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Full text of "Marital power exemplified in Mrs. Packard's trial, and self-defence from the charge of insanity, 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"

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. Mrs. Packard's Trial, 




Three Years' Imprisonment for Reunions Belief, 





Legal Protection to Married Women. 



1 8 7'0. 

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. TheophQus 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, * . . . tt 

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 

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 aa 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 re- 
ligious 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 

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 
nn 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 


gue>t. The trio approached my bed, and each doctor felt my pulse, 
and without asking a single question both pronounced me iusane. 
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 a*k, what lady of refinement and fine and 
tender sensibilities would not have a quickened pulse by such an un- 
timely, 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^ This was the only medical 
examination I had. This was the only trial of any kijid that I was 
allowed to have^ to prove the charge of insanity brought against me 
by my. husband. I had no chance of self defence whatever. My 
husband then informed me that the " forms of law " were all complied 
with, and he therefore requested me to dress myself for a ride to 
Jacksonville, to enter the In-sane Asylum as an inmate. I objected, 
and protested against being imprisoned without any trial. But to no 
purpose. My husband insisted upon it that I had no protection in 
the law, but himself, and that he was doing by me just as the laws 
of the State allowed him to do. I could not then credit this state~ 
ment, but now know it to be too sadly true ; for the Statute of Illi- 
nois expressly states that a man may put his wife into an Insane 
Asylum without evidence of insanity.. This law now stands on the 
26th page, section 10, of the Illinois statute book, under the general 
head of " charities "! The law was passed February 15, 1851. 

I told my husband I should not go voluntarily into the Asylum, and 
leave my six children and my precious babe of eighteen months, 
without some kind of trial ; and that the law of force* brute force, 
would be the only power that should thus put me there! I then 
begged of him to handle me gently, if he. was determined to force me, 
as I was easily hurt, and should make no physical resistance. I was 
soon in the hands of the sheriff, who forced me from my home by 
ordering two men to carry me to the wagon which took me to the 
dt'pot. Esquire Labrie, our nearest neighbor, who witnessed this 
scene, said he was willing to testify before any court under oath, that 
" Mrs. Packard was literally kidnapped." I was carried to the cars 
from the depot in the arms of two strong men, whom my husband ap- 
pointed for this purpose, amid the silent and almost speechless gae 
of a larf e crowd of citizens who had collected for the purpose of res- 


cuing me from the hands of my persecutors. But they were pre- 
vented from executing their purpose by the lie Deacon Dole was 
requested by my husband to tell the excited crowd, viz : that "The 
Sheriff has legal papers to defend this proceeding," and they well 
knew that for them to resist the Sheriff, the laws would expose them- 
selves to imprisonment. The Sheriff confessed afterwards to persons 
who are now willing to testify under oath, that he told them that he 
did not have a sign of a legal paper with him, simply because the 
probate court refused to give him any, because, as they affirmed, he 
had not given them one evidence of insanity in the case. Sheriff 
Burgess died while I was incarcerated. 

When once in the Asylum I was beyond the reach of all human 
aid, except what could come through my husband, since the law 
allows no one to take them out, except the one who put them in, or 
by his consent ; and my husband determined never to take me out, 
until I recanted my new opinions, claiming that I was incurably 
insane so long as I could not return to my old standpoint of 
religious belief. Of course, I could not believe at my option, but 
only as light and evidence was presented to my own mind, and I was 
too conscientious to act the hypocrite, by professing to believe what I 
could not believe. I was therefore pronounced "hopelessly insane," 
and in about six weeks from the date of my imprisonment, my hus- 
band made his arrangements to have me, henceforth, legally regarded 
as hopelessly insane. In this defenceless, deplorable condition I lay 
closely imprisoned three years, being never allowed to step iny foot on 
the ground after the first four months. At the expiration of three 
year?, my oldest son, Theophilus, became of age, when he immediately 
availed himself of his manhood, by a legal compromise with his father 
and the trustees, wherein he volunteered to hold himself wholly re- 
sponsible for my support for life, if bis father would only consent to 
take me out of my prison. This proposition was accepted by Mr. 
Packard, with this proviso: that if ever I returned to my own home 
and children he should put me in again for life. The Trustees had 
previously notified Mr. Packard that I must be removed, as they 
should keep me no longer. Had not this been the case, my son's 
proposition would doubtless have been rejected by him. 

