This paper concentrates on three states that enacted married women's property acts during the nineteenth century: Mississippi, New York, and Oregon. Each state, starting with Mississippi, enacted acts that reflect a different wave. While Chused's indexing and classification schema have been groundbreaking and extremely helpful in providing order and a basic understanding of what types of married women's property acts were passed and when in the nineteenth century, in my opinion he did not clearly provide any underlying explanation or "why" for the passage of the acts.

This is not taking anything away from Chusad's substantial contribution, but does present an opportunity to explore for an explanation. Several authors have used his classification to provide order to their discussion of the nineteenth century acts, providing substantial authority to his scholarship.29 Indeed, my paper is yet another example of the impact of Chused's schema. My contention is that underlying considerations should be explored, such as the ideology of the judges who ruled to support the acts, that may shed more light on the "why" of passage in the Nineteenth Century. I narrowed my focus to just one state from each of the three waves with the hope that this more focused analysis of just three states may provide the better vehicle to deeper analyze a state to find possible underlying considerations for an explanation.


Married Women's Property Act

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Document Type


Place of Original Publication

Ohio Northern University Law Review

Publication Information

40 Ohio Northern University Law Review 395 (2014)


COinS Joseph A. Custer Faculty Bio