Captain Isaac Graham

by Michael F. Kinsella

Captain Isaac Graham - Time line biography of his life that was written by Mr. Kinsella. The pages use to be available on the internet at another location and are no longer there. I have created these pages because Isaac was a true California hero worth knowing. I once played Isaac at the Everygreen Cemetery in Santa Cruz on May 1st, 1999. - Floyd D. P. Øydegaard

Part 20 - Custody

January, 1852
Anne Graham, Catherine and Isaac's daughter is born.

June 30, 1852
State of California
County of Santa Cruz

I, Isaac Graham of said County and State do hereby acknowledge myself to be the father of two certain minor children being females and named "Matilda Jane" and "Amanda Ann" having been born of one Tillitha C. Bennett of said County and State and that I intend them to enjoy all of the privileges and immunities of legitimate children.

Witness my hand and seal this 30th day of June A.D. 1852

Isaac Graham

December 20, 1852
The State Supreme Court hands down the decision on Isaac Graham's appeal, with Associate Justice Solomon Heydenfeldt, ruling that; "Marriage is a civil contract, and no form is necessary for its solemnization. Where parties are able to contract, an open avowal of the intention and an assumption of the relative duties, which it imposes, are sufficient to render it valid and binding.

"By the act to regulate descents and distributions, the issue of all marriages deemed null in law, or dissolved by divorce, shall be legitimate.

"A marriage which is legitimate in form, but by the existence of a legal disability at the time, rendered void, comes within the above clause for the protection of the issue; and is 'a marriage deemed null in law.'

"Such issue, in relation to their father, are inheritors of his name, his heirs apparent, and entitled to look for and demand from him, his care, maintenance and protection. And he has the same right to their custody, control and obedience, as if the issue of a valid marriage."

December 20, 1853
Dear Graham - The point which I raised in the suit of Tallatha C. Bennett against you, has been fully sustained by the Supreme Court in this decision of the cause made this morning, and the judgment against you of $2,500 has been reversed (set aside) on that point alone.

"The woman can never set up any claim against you as your wife, whilst your two little girls are now declared by the highest law in the land, to be your legitimate children, and you to be their lawful father and protector.

"From now henceforth those two little girls, whom you love so much, can walk through life as proudly, as purely, and as free from shame, as any children who are born on this earth; for no man can ever say again that they are bastards.

"Your friend-
Wm. J. Shaw

"P.S. If you have an opportunity to send up the $200 still due, please do so, for I am in need of it, and I now will say that I earned it, indeed this judgment is worth more to you and the girls, than thousands in money, for all future trouble about your keeping your children is at an end."

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