, with whom she hoped and expected to live in peace and happiness as man and wife. Your petitioner shows that some time after the marriage, the said Clendenan became so intemperate and so addicted to the immoderate use of spirituous liquors that he was entirely unfit for the transaction of business.
Associating himself with men of bad habits and desperate characters and fortune, he together with his associates have dissipated and run through the whole of your petitioner's property, which was considerable, as petitioners will prove to the satisfaction of your honorable body.
Your petitioner farther shows that said Clendenan has been guilty of repeated acts of cruelty toward her when in a state of intoxication. He has repeatedly threatened to take Petitioners life and has kept her and still keeps her by his intemperate conduct and in fearful apprehensions of great bodily harm from the hands of the said Clendenan.
Petitioner further states that the said Clendenan has frequently left her bed. Without any provocation and left her and her two children penniless and without bread. And if it had not been for the kindness and charity of petitioners mother would have suffered for the want of the real necessities of life. Petitioner further states that said Clendenan has been absent from her for the last two years and in that space of time has rendered her no comfort, satisfaction, or aid in supporting herself and children. But on the contrary has done everything in his power to squander the estate, which descended to petitioner from her father out of which alone she could have supported her family. Petitioner has had it in contemplation for the last 12 months to petition for a divorce but hoping her husband the said Clendenan might reform. She has postponed until it is absolutely necessary for her peace and happiness and perhaps for the preservation of her life that all connection between herself and the said Clendenan should be dissolved.
Your petitioner therefore prays your honorable body to pass a law divorcing her from the bed and bound of the said Clendenon McGee supporting the bonds of matrimony existing between them and restoring petitioner to the rights and privileges said amenities to which she was entitled provided she had never intermarried with the said Clendenan. And your said petitioner as is duty bound will ever pray. Martha McGee.
State of Tennessee, Warren County
This day Martha McGee appeared before me A. Higgenbotham acting Justice of the Peace for the County of Warren and made oath that the written and things set forth in the within petition as stated of her own knowledge one time and those things stated from the information of others. She believes to be true. Martha McGee
Sworn to before me this 9th of November 1829. A Higgenbotham, Justice Peace
Petition of Martha McGee praying to be divorced from her husband Clendenan McGee.