My friend Lisa sent me a link to this fascinating article about Alice Jones and Kip Rhinelander. What an interesting topic to blog about, especially since my soon to be released novel, Revelation, deals with a woman who hides the secret of a black grandparent.
Here's a brief overview of the story, courtesy of Wikipedia:
In 1921, Leonard Kip Rhinelander, a member of a socially prominent wealthy New York family, began a romance with Alice Beatrice Jones, a domestic. The two met during Rhinelander's stay at the Orchard School in Stamford,
Connecticut, an inpatient clinic where he was seeking treatment for extreme shyness and stuttering.
They had a three-year romance before
marrying at the New Rochelle, New York courthouse in October of 1924, not long after Rhinelander turned 21. The couple moved in with Jones' parents in Pelham
Manor. Although Rhinelander didn't tell his family about the marriage, he continued to work
at Rhinelander Real Estate Company.
The couple tried to keep their marriage secret, but news of it was soon announced by the press. Because of the Rhinelanders' wealth and social position, New Rochelle reporters wanted to learn about
Jones' background. After they began investigating, reporters discovered that Jones was
the daughter of English immigrants and her father, George, was a "colored man".
At first, Rhinelander stood by his wife during the scathing national coverage
of their marriage. But after two weeks, he gave in to his family's demands to leave Jones. He signed an annulment complaint that his father's lawyers had
prepared. The document claimed that Jones had deceived
Rhinelander by hiding her true race and passing herself off as a white
woman. Jones denied this stating that her race was obvious. Rhinelander
later said that Jones hadn't deceived him outright but did so by letting him
believe she was white.
Sad story, and it only gets worse. To see how it ends, check out the article by Theodore Johnson III,
When One Of New York's Glitterati Married A 'Quadroon'.
I'd read about this case before, had you ever heard about it?
Thanks for visiting and have a great week!