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Remarkable Marriage Case

The Illustrated London News, vol. 38, no. 1082, p. 320.

April 6, 1861

REMARKABLE MARRIAGE CASE.—A singular trial has just terminated in the United States, by which a lady named Gaines, after thirty years' litigation, has become the richest woman in America. One of the earliest settlers in Louisiana was Daniel Clark, who was at the head of the monetary and social circle of that State on account of his great business talents, wealth, and agreeable person and manners. In 1802 he married secretly a beautiful Frenchwoman, named Zulime Carrière. She had been married to a Jerome de Grange, who had represented himself as a nobleman, but who turned out to be a confectioner, and likewise a bigamist. In 1806 Zulime had a daughter by Clark, named Myra, the present Mrs. Gaines. Zulime went to New Orleans to obtain proofs of her first husband's rascality, in order to be enabled to have her marriage with Daniel Clark made public, and while she was gone Clark became enamoured with a Miss Caton, and was engaged to marry her. She, however, heard of his marriage with Zulime Carrière, and the engagement was broken off. Miss Caton afterwards became Marchioness Wellesley. Clark, in order to marry Miss Caton, had destroyed every documentary proof of his marriage with Zulime that he could lay hold of, and when she returned from New Orleans he abandoned her, destitute and helpless, with an infant child. A Dr. Gardette protected and married her. Clark afterwards repented, and took his daughter, Mrs. Gaines, and had her educated. He died in 1813, and the immense fortune he amassed in Louisiana, Missouri, Kentucky, and Maryland, he left to his mother. His wife, Zulime Carrière, died a few years since at New Orleans, nearly eighty years of age. Myra, her daughter, married a Mr. Whitney, and afterwards General Gaines, and her whole life has been devoted in establishing the legitimacy of her birth, the honour of her mother, and her claims to the princely fortune of the millionaire Clark. She has just succeeded in doing this.

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