A self-taught litigant, Martha Bradstreet was born in the British West Indies and immigrated to the United States in 1799. After a divorce, she took the unusual step of obtaining permission from the New York State Legislature to use her maiden name. She then began legal proceedings to reclaim land around Utica, NY to which she felt entitled, according to the will of an ancestor. Most of the lawsuit was filed in a District Court before Judge Alfred Conkling (Union College class of 1810), who consistently ruled against her.
Martha Bradstreet Papers held in the Union College Special Collections. MSS 687, Location N7:26 (Special Collections).
New York Heritage Digital Collections has digitized a collection of Martha Bradstreet's papers which includes correspondence, legal documents relating to court proceedings over land, and miscellaneous items such as religious documents.
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