Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
General Motions and Divorce Docket
Group RG-033-A, Series RG-033-A-52
1750-1837 (Divorces 1800-1805 only)
Scope and content
This docket contains two separate sections, one being a record of rules, resolves and orders of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, and the other, a record of divorce cases brought before that court. The section entitled "General Motions" (1750-1837) documents the administrative workings of the Supreme Court by listing decisions made concerning general procedures, as well as specific cases. Topics include dealing with writs of habeas corpus and certiorari; pleas by general issue; new trials in arrest of judgment; admission of attorneys; the exchange of pleas and responses; filing times for affidavits; acts of assembly pertaining to the court; the setting or court dates for the Supreme, Circuit and Nisi Prius Courts; and the deaths and appointments of Chief Justices, Associate Justices, Prothonotaries, Criers, Commissioners of Bail and Tipstaffs. Of particular interest is a libel case brought against Eleazer Oswald, publisher of "The Independent Gazetteer or the Chronicle of Freedom" (1782). The "Divorce Docket" (1800-1805) contains copies of original petitions for divorce, as well as of the Court's judgments. Information provided includes names of husband and wife; reason for filing the divorce petition (abandonment, adultery, cruelty, previous unended marriage, etc.); names of referees; and the nature of the final judgment.
Existence and location of copies
The Pennsylvania State Archives is able to provide access to digital images of this collection through our collaboration with the PA POWER LIBRARY: Pennsylvania Photos and Documents, which is funded by the Office of Commonwealth Libraries of Pennsylvania under the Pennsylvania Department of Education. See link below.
When quoting, citing, publishing or exhibiting any materials from the State Archives, please specify the following: item, series title, series number, Record or Manuscript Group title, RG or MG number, Pennsylvania State Archives, Harrisburg.