Thursday, July 01, 2021

Early TN Cook Divorce--Rutherford Co. TN (1822)

I'd sent off for a copy of this 1822 TN Divorce Petition not only because it is near the area where my Cook(e)s were but because of my interest in Hardy Pope who signs the statement for the petitioner.  There is a Hardy Pope among purchasers at the estate sale of Joseph S Cook(an estate over which my known 2nd Great Grandfather Wm Clifford Cook was appointed administrator)  TSLA sent the images files to me yesterday.  At this time there is no proof what relationship W C Cook was to Joseph S Cook. I can't tell from this document if there is any connection with either Joseph S Cook or Wm C Cook. Below is my attempt at transcribing the files of the petition.  There was pretty much no punctuation and I kept the line breaks of the original documents.

To the Honorable the general Assembly
of the State of Tennessee now in Session
your petitioner Sally Cook humbly
represents to you the honorable body she
was intermarried with John F Cooke on or
about the 4th day of July in the year 1815
they lived together as husband & wife until within
a short period since when the said John F
went off & left your petitioner in a very helpless
situation having two children to support without
any property as means for that purpose except
by her own industry? She upon her intermarriage
had considerable property but it has been all
wasted & squandered by the said John ever since
their intermarriage your petitioner would represent.
She has behaved & conducted herself toward the
said John F Cook as a kind tender affectionate
wife but the said John F seemed to be regardless
of every obligation which binds a husband to his
wife he has been in the habit of wandering
from his family & home  & visiting? houses of ill
fame associating with women of the most loose
and abandoned characters and has been guilty of
repeated acts of adultery as she has been advised
& believes with both black & white females she would
further represent she is now stript of all her property
which has been squandered away upon loose and idle?
women and in taverns & grog shops she is so poor
she is unable to institute a suit in court to obtain 
a divorce she therefore prays your honorable 
body would take her case in consideration and 
divorce her from the bonds of matrimony with 
the said John F Cook as in duty bound she 
will ever pray
Sally Cook

Signed affidavit of Archibald Harris, Thomas Harris, Benjamin Hasteen, Thomas Pettypool, John Nelson and  Hardy Pope

This day appeared before me
Luckett Davis a Justice of the peace for said
county of Rutherford and made oath having
been acquainted with John F Cook since his
intermarriage with his wife they have frequently seen
the said John F Cook frequent houses of ill fame associate
with women of loose & Immoral characters as she 
even caught him messing with black woman their 
negro bitch in the night
 and they verily believe
he has ben guilty of frequent acts of Adultery. he 
has also squandered a considerable estate which he got 
with his wife Sally and has now gone off and left
his said wife destitute & helpless without property to parts
unknown to these deponents.

Archibald Harris
Thomas Harris
Benjamin Hasteen
Thomas Pettypool
John Nelson 
Hardy Pope

Sworn to & subscribed before me this 18th day of July 1820
Signature of Luckett Davis 

Also on the same day and year above mentioned and personally appeared Sally Cook before me 
Luckett David a justice of he peace for the county of Rutherford and made oath that the said John F Cook has frequently threatened to take her life and has nailed the door post? to keep her from making her escape or to prevent her from any relief from any other person

Sally Cook

Sworn and Subscribed the 10th day of July 1820
Signature of Luckett Davis

Source:  Tennessee Legislative Petitions, Tennessee State Library & Archives(Nashville, TN); Petition of Sally Cook for divorce from John F Cooke, Rutherford Co.TN 1822 Petition #93 

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