The reasons why the Trustees took this position was, because they 
became satisfied that I was not a fit subject for that institution, in the 
following manner: On one of their official visits to the institution, I 
coaxed Dr. McFarland, superintendent of the Asylum, to let me go 


before them and '' fire a few guns at Calvinism," as I expressed my- 
self, that they might know and judge for themselves whether I de- 
served a life-long imprisonment for indulging such opinions. Dr. Me 
Farland replied to my request, that the Trustees were Calvinists, and 
the chairman a member of the Presbyterian Synod of the United 

" Never mind," said I, " I dont care if they are, I am not afraid to 
defend my opinions even before the Synod itsel I dont want to be 
locked up here all my lifetime without doing something. But if they 
are Calvinists," I added, " you may be sure they will call me insane, 
and then you will have them to back you up in your opinion and po- 
sition respecting me." This argument secured his consent to let me 
go before them. He also let me have two sheets of paper to write my 
opinions upon. "With my document prepared, " or gun loaded," as I 
called it, and examined by the Doctor to see that all .was right, that 
is, that it contained no exposures of himself, I entered the Trustees' 
room, arm in arm with the Doctor, dressed in as attractive and taste- 
ful a style as my own wardrobe and that of my attendant's would per- 
mit. Mr. Packard was present, and he said to my friends afterwards 
that he never saw his wife look so " sweet and attractive " as I then 
did. After being politely and formally introduced to the Trustees, in- 
dividually, I was seated by the chairman, to receive his permission 
to speak, in the following words : " Mrs. Packard, we have heard Mr. 
Packard's statement, and the Doctor said you would like to speak for. 
yourself. We will allow you ten minutes for that purpose." 

I then took out my gold watch, (which was my constant companion 
in my prison,) and looking at it, said to the Doctor, " please tell me 
if I overgo my limits, will you ? " And then commenced reading my 
document in a quiet, calm, clear, tone of voice. It commenced with 
these words : " Gentlemen, I am accused of teaching my children 
doctrines ruinous in their tendency, and such as alienate them from 
their father. I reply, that my teachings and practice both, are ruin- 
ous to Satan's cause, and do alienate my children from Satanic in- 
fluences. I teach Christianity, my husband teaches Calvinism. They 
are antagonistic systems and uphold antagonistic authorities. Chris- 
tianity upholds God's authority; Calvinism the devil's authority ," 
&c., &c. 

Thus I went on, most dauntlessly and fearlessly contrasting the 
two systems, as I viewed them, until my entire document was read, 
without being interrupted, although my time had more than expired. 


Confident I had secured their interest as well as attention, I ventured 
to ask if I might be allowed to read another document I held in my 
hand, which the Doctor had not seen. The request was voted upon 
and met not only with an unanimous response in the affirmative, but sev- 
eral cried out : " Let her go on ! Let us hear the whole ! " This doc- 
ument bore heavily upon Mr. Packard and the Doctor both. Still 
I was tolerated. The room was so still I could have heard a clock 
tick. When I had finished, instead of then dismissing me, they com- 
menced questioning me, and I only rejoiced to answer their questions, 
being careful however not to let slip any chance I found to expose 
the darkest parts of this foul conspiracy, wherein Mr. Packard and 
their Superintendent were the chief actors. Packard and McFarland 
both sat silent and speechless, while I fearlessly exposed their wicked 
plot against my personal liberty and my rights. They did not deny 
or contradict one statement I made, although so very hard upon them 

Thus nearly one hour was passed, when Mr. Packard was re- 
quested to leave the room. The Doctor left also, leaving me alone 
with the Trustees. These intelligent men at once endorsed my state- 
ment?, and became my friends. They offered me my liberty at 
once, and said that anything I wanted they stood ready to do for me. 
Mr. Brown, the Chairman, said he saw it was of no use for me to go 
to my husband ; but said they would send me to my children if I 
wished to go, or to my father in Massachusetts, or they would board 
me up in Jacksonville. I thanked them for their kind and generous 
offers ; " but," said I, " it is of no use for me to accept of any one 
of them, for I am still Mr. Packard's wife, and there is no law in 
America to protect a wife from her husband. I am not safe from him 
outside these walls, on this continent, unless I flee to Canada ; and 
there, I don't know as a fugitive wife is safe from her husband. The 
truth is, he is determined to keep me in an Asylum prison as long as 
I live, if it can be done ; and since no law prevents his doing so, I 
see no way for me but to live and die in this prison. I may as well 
die here as in any other prison." 

