Criminal conversation with a negro man.

by Lisa Y. Henderson

Elizabeth Walters v. Clement H. Jordan, 34 NC 170 (1851).

Elizabeth Walters petitioned for a year’s allowance out of the estate of her late husband, Hardy Walters, who died intestate. Hardy “seduced” Elizabeth and “lived in adultery” with her before marrying her.  Both were white.  After the marriage, Elizabeth “had criminal conversation with a negro man” and got pregnant. Hardy ordered her to leave his home.  She did, but, with his permission, moved into another house on his property. There she gave birth to a mulatto child.  Hardy died soon after.

“Whatever cause this woman may have given her husband for taking steps to have the marriage dissolved, and thereby protect his estate from her claims. it is sufficient for this case, that he did not such thing, but did leave her as his widow and under no bar to her claims, as such, on his property.”