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Marriage on the BorderLove, Mutuality, and Divorce in the Upper South during the Civil War$
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Allison Dorothy Fredette

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780813179155

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813179155.001.0001

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A Complicated Legacy

(p.193) Conclusion
Marriage on the Border

Allison Dorothy Fredette

University Press of Kentucky

During the hot summer months of the nation’s centennial, thirty-three-year-old Semantha Morgan, of Poca, West Virginia, faced a grave peril. Recently married to John Morgan Jr., she was now pregnant with their first child and very much feared the dangers of childbirth. Though she filled her letters to John with love and affection, she also drifted frequently into melancholy and gloom, warning him that she might not be with him much longer. By August, “owing to the uncertainty of life at any time and the peculiar danger” she would soon face, Semantha drew up a will and sent it to John. She admitted that she had few belongings but instructed him to dispose of them carefully to her friends and family. She also demanded that he keep her Bible and “continue to read it, for my sake, and make an effort to believe it.” Should their baby survive, Semantha asked that the child be educated by certain teachers and be given the opportunity to cultivate artistic talent. Finally, she gave John permission to remarry if he found a woman who would “make [him] happy.” She ended the document simply, “My Dear Husband you have made me very happy. All is well.”...

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