These manly gentlemen apprehended my sad condition and ex- 
pressed their real sympathy for me, but did not know what to advise 
me to do. Therefore they left it to me and the Doctor to do as we 
might think best I suggested to the Doctor that I write a book, and 
in this manner lay my case before the People the government of the 
United States and ask for the protection of the laws. The Doctor 


fell in with this suggestion, and I accordingly wrote my great book 
of seven hundred pages r entitled " The Great Drama, An Alle- 
gory," the first installment of which is already in print and six thous- 
and copies in circulation. This occupied me nine months, which com- 
pleted my three years of prison life. 

The Trustees now ordered Mr. Packard to take me away, as no 
one else could legally remove me. I protested against being put into 
his hands without some protection, knowing, as I did, that he intended 
to incarcerate me for life in Northampton Asylum, if he ever re- 
moved me from this. But, like as I entered the Asylum against my 
will, and in spite of my protest, so I was put out of it into the abso- 
lute power of my persecutor again, against my will, and in spite of my 
protest to the contrary. 

I was accordingly removed to Granville, Putnam County, Illinois, 
and placed in the family of Mr. David Field, who married my adopted 
sister, where my son paid my board for about four months. During 
this time, Granville community became acquainted with me and the 
facts in the case, and after holding a meeting of the citizens on the 
subject the result was, that Sheriff Leaper was appointed to commu- 
nicate to me their decision, which was, that I go home to my cliildren 
taking their Toluntary pledge as my protection; that, should Mr. 
Packard again attempt to imprison me "without a trial, that they would 
use their influence to get him imprisoned in a penitentiary, where they 
thought the laws of this Commonwealth would place him. They 
presented me thirty dollars also to defray the expenses of my journey 
home to Manteno. I returned to my husband and little ones, only 
to be, again treated as a lunatic. He cut me off from communication 
with this community, and my other friends, by intercepting my mail ; 
made me a close prisoner in my own house ; refused me interviews 
with friends who called to see me, so that he might meet with no 
interference in carrying out the plan he had devised to get me incar- 
cerated again for life. This plan was providentially disclosed to me, 
by some letters he accidentally left in my room one night, wherein I 
saw that I was to be entered, hi a few day.*, into Northampton Insane 
Asylum for life ; as one of these letters from Doctor Prince, Super- 
intendent of that Asylum, assured me of this fact. Another from his 
sister, Mrs. Marian Severance, of Massachusetts, revealed the mode 
in which she advised her brother to transfer me from my home prison 
to my Asylum prison. She advised him to let me go to New York, 
under the pretence of getting my book published, and have him fol- 


low in a train behind, assuring the conductors that I must be treated 
as an insane person, although I should deny the charge, as all insane 
persons did, and thus make sure of their aid as accomplices in this 
conspiracy against my personal liberty. The conductor must be 
directed to switch me off to Northampton, Mass., instead of taking me to 
New York, and as my through ticket would indicate to me that all was 
right, she thought this could be done without arousing my suspicions ; 
then engage a carriage to transport me to the Asylum under the pre- 
text of a hotel, and then lock me up for life as a state's pauper ! 
Then, said she, you will have her out of the way, and can do as you 
please with her property, her children, and even her wardrobe ; don't, 
says she, be even responsible this time for her clothing. (Mr. Pack- 
ard was responsible for my body clothing in Jacksonville prison, but 
for nothing else. I was supported there three years as a state pauper. 
This fact, Mr. Packard most adroitly concealed from my rich father 
and family relatives, so that he could persuade my deluded father to 
place more of my patrimony in his hands, under the false pretense 
that he needed it to make his daughter more comfortable in the 
Asylum. My father sent him money for this purpose, supposing Mr. 
Packard was paying my board at the Asylum.) 

