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Wife s Right to Property

Chapter 21
Page 88

Marriage, among the Iroquois, appears to be a verbal contract be tween the parties, which does not affect the rights of property. Goods, personal effects, or valuables of any kind, personal or real, which were the wife s before, remain so after marriage. Should any of these be used by the husband, he is bound to restore the property or its worth, in the event of separation. It is not uncommon at pre sent to find a husband indebted to a wife for moneys loaned of her,

1. Having doubts, I omit to fill this blank.

Wife s Right to Property
Page 89

Derived from payments or property, which she owned, and still owns, in her own right; and it is a cause of union in some cases where, without this obligation, a separation would probably ensue.

Marriage is therefore a personal agreement, requiring neither civil nor ecclesiastical sanction, but not a union of the rights of property. Descent being counted by the female, may be either an original cause or effect of this unique law.

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Iroquois General Ethnology - Table of Contents
Iroquois General Ethnology of Western New York

Notes About the Book:

Source: Notes on the Iroquois or, Contributions to the Statistics, Aboriginal History, Antiquities and General Ethnology of Western New York, By Henry R. Schoolcraft, 1846, Senate Document, Twenty-Four.

Online Publication: The manuscript was scanned and then ocr'd. Minimal editing has been done, and readers can and should expect some errors in the textual output.

This site includes some historical materials that may imply negative stereotypes reflecting the culture or language of a particular period or place. These items are presented as part of the historical record and should not be interpreted to mean that the WebMasters in any way endorse the stereotypes implied.


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