Here is one more legal issue – this one being treated with some disdain. It comes from a committee of the Massachusetts Senate in 1841, ...on the Subject of the Disabilities of the Free People of Color... State law prohibited the marriage of white persons to blacks, mulattoes, and Indians. “Mulattoes” were defined by case law as the offspring of a union between a black and a white. The committee pointed out some “inconsistencies and absurdities” in this law. For example, while a white could not marry a mulatto, he or she could marry the child of a union between a black and a mulatto or two mulattoes, and while he or she could not marry an Indian or a black, s/he could marry the child of an Indian and a black. Item 78. $450.
Item 52 is a publisher's broadside promotion for the Second Edition of the Graham Tragedy and Molloy-Lee Examination Together with Full Particulars of the Lynching of Geo. E. Graham. Okay, that title gives away the ending. George Graham was a serial loser, jailed several times for repeated crimes. He also must have been a serial philanderer, two wives, plus (at least he said) sharing a bed with his second “wife” and mother-in-law. That poor mother-in-law was Emma Molloy, a preacher and temperance leader at the time (1886). The first wife, Sarah, paid a visit to her husband at the Molloy farm, and was welcomed with a bullet in the chest and a trip to the bottom of a well. It took awhile, but a search for Sarah initiated by her brother-in-law led to the discovery of her body. Graham, his second “wife” Cora, and mother-in-law Emma were all arrested, Graham for murder, the women for being accessories. Both women were eventually exonerated, but George never got the opportunity to defend himself in court. The good people of Springfield, Missouri, did not need the niceties of a courtroom to impose justice upon Graham. $500.