Limit search to available items
Book Cover
Author Smith-Pryor, Elizabeth M., author

Title Property rites : the Rhinelander trial, passing, and the protection of whiteness / Elizabeth M. Smith-Pryor
Published Chapel Hill : The University of North Carolina Press, [2009]
Online access available from:
ProQuest Ebook Central Subscription    View Resource Record  
EBSCO eBook Academic Collection    View Resource Record  


Description 1 online resource (xiii, 391 pages) : illustrations
Contents Curious acts -- "All mixed up" in New York -- The trial begins -- Passing and the "seemingly absurd question" of race -- Defending the citadel of whiteness from the "awful stain" -- The trial continues : degeneracy, modern love, and "filthy letters" -- "Poor little cupid" and the marriage contract -- Blind love and the visibility of race -- The trial ends
Summary In 1925 Leonard Rhinelander, the youngest son of a wealthy New York society family, sued to end his marriage to Alice Jones, a former domestic servant and the daughter of a "colored" cabman. After being married only one month, Rhinelander pressed for the dissolution of his marriage on the grounds that his wife had lied to him about her racial background. The subsequent marital annulment trial became a massive public spectacle, not only in New York but across the nation--despite the fact that the state had never outlawed interracial marriage. Elizabeth Smith-Pryor makes extensive use of trial transcripts, in addition to contemporary newspaper coverage and archival sources, to explore why Leonard Rhinelander was allowed his day in court. She moves fluidly between legal history, a day-by-day narrative of the trial itself, and analyses of the trial's place in the culture of the 1920s North to show how notions of race, property, and the law were--and are--inextricably intertwined
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 341-372) and index
Notes Online resource (HeinOnline, viewed September 13, 2016)
Subject Jones, Alice Beatrice -- Trials, litigation, etc.
Rhinelander, Leonard Kip -- Trials, litigation, etc.
Interracial marriage -- New York (State) -- Westchester County.
Marriage -- Annulment -- New York (State) -- Westchester County.
Scandals -- New York (State) -- Westchester County.
Trials (Divorce) -- New York (State) -- Westchester County.
Genre/Form Trials, litigation, etc.
Form Electronic book
LC no. 2008047143
ISBN 0807894176 (electronic bk.)
1469605902 (electronic bk.)
9780807894170 (electronic bk.)
9781469605906 (electronic bk.)