Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Marital Power Exemplified in Mrs. Packard's Trial, and Self-Defence from the Charge of Insanity   By:

Book cover

First Page:

[Illustration: The House from which Mrs. Packard was Kidnapped in Manteno, Kankakee County, Illinois.]


OR Three Years' Imprisonment for Religious Belief, BY THE ARBITRARY WILL OF A HUSBAND, WITH AN APPEAL TO THE GOVERNMENT TO SO CHANGE THE LAWS AS TO AFFORD Legal Protection to Married Women.





Introduction, 3

The Great Trial of Mrs. Elizabeth P. W. Packard, who was confined Three Years in the State Asylum of Illinois, charged by her Husband, Rev. Theophilus Packard, with being Insane. Her discharge from the Asylum, and subsequent Imprisonment at her own House by her Husband. Her release on a Writ of Habeas Corpus, and the question of her Sanity tried by a Jury. Her Sanity fully established, 13

Narrative of events continued, 42

Miscellaneous questions answered, 61

False Reports corrected, 85

Note of thanks to my Patrons and the Press, 107

Testimonials, 117

Conclusion, 126

An Appeal to the Government, 130

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1866, by MRS. E. P. W. PACKARD, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Connecticut.


A brief narrative of the events which occasioned the following Trial seems necessary as an Introduction to it, and are here presented for the kind reader's candid consideration. It was in a Bible class in Manteno, Kankakee County, Illinois, that I defended some religious opinions which conflicted with the Creed of the Presbyterian Church in that place, which brought upon me the charge of insanity. It was at the invitation of Deacon Dole, the teacher of that Bible class, that I consented to become his pupil, and it was at his special request that I brought forward my views to the consideration of the class. The class numbered six when I entered it, and forty six when I left it. I was about four months a member of it. I had not the least suspicion of danger or harm arising in any way, either to myself or others, from thus complying with his wishes, and thus uttering some of my honestly cherished opinions. I regarded the principle of religious tolerance as the vital principle on which our government was based, and I in my ignorance supposed this right was protected to all American citizens, even to the wives of clergymen. But, alas! my own sad experience has taught me the danger of believing a lie on so vital a question. The result was, I was legally kidnapped and imprisoned three years simply for uttering these opinions under these circumstances.

I was kidnapped in the following manner. Early on the morning of the 18th of June, 1860, as I arose from my bed, preparing to take my morning bath, I saw my husband approaching my door with our two physicians, both members of his church and of our Bible class, and a stranger gentleman, sheriff Burgess. Fearing exposure I hastily locked my door, and proceeded with the greatest dispatch to dress myself. But before I had hardly commenced, my husband forced an entrance into my room through the window with an axe! And I, for shelter and protection against an exposure in a state of almost entire nudity, sprang into bed, just in time to receive my unexpected guests. The trio approached my bed, and each doctor felt my pulse, and without asking a single question both pronounced me insane. So it seems that in the estimation of these two M. D.'s, Dr. Merrick and Newkirk, insanity is indicated by the action of the pulse instead of the mind! Of course, my pulse was bounding at the time from excessive fright; and I ask, what lady of refinement and fine and tender sensibilities would not have a quickened pulse by such an untimely, unexpected, unmanly, and even outrageous entrance into her private sleeping room? I say it would be impossible for any woman, unless she was either insane or insensible to her surroundings, not to be agitated under such circumstances... Continue reading book >>

eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book

Popular Genres
More Genres
Paid Books