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Notorious Woman

Author: Elizabeth Urban Alexander
Publisher: LSU Press
ISBN: 0807130249
Size: 60.46 MB
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The legal crusade of Myra Clark Gaines (1804?--1885) has all the trappings of classic melodrama -- a lost heir, a missing will, an illicit relationship, a questionable marriage, a bigamous husband, and a murder. For a half century the daughter of New Orleans millionaire Daniel Clark struggled to justify her claim to his enormous fortune in a case that captivated the nineteenth-century public. Elizabeth Urban Alexander taps voluminous court records and letters to unravel the twists and turns of Gaines's litigation and reveal the truth behind the mysterious saga of this notorious woman. Myra, the daughter of real estate heir Clark and Zulime Carrière, a beautiful young Frenchwoman, was raised by friends of Clark and kept ignorant of her real parentage until 1832, when she discovered her true lineage in letters among her foster father's papers. She thereupon returned to Louisiana with tales of a lost will and a secret marriage between Clark and Carrière and claimed to be Clark's missing heir. Was Myra the legitimate daughter of the prominent merchant or the "fruit of an adulterous union?" The courts would decide. The Great Gaines Case wound its tortuous path through the United States legal system from 1834 until 1891. It was considered by the U.S. Supreme Court seventeen times and pursued even after Gaines's death by lawyers trying to recoup fees. By courageously bringing her case to the courtroom and doggedly keeping it there, Alexander asserts, Gaines helped instigate a new type of family law that provided special protection of women, children, and marriages. Though Gaines never recovered more than a tiny fraction of the rumored millions, this riveting chronicle of her struggle for legitimacy and legacy as told by Elizabeth Urban Alexander is a gold mine for anyone interested in legal history, women's studies, or a good yarn superbly spun.

100 Americans Making Constitutional History

Author: Melvin I. Urofsky
Publisher: CQ Press
ISBN: 1452267251
Size: 31.56 MB
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100 Americans Making Constitutional History: A Biographical History presents 100 profiles of the key people behind some of the most important U.S. Supreme Court cases. Edited by Melvin I. Urofsky, a respected constitutional historian, each 2,000-word profile delves into the social and political context behind landmark Court decisions. For example, while a case like Brown v. Board of Education is about an important idea the equal protection of the law at its heart it is the story of a little girl, Linda Brown, who wanted to go to a decent school near her home. The outcome is accessible and objective stories about the individuals heroes and scoundrels who fought their way to constitutional history. 100 Americans Making Constitutional History helps students understand the human side of the Supreme Court's decisions from the early republic to the present. Each biographical profile, written by a constitutional scholar or legal analyst, includes a discussion about the Court decision and how the specific legal issues evolved into great constitutional questions and drama. It puts a face and history to major cases by reminding the reader that there are people behind them, seeking vindication of their individual liberties and civil rights. Each profile includes a brief bibliography for further research. Excellent for undergraduate students studying American government, American history, Constitutional Law and journalism. Sample List of Litigants Larry Flynt- Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell (1988) Elmer Gertz- Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc. (1974) Demetrio Rodriguez- Rodriguez v. San Antonio Independent School District (1973) Curt Flood- Flood v. Kuhn (1972) Estelle Griswold- Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) Linda Brown- Brown v. Board of Education (1954) Gordon Hirabayashi- Hirabayashi v. United states (1943) Eugene Debs- Debs v. United states (1919) William Marbury- Marbury v. Madison (1803)

Louisiana History

Author: Florence M. Jumonville
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group
ISBN: 9780313282409
Size: 32.18 MB
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Provides a comprehensive guide to the literature of Louisiana history.