PACLEARF-L ArchivesArchiver > PACLEARF > 2009-04 > 1239633570
From: "bcarter" <>
Subject: [PACLEARF] Marriages In Pennsylvania
Date: Mon, 13 Apr 2009 09:39:30 -0500
I thought some of you might enjoy reading this article that I found a
few years ago.
Editorial from the Centre County PA newspaper, "The Centre Democrat"
Thursday, June 25, 1885.
"One of the vexed questions of Pennsylvania social economy has been the
laxity of her marriage and divorce laws. A man and woman could marry
themselves and they were about as easily divorced. Marriages were hasty
and repentance not as leisurely as one might suppose...This laxity in
marriage and divorce laws was having a relaxing effect on the moral of
people...The new marriage law is one step in the direction of reform in
social economic question of marriage and divorce."
"No person can get married without a license from the Clerk of the
Court; no person can obtain a license unless legally qualified. Minors
obtain a license without the written consent of parents or guardians. No
person legally qualified to perform the marriage ceremony of his church
society can do so unless the license is first produced, under penalty of
hundred dollars. There can be no sham or mock marriages, elopements will
not be so easy and bigamy without perjury will be impossible. Young and
innocent girls will be protected from the machination of designing
villains, who, under the guise of a secret marriage, accomplished their
ruin. On the whole we regard the bill as one of the best measures passed
by the last Legislature and one that will be of lasting benefit to the
Commonwealth. If the Governor signs it, it will go into effect October