Another letter was from Dr. McFarland, -wherein I saw that Mr. 
Packard had made application for my readmission there, and Dr. Me 
Farland had consented to receive me again as an insane patient ! 
But the Trustees put their veto upon it, and would not consent to his 
plea that I be admitted there again. Here is his own statement, 
which I copied from his own letter: "Jacksonville, December 18, 
1863. Rev. Mr. Packard, Dear Sir: The Secretary of the Trustees 
has probably before this communicated to you the result of their ac- 
tion in the case of Mrs. Packard. It is proper enough to state that I 
favored her readmission " ! Then follows his injunction to Mr. Pack- 
ard to be sure not to publish any thing respecting the matter. Why 
is this ? Does an upright course seek or desire concealment ? Nay, 
verily: It is conscious guilt alone that seeks concealment, and 
dreads agitation lest his crimes be exposed. Mine is only one of a 
large class of cases, where he has consented to readmit a sane person, 
particularly the wives of men, whose influence he was desirous of 
securing for the support of himself in his present lucrative 

Yes, many intelligent wives and mothers did I leave in that awful 
prison, whose only hope of liberty lies in the death of their lawful 


husbands, or in a change of the laws, or in a thorough ventilation 
of that institution. Such a ventilation is needed, in order that jus- 
tice be done to that class of miserable inmates who are now unjustly 
confined there. . 

When I had read these letters over three or four times, to make it 
sure I had not mistaken their import, and even took copies of some 
of them, I determined upon the following expedient as my last and 
only resort, as a self defensive act. 

There was a stranger man who passed my window daily to get 
water from our pump. One day as he passed I beckoned to him to 
take a note which I had pushed down through where the windows 
come together, (my windows were firmly nailed down and screwed 
together, so that I could not open them,) directed to Mrs. A. C. Has- 
lett, the most efficient friend I knew of in Manteno, wherein I in- 
formed her of my imminent danger, and begged of her if it was pos- 
sible in any way to rescue me to do so, forthwith, for in a few days I 
should be beyond the reach of all human help. She communicated 
these facts to the citizens, when mob law was suggested as the only 
available means of rescue which lay in their power to use, as no law 
existed which defended a wife from a husband's power, and no man 
dared to take the responsibility of protecting me against my husband. 
And one hint was communicated to me clandestinely that if I would 
only break through my window, a company was formed who would 
defend me when once outside our house. This rather unlady like 
mode of self defence I did not like to resort to, knowing as I did, if I 
should not finally succeed in this attempt, my persecutors would gain 
advantage over me, in that I had once injured property, as a reason 
why I should be locked up. As yet, none of my persecutors had not 
the shadow of capital to make out the charge of insanity upon,outside 
of my opinions j for my conduct and deportment had uniformly been 
kind, lady-like and Christian ; and even to thin date, January, 1866. I 
challenge any individual to prove me guilty of one unreasonable or 
insane act. The lady-like Mrs. Haslett sympathized with me in 
these views ; therefore she sought council of Judge Starr of Kanka- 
kee City, to know if any law could reach my case so as to give me 
the justice of a trial of any kind, before another incarceration. The 
Judge told her that if I was a prisoner in my own house, and any 
were willing to take oath upon it, a writ of habeas corpus might reach 
my case and thus secure me a trial. Witnesses were easily found 
who could take oath to this fact, as many had called at our house to 


see that my windows were screwed together on the outside, and our 
front outside door firmly fastened on the outside, and our back outside 
door most vigilantly guarded by day and locked by night. In a few days 
this writ was accordingly executed by the Sheriff of the county, and 
just two days before Mr. Packard was intending to start with me for 
Massachusetts to imprison me for life in Northampton Lunatic Asylum* 
he was required by this writ to bring me before the court and give 
his reasons to the court why he kept his wife a prisoner. The reason 
he gave for so doing was, that I was Insane. The Judge replied, 
" Prove it ! " The Judge then empannelled a jury of twelve men, 
and the following Trial ensued as the result. This trial continued five 
days. Thus my being made a prisoner at my own home was the only 
hinge on which my personal liberty for life hung, independent of mob 
law, as there is no law in the State that will allow a married woman 
the right of a trial against the charge of insanity brought against her 
by her husband ; and God only knows how many innocent wives and 
mothers my case represents, who have thus lost their liberty for life, 
by this arbitrary power, unchecked as it is by no law on the Statute 
book of Illinois. 





Habeas Corpus, AND TUB QUESTION 





IN preparing a report of this trial, the writer has had but one object 
in view, namely, to present a faithful history of the case as narrated by 
the witnesses upon the stand, who gave their testimony under the 
solemnity of an oath. The exact language employed by the witnesses, 
has been used, and the written testimony given in full, with the ex- 
ception of a letter, written by Dr. McFarland, to Rev. Theophilua 
