While travelling away from Mary Ann and Catherine, Isaac had charmed many young ladies. In New York he courted another Mary and when she gave birth to his daughter Alecia, she took Isaac's middle name and called herself Mrs Merritt. In San Francisco he fathered 5 children with another Mary, who then called herself Mrs. Matthews.

After thirty years of marriage with Isaac, Catherine decided to divorce him, citing also a Mrs. J, and two ladies named Ellen and Lucy. When Mary Ann heard of the divorce she was delighted. At last they could be married.

She had shared her life with Isaac for 24 years, borne him 10 children, cared for him during sickness, shared poverty, worked for him and cheered him when he was down. When she asked Isaac to name a date for their wedding he refused to commit himself.

Isaac and Mary Ann had lovely home, No. 14 Fifth Avenue, New York, where they lived as Mr. and Mrs. Singer. Isaac was now a wealthy man. They dressed in the height of fashion and they had their own horse drawn carriages and grooms.

Mary Ann was unaware of Isaac's unfaithfulness until one day when she was out riding in her open carriage. Isaac was also riding in his carriage and pair with Mrs. Matthews, the mother of Alicia. Their carriage over-took Mary Ann's and their eyes met. Mary Ann was furious! When they both returned home, a row started which turned violent and resulted in Isaac striking Mary Ann and knocking her unconscious. The children when they went to help their mother were also attacked. Shortly after this incident, Mary Ann summoned Isaac to court on a charge of cruelty and assault.

The story, with the divorce made front page news in all the newspapers. Issac deeply embarrassed at the bad publicity, left New York and eventually America, leaving his lawyers to sort everything out.

© copyright Dorothy Atkinson

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