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Who was Elizabeth Dodderidge Thorp Powell and Why is the Fact She Took Her Former Father-in-Law to Court in 1693 Important?

Maxine N. Lurie


This article began with a retirement gift from Lurie's department in 2010. Knowing of her special interest in New Jerseycolonial history, the department gave her a 1693 court writ from theEast Jersey colony. Lurie found this an intriguing but challengingdocument. Who were the people involved in this suit? Why wasa woman suing a man over a property dispute? The article revealsmuch about equity and fairness in the colonial courts and socialmatters of inheritance and property during colonial times. Lurietakes us along on a historical journey that shows us how initialquestions lead to dead-ends because of lack of documentationand how new lines of research developed as she uncovered ne

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