Home Collections Women and the Law Marriage and Coverture Cousens Collection
Cousens Collection
Catalog Record
Mss 770 1838-1913 C867
Volume 49, folders 1 and 3

Enoch Cousens was a businessman and public official in Kennebunkport, Maine, in the mid-nineteenth century. The Cousens Collection contains the correspondence, accounts, receipts, wills, probate records, and inventories related to the estates of a number of women. The papers include records of women administering their husbands' estates and of conflict over inheritance between family members.

Notes related to the trial of Mary Stevens, which took place in the Methodist Church in Kennebunk, Maine, during the mid-nineteenth century, suggest that Mary Stevens accused Brother Eaton, the congregation's minister, of "insulting" her. It is clear that the term is used as a euphemism ("Sister Stevens told us of Brother E's treatment of her. She said she did not name it, we could call it by what name we pleased, insult or anything else"). The trial, which was conducted by the church, seems to have concerned Mary Stevens libeling the minister and not directly about Brother Eaton's actions.

Brother Eaton appears again in the papers of Enoch Cousens regarding the conduct of his wife. In October of 1849, Cousens and another church member, John Wheeler, sent a letter to Sister Eaton complaining of her manner of dress. They argued that, as the wife of a minister, she should take more care to dress modestly, stating, "our sisters look in vain to you for that example in self denial and nonconformity to the fashions of the world that your station leads them to expect."

Previous Collection [ Prev ]  
[ Next ]Next Collection

Home Collections Women and the Law Marriage and Coverture Cousens Collection
Copyright 2010 President and Fellows of Harvard College