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Stinging Comments By A Local Paper

Stinging Comments By A Local Paper image
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The announcenient in the papers of the city that William Addis had, upon Saturilay last, obtained a decree of divorce froui hi.s wife upon the grounds of adultery, iel. upon thü comruunity willi bewildering astonisliment. A clap of thuDdur l'roru a clear sky would have been no more bewildering. The universal expression of condemnation against Mr. Addis led to the elote cxamination of the records of the court to see if it was not' possible to fine some excuse for the act which had so thoroughly aroused the indignatiqn of the whole eoiimiunity against a prominent business man in our midst. The records disclose the i'ulluwiiiK state of facts : The 8ubpo3na in the case which brought Mrs. Addis, the defendant, into court bears date on the 24th day of February, 1880, wiih the name of Albert H. Standibh subscribed as counsel for Mr. Addis. Then follows a long bill of complaint chargitig Mrs. Addis, the defendant, with adultery with George Monroe, a man who workec for complainant; also with Thomas Cummings, another laborer for Mr. Addis; then again with one Heman Blodgett, who it appears was also in the employ of the complainant at various times. To this complaint tbe defendant profesfes to baro made answer in a long doouiuent, which shows that Stephen II. Ballard acted as her counsel. Following this is the replicatlon of the plaintiff, by his counsel, Standish. On the very next day, the 25ih, the ptaintiflf, by his counsel, Standish, appeared before Commissioner Corbitt and took the testimony of witnesses to sustain the charges of adultery. Mr. Bal'ard appeared on the part of the defendant and questioned the witnesses. The complainant callcd one Heman Modgett as a irnos This witness swore that he bad known the defendant but casually for a fuw ycars past, and that during those years he had neyer seen or heard anything from her which wou!d in any way indicate that shc was anything other than a true and i'aithlül wife, but that on one occasion, a few weeks since, he and his son-iu-law went to Mr. Addis' s house; that he left his friend on the porch, while he weot into the diningroom; that without a single look or a gesture from either himself or the defendant, she began embracing him ; that he told her it was wrong; that she said she knew it, but that she could not help itj that she could not wait for her husoand to come home ; that Mr. Addis would do the same thine if he went to his house and found him away from home; that he had criminal intercourse with the defendant on three different occasions. Now, it is here submitted to every candid and intelligent reader if this statement does not of itself bear indubitable evidence of black perjury. No intelligent man or wonian in the community will believe this statement true, for it has the internal evidence which stntnps it as a wilful and malicious lie. Takc the bare statement itself, without reference to the woman or her known reputation as a kind and virtuous wife and mother, and no one will believe it. It is unnatural in eyery conceivable light in which it can be viewed. Now, couple that statement with the esteem ia which she has been held by those who have known her for years intimately, and in what light ought it to be looked upon by a court of justice ? More than 20years ago Addis and his wife went into Newaygo counly, vcry poor indeed, without anything scarcely to help themseives excent strong anus and willing hands. IJe toot a contract to cutand haul logs for Major Watson. They went into a logging shanty, and there all winter long that woman did the cooking and work for a camp of men, 20 or 25 in number, with three or four little children hanging at her skirts. From that time until within the last very few years, she has been a slave for William Addis, the man who has so inhumauly, not only deserted her, but draggcd her, the mother of bis son and daughti is, down to infamy and disgrace. Major Watson and his lamily have known her intimately for ncarly a quarter of a contury, and not even the Lreath of susjiieioD bas been raised against her. This is a most singular case and stands almost alone in the snnals of legal proceedmg. It h generally said that there are t o sides to all questious, but this is one in which, judging from the universal expression of those who have known tbc lady long and intimately, thero is but one side. Mrs. Addis, judging from all that can be earoed, stands unimpeached in the purity of her life and conduct. But supposing she is guilty of the crime which her husband charges, what will the comniunity think of the infaniy of the man Blodgett Í A inarried man as he is, to invade the sanctity of the niarricd life, and then deliberately to take the wilness stand anc proclaim his own infamj But it will be said tliat Blodgeit was found in herbodrooru? How is thu known? The same wilness swore to it; well, what of it? If he swore to a lie in one case he would do it in another. But Addis him self swore to the same tliing. Supposing he did, what of'thut? It this man Blodg ett swore to a lie he did it for a considor aiion. lf he did it for a conadwation, for money, who paid it to hiui? Who wath( man nho was interested in fiiriiisliing the testimony if it was false ? The answer is in the ïuiud of every reader. If these premises are correct whatconfi dence can be placed in the evideDce o Addis on this point? Now, go with us up to yesterday morning. A lady, a friend o this poor, heart-broken wonian, callee upon her just before she was forced to leave her home and children. In reply to the sympathy of this kind lady Mrs. Addis exclaimed : "I have been in heil for the last 1 5 year.s but don' t i-ay a word ; he will follow me." She was hurried froiu home and those dearor to her than life, and tak en to the Detroit and Milwaukce depot Two of her friends in this city intercepte her there, aud while he who should have protectcd the reputation of the woman who was the inother of his children with hi lift, was purchasing a ticket, they had a inomentsconvcrsation with her in tbeclo.