This Day in History...Earliest Known Court-Ordered Alimony Payment in Virginia

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Lt. Governor Nicholson Ordered John Fulcher to Pay Maintenance

On this date in 1691, The Lower Norfolk County clerk made this transcription of a petition from Ruth Fulcher to Francis Nicholson, the then current Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. Fulcher requested that the court order her husband, from whom she was estranged, to support her and their son financially. In seventeenth-century Virginia, women were rarely granted legal separation from their husbands let alone chosen as their children's legal guardians over male relatives. Lieutenant Governor Nicholson ordered that the child remain with his mother, and the court ordered John Fulcher to pay his wife two thousand pounds of tobacco annually.


Also on This Date in History:

  • 1789: The First U.S. Congress begins regular sessions at Federal Hall in New York City.
  • 1896: The Modern Olympics begin in Athens with thirteen nations participating.
  • 1937: Merle Haggard, American country musician was born.
  • 1965: President Lyndon B. Johnson authorizes the use of ground troops in combat operations.


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