|Domingas de Araújo
|Manuel de Araújo
Family letter, dictated, from Domingas de Araújo to her brother-in-law and sister-in-law.
The author tells her brother-in-law and her sister-in-law about her reaction to the news that her first husband had returned.
This letter is included in the process of Domingas de Araújo, accused of bigamy. Her first husband, António de Araújo, had been in Brazil for around 19 years and, in spite of the husband's brother, a priest named Manuel de Araújo, telling her that António had written to him, which proved he was still alive, she alleged that she got no letters from him and that this made her believe he was dead. She also alleged that she only decided to marry again following the pressure of some family members. The second husband was Francisco Afonso, known as "the Nobleman". In the meantime, the first husband returned to Portugal, he forgave her and she went back to live with him. Although the court ended up declaring her innocence, she had to assume all the process expenses.
«Brother-in-law and sister-in-law. I hope this letter will find you in perfect health. When I returned from that place, I found novelty in what you said in a letter sent to the abbot of Rio Caldo, mentioning the return of António de Araújo to Lisbon, in good health conditions. I send you this warning so that you know I didn't mean to affront him with my action, but I was compelled by my relatives to do so and, if it is certain it didn't harm him, it would harm him to feel my absence, since I took shelter at my sister-in-law's house as soon as I was told the news. And I didn't even say goodbye to Francisco Fidalgo, just like the priest advised me to. In this matter, decide what to do and I'll be waiting for an answer, a solution, in case you know enough of this matters to decide what can be done to defend this life's honour. Today, 8 November, 1689 AD. From your sister-in-law, Domingas de Araújo»