Outsmarting bad husbands who don’t support their wives

Some years ago a man who had grown weary of the privilege of supporting his wife decided to repudiate her and shift the burden. Her counsel brought suit against him for non-support. The husband denied her wifehood, or even any knowledge of her.

But it was learned that [prosecutor Anthony] Comstock had once arrested the man, and he was subpoenaed to appear before the referee. Before going into court Mr. Comstock examined the records that he had made at the time of arrest, as filed in his office, and he took them with him.

As they waited for the court to open he saw his former prisoner standing nearby, and spoke to him, calling him by name. “You don’t know me,” said the man; “you never saw me before.” “I do know you,” said Mr. Comstock. “On —— date [about five years before] I arrested you down in Wall Street, and you came to my office to beg me not to prosecute you.

“You brought with you and introduced to me your bride, who is this woman here in court; and you wanted me to let up on you for your wife’s sake, as you said you had just been married.”

Then Mr. Comstock gave the facts under oath, on the witness stand, and the wife won her case.

Quote source

Trumbull, C. in Dix, S., ed. (2013). Outlawed! How Anthony Comstock Fought & Won the Purity of a Nation [ebook]. Location 1854-64

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