Monday, June 9, 2014

Interracial Love Gone Wrong

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!


William Kendall said...

No, I hadn't heard about it. Sad...

Old Kitty said...

Terrible! :-(

Glad humanity has moved on. Good grief! Take care

Jennette Marie Powell said...

I hadn't heard this one. Sad but not surprising, given the time period.

shelly said...

This is a sad story I've never heard of. But a recall seeing a 50ish movie with a similar story line.

Norma Beishir said...

The man lacked a spine if he couldn't stand up to his family.She was better off without him!

Maria McKenzie said...

@William: Sad indeed:(.

@Old Kitty: Here, here;)!

@Jennette: So glad not to be living in that time period!

@Shelly: If you can ever recall that movie, let me know what it was. Would love to see it!

@Norma: I agree!

Teri Anne Stanley said...

Oh, wow! That is a very sad story.
I sooo want to rewrite that and give it a happy ending! It wouldn't help poor Alice, but...

Maria McKenzie said...

Hi Teri Anne! What a great idea!! At least Alice's story could provide the inspiration for a happy one.

The Desert Rocks & Intangible Hearts said...

It's so sad a story already that I don't think I can take anymore!:)