Virginia Memory, Library of Virginia
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THIS DAY IN VIRGINIA HISTORY

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November 20, 1816

Petition of Ann P. P. Cowper for Divorce from William Cowper, 20 November 1816, Manuscript, Record Group 78, Legislative Petitions, Isle of Wight County, Box 122, Folder 45, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia. Petition of Ann P. P. Cowper for Divorce from William Cowper, 20 November 1816, Manuscript, Record Group 78, Legislative Petitions, Isle of Wight County, Box 122, Folder 45, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.

Ann P. P. Cowper Petitioned the General Assembly for a Divorce

Ann Pierce Parker Cowper, of Isle of Wight County, was the only daughter of Josiah Parker (1751–1810), a wealthy Revolutionary War veteran and a member of the United States House of Representatives, 1789–1801. She married Captain William Cowper in 1802. Their marriage was fraught with trouble. Her petition relates the financial irresponsibility of her husband as well as his cruelty toward her. She also describes the protections that her father afforded her before his death. The General Assembly granted her a legal separation from her husband in January 1817.