Spangler v. Packer Legal Document, [Pennsylvania], ca. July 1809.
This 12-page court document features judicial notes on the court case Peter Spangler and Barbara Spangler v. Job Packer. Packer was tried for the slander of Barbara Spangler by accusing her of bearing a mixed-race child and being a “lewd or abandoned woman.” Witnesses describe where they heard Packer’s statements and their understanding of Spangler’s reputation. Providing remarkable detail on one community’s investigation into sexuality, race, and child-bearing, this document uncovers oft-silenced aspects of women’s lives and communal conflict in the early nineteenth century. The manuscript fits nicely into the Clements Library’s collections related to gender, race, and jurisprudence.