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Anne Bradley Trial: 1907

Brown And Bradley Arrested For Adultery

Brown frequently promised to divorce his wife and marry Bradley. In 1902 he separated from Isabel, began divorce proceedings, and gave Bradley an engagement ring. Isabel Brown, however, had other ideas. In 1902, she hired a private detective to follow the pair and later had her spouse and Bradley arrested for adultery. In 1903, Brown reconciled a couple of times with his wife, but continued his affair with Bradley and made more promises to marry her. That was also the year when a confrontation occurred between the women at a hotel whereby Isabel Brown grabbed Bradley by the throat, threw her down, and screamed, "Let me alone, I will kill her" before they were pulled apart. Shortly afterward, the senator gave Bradley a revolver to use as protection from his wife. (Ironically, it was the same gun that later killed him.)

Before they were tried for adultery, Bradley told Brown that she would plead "Guilty" unless the senator publicly acknowledged his paternity of their son. Brown countered that he could not lest he faced prison. He begged Bradley not to testify against him. He also promised to divorce his wife and wed Bradley within 12 months. Bradley carried out her threat, but was never fined nor sentenced to jail. But neither did she testify against her lover. The senator pleaded "not guilty" and was acquitted. In November 1903, the couple's second son was born, but Brown remained married to his wife.

On August 22, 1905, Mrs. Brown died of cancer. That very night, Brown called Bradley and told her to "go ahead and get your divorce and we will make this matter right." Bradley quickly did as she was told, but now the former senator kept putting off the wedding date. In the meantime, their third child was born in March 1906, but the baby lived for only a few days. The two were finally to be married on June 2, but when the day arrived, Brown was "ill" and the only thing the couple exchanged was a telephone call. As Bradley would later testify, the strain was now taking its toll and she was severely depressed and suicidal. "I just cried. I hoped I would die and I felt at times as if I should kill myself."

Still, Bradley continued to try to convince Brown to marry her. She became pregnant again and, on October 26, 1906, told the senator about her condition. By the end of November, however, Bradley was starting to have doubts about Brown's true intentions and confronted him. What she got was mixed messages. At times, Brown was distant, sad, and said that he could do nothing for her. On other occasions, he renewed his pledges of love and promised to wed her.

Shortly after Thanksgiving, Brown left Salt Lake City to plead a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Bradley knew of his plans, but not the specific date of his departure. On December 1, after learning that he had left without saying good-bye, Bradley suffered a miscarriage. She could neither eat nor sleep. She was depressed and again thinking of suicide. After the senator went to Washington, Bradley found out that he left behind at his office money for her to buy a train ticket to anywhere she wanted. Bradley decided on Los Angeles and left on December 3, but she only got as far as Ogden, Utah. Believing that Brown would not keep his promise to marry her once he was away from "the local influence," she impulsively changed her ticket for one to Washington, D.C. Unaccompanied, the five-day trip was hard on Bradley. She was still very ill and the travel made her condition worse.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1883 to 1917Anne Bradley Trial: 1907 - A Woman Ahead Of The Times, Brown And Bradley Arrested For Adultery, The Final Showdown