Gender Bias in the Courts

A Treatise on the Law of Contracts by Married Women

Albany and New York: Banks & Brothers, 1887

The legal status of married women began to change in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, allowing them to act as their own agents instead of being subject to their husbands in every legal matter.

In New York, a married woman could acquire, hold, sell and transfer real estate and personal property, and could carry on her own trade or business as if she were unmarried. As a result, a number of legal treatises were written (by men) to help lawyers handle married women's new independence.

Besides this treatise by George Harris, there also appeared The Married Women's Statutes by Jonathan Smith in 1884 and Commentaries on the Laws of Married Women by Joel Prentiss Bishop in 1873-75.

Lent by the New York Law Institute.


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