-et hack. She was almost frantic with gri;f her poor heart blecding at every pore. Al she could do was to say that lier huibanc liad hired those poor, mUerable uien to swear against her. She impressed those ladios so forcibly with her innocenee that they would risk their lives upon it. Here we have the testimony of' all wh have known her from the time she tirs canie into the country, that she was a pure and virtuous wile for years past, without even the breath of suspicion against her She was a woman of at out 50 years of age she had raised a fainily ofchildrèn; .-.hi was a grandniother. Her hubbaod obargft her with adultery, and she in ihe sere ani yellow loaf. Mothcrs du uot live to be half a century old aud then all of a sudden become wanton. It is icnpossible to quit the subject wilh out looking into the couuoction which othei parties had with the case outside of the witness and complainant. If the defendant was guilty of adultery why did the court give her $000 a year, or any other sum? Il guilty, she was not entitled to anything ; if not, she was entitled to a fair proportion of the largo property whicl the parties had uvcuuiulatcd. We fee satished that the court which granted the decree must have been deceivcd in some way or it never would have been given. 1 is the universal expression that it is the duty of tlie court to order the decree mt aside and the case reopened. It is said, with what t rut h s not known that the parties charged with crimina intercoursp with Mrs. Addis were interviewed more than two weeks since as to their cohnection with the charges and that they utterly deiiied any knowledge of her offence, and that not until alter they werc seen by another party did they pretend to have any knowledge. Why is it that Monroe was not sworn? He was before the commissioner for bpjirs and the time fixed for taking his eviáence. Why was this? Mr. Coibitt, the commissioner who took the testimony, told the writsr on yesterday that he would not have granted the decree on the testimony. He said that he was satisfied it was an infernal outrage, and no giounds to sustain the charge?. It seems to us that this is a case which demands ar investigation by the bar association, and il court or lawyers have been regardless oJ the rights of the weak and innocent they should be held to strict accountability. The laws are made to protect the weak and innocent, and not asa meansof oppression. It is stated that Addis tyrannized over his wife in a shameful nianner, and that lic said to her "his wealth and influence would .secure Jivoice, and that anything which .-he might say would be pasf-ed by as an idle tale." Vfe here have the key to the wholo transaction. He threatened his wife with abandonment without a dollar if she resi.sted his efforts to procure a divorce. l'he poor woman, crushed and broken hearted, bowed to the demands of her husband, and in her frenzy denicd nothing which he charged. Her daughter testified in court that she had never seen anything between her mother and either of the men which had raised a suspicion of her mother, but that she did hear her say, when the bill was pretented, that she had admitted what the bill charged. That she admitted it under the threats of her brutal husband there is no doubt, but there is not a single person in the city who believes her guilty. May God help the weak and innocent wife ; and if there is no heil we are willing to subscribe liberally to get one up for Addis and his witness, Blodgett. The Grand lï#pids Dcmocrat of Saturday, the Cth, contains the following: Friday was a lively day for divorce business in the Superior Court chambers. Mrs. Hope Addis, by her attorneys, filed her answer to Wm. Addis' bill of compluint charging her with adultery, meeting every material allegation with a flat She further alleges that Mr. Addis entered into a conspiracy with Blodgett and George Monroe, and procured Blodgett to swear falsely against her, and had employed said Monioe to so t-wear, but did not think it necessary to put him on the witness stand. Mrs. Addis Friday afternoon filed a bill in the Superior Court asking for a divorci; from Wm. Addis on the ground of extreme eruelty, and also praying for a proper allowance as alinjony. The chief grounds of' eruelty alleged are Mr. Addis' charges against her of adultery, and his actions in connection with the divorce case of Wm. Addis vs. Hope Addis, the decree in whioh has just been vacated by Judge Holmes The proceedings in that case are set up at considerable length, together with Mr. Addis' conduct toward her bolh before and ader