- On January 13, 1821 in St Martin Parish, Louisiana District Court (Item #551), Lucy Carr (alias) Lucy McLaughlin filed for divorce from James McLaughlin.
To the Honorable Seth Lewis, Judge of the District court in and for the Parish of St. Martin.
The petition of Lucy Carr, alias Lucy McLaughlin, wife of James McLaughlin of the Parish of St. Martin with respect, represents that about seven years ago, she was lawfully married to James McLaughlin & that for some time, she derived from the marriage connection, the happiness she had in view in forming it.
But your Petitioner begs leave to state that for three or four years past, Mr. McLaughlin has given himself up to continuous dissipation:
? That a constant and habitual state of intoxication, has rendered him morose & quarrelsome ? that he has often insulted, beat and abused your petitioner.
? That his whole conduct, his excesses, vile treatment, and outrages are such as to render the life of your petitioner, as the wife of McLaughlin, wretched and insupportable.
? Your petitioner further represents that she has three small children [Elizabeth b: ca 1816, William b: ca 1818 & Stanton b: ca 1820] by Mr. McLaughlin, the oldest of which is only five years old, that they are at present and have been for sometime past, wholly supported by the labor and exertions of your petitioner.
? That your petitioner has been obliged to abandon the house of her husband, and take up a temporary residence with her brother, where herself and children now are.
? That your petitioner and her marriage with Mr. McLaughlin and since various articles of paraphernalia property from her mother, among which were hogs, five gentle cows & calves, besides other cattle, a part of which has been squandered and dissipated by her husband, that a tract of land of four (illegible) front with the ordinary depth, lying upon the Grass Isle (illegible) in said Parish of St. Martin bounded above by William Carr & below by Levi Campbell, was purchased by Mr. McLaughlin since your petitioner?s marriage with him, which was paid for by your petitioner?s mother, though the deed may have been given directly to her husband and that the price of the land was (illegible) upon the amount coming to your petitioner out of her deceased father?s estate.
? That Mr. McLaughlin has already, contrary to the expectations and request of your petitioner, sold many articles belonging exclusively to her, among which is a yoke of work oxen, worth eighty dollars and that Mr. James McLaughlin threatens to sell the land as soon as he can find a purchaser.
? These provisions considered, your petitioner therefore prays that the Mr. James McLaughlin may be duly cited to appear before your Honorable Court to answer to the foregoing petition, and that your petitioner may be legally separated, as well in property as in bed & board from him, and that all her matrimonial rights may be restored.
? She also prays that the house of her brother, William Carr may be assigned as her domicile during the continuation of this suit and that she may be permitted to retain in her possession her three children.
? Your petitioner further prays that the Mr. James McLaughlin may provisionally & definitively be inhibited & enjoined from intimidating or interfering with your petitioner or her children or her property that he may be officially inhibited and enjoined from selling the tracts of land & that on the final hearing of this case the written title of the same, if any, that Mr. McLaughlin has deeded to insure to the benefit of your petitioner & that she may be restored to the property & (illegible) of the same.
? Your petitioner prays that the defendant may pay the cost of this suit & also she prays for what other relief as equity & justice demand.
Attorney for the Petitioner
Personally appeared before me, the undersigned authority, Lucy Carr, alias Lucy McLaughlin, and made oath that the facts set forth in the foregoing Petition as of her own knowledge are true & that this states as of the knowledge of others, she believes to be true.
Lucy (x her mark) McLaughlin
B. Martel, Justice of the Peace for the Parish of St. Martin, Louisiana
December 19, 1820
Filed in the court January 13, 1821
This divorce petition was obviously withdrawn, because in about 1822, James and his brother William left Louisiana with their wives and children, and moved west into the Republic of Mexico . They settled on the Trinity River in what is now Liberty County , Texas . Liberty County is in the extreme southeast portion of Texas .
James and Lucy would have three additional children; Emily, Elizabeth and David while living in this area.