There is some debate on this one. The history channel website says this was the first divorce in the colonies, but another website Law Blogs states there was a divorce before this one in 1639. I confirmed this on a second website called archives.com.
On this day in history Anne Clarke was granted a divorce from her husband Denis Clarke because he had abandoned her and hooked up with another woman with whom he had already had two children by this time. I think Anne was very patient! Tom James of Law Blogs describes divorce as extremely rare only 6 divorces happened in the 72 years of the Plymouth Colony. Tom points out that most people think women did not have the right to divorce their husbands but in fact most women were the ones who filed for divorce.
As the note in the beginning of the post states, this was not the first divorce but the second in the colonies. The first was between James Luxford and his wife. Mrs. Luxford was granted a divorce on the grounds that her husband had committed bigamy. In addition to getting the divorce granted she also got all of her husband’s property and he was sent to the stocks, fined (how he was to pay this, once his ex-wife had all his money I don’t know) and banished to England.
Although the image above has divorce rates only since 1950 you can glean more from sites like Law Blogs and Archives.com if you are interested in learning more about the divorce rates in the colonies.