he had filed the bill. She alleges that he "threatened to turn her out of doors penniless, to bicotne the object of charity, and to separate her from her children and disgrace and ruin her in the eyes of Grieoda and of the public," unless she consented to a divorce. The complainant says, "fearing that he would aitempt to carry out his ihreat, and hoping to pacify him, she bas Por years endeavored to anticípate his wishes and yield to all his demands, however unre.isoiiabl'1, until in her miíery,weakness and timidity slie had bocotne at and befnre the time of the filing of his bill in a dazed condition and complctely sulject to his will, ready to obey all his eommands at whatevor personal .sacrifico to benelf, and fully jelieving that he had it in his power to carry his threat into execution, notwithstandingtliere was no foundation forthem." Mr. Addis told her that "if she would lODsent to a divorce he would pay her etiough to live on, and that if she did not mis' ut she would be turned out penniess;" that ifahe should consent the affair could be UT&nged and r disfrace would not becimie juiblic. " "She did not wish to reniain liis wife with matters in this shape, and so she consented to everything he pro}osed, and it was understood he was to get a decree soas to protect herreputation." "That following this .Mr. Addis brough up to his house Stephen H. Ballard, witl the remark that hc was a good lawyer ant would attend to your oratrix's sido f the caso, tliis beifig belbre his bill of complain wasfiled." She tola Mr. Ballard that sha had conented that Mr. Addis should get a divorce. " That at this time, and until the divorce decree was granted, &he was in a. weak ani depressed cuudition, and did not fully real ize the extent of what was being done. But said Ballard came sevcral time to her house to see her, but as she believe at no tioic except when said Win. Addi was in the house, and that she was at al times nervous and in f'ear that said Addi would break in upon them in lii violen way ; and that at one tiuie she was in a room in .said house talking about the mat ter with said Ballard, and she apd shíi Ballard were talking about contesting tho case - this being after the tiling of the bil - when said Addis, wbo was evidently list ening, rushed into the room in a fury an( seized her by the arm and thrust her ou of the room with grcat violence nnl broke up the conference." That afier the divorce decree was grant cd .bc went to a relative in Ridgetown Ontario, where friends who had espoueei her cause fouinl her, and " that on Marcl 4 she procured tbr the fint time counsel o her own choosing, wbo oaused the decree to bo vacated and fikd her answer denying the rharge of adultery." The bill ends with a request for sultable alimony, and a fchedulc is attaehed givin? a list ot' various property owned by deferid unt. An application was also made in the Superior Court Friday afternoon by Mrs. Addis, through Godwin &. Earle et al., he attorneys, lor an iuiunctiuu restrainin), VV'm. Addis froin selling or eneumberini auy of his property. The gnmnds set lbrtl are that the complainant fenrs, unless gud injunction is issued, that the said Addi will sell or encumber his property for the purpose of " preventing her from realizing any ;ilimony whioh may be allowed in thi proeeeding. The applioation alao asks tha said Addis bo "restraincd from fcoleetiog interfering with or comiiiuuirating witl your ouurix in any manner whatsoever.' Judgfi Holmes prantcd the injunction "in aecordanee with the prayer of the pe tition." The subpicna in the divorce ca-o of Mrs Addis vs. Wm. Addis is returnablo Marol 22. A. II. Standish, attorney for crmiplain ant in tho case of' Wm. Addis vs. Hope Addis, Friday afternoon served a notice on Mrs. Addis' attorneys that he should ask leave to discontinue that suit for divorce "on such terms as the court shall deern proper." The matter will come up on Wednesday, Maruh 10, at whioh timo, as i now secms, Mr. Addis' tuit for divorce wil Le discontinuad. It is stated by Mr. Addis' friends, am the statement is gcncrally credited, tha Mr. Addis' absence is on account of busi oen, aud that he will very soon return to the city. The Grand Rápida liarle of Suturday the 6th, contains the following : William Blodgett was arraigned on the oh$rge of perjury in the pólice court Fri day afternoon. The complaint charges hin with wicked, willful, malicious and corrupt perjury and collusion rclative to it witl William Addis, and is long. After it hat been read he began makine a speech to Judge Harris, saying : "Mr. Harris, you can do with me what you picase, gentle men. I shall answer no questions and sigi my name to nothing. I've been disgracec and my family has all it can be. I've been locked up in a cell. I'm a man, and have always been, among men. I did business for 14 vars with M. X. Aldrich. He's in bis grave, and I wish I was. 1 will rot in jail, but will answer no questions and sijrn no papers., Do what you pleaee, gentlemen. Judge Harris tried to teil hint ho could waive examination orhaveone, ashechose. He was going on with a speech when Prosecutiug Attorney Kutts took hini one sido and explained matters to hini. He then waived examination, was lieLl for trial at the next term of Superior Court, and bail was fixed at$12,ÜU0, with two sureties. Hc was much affected, and though trying to appear brave, suft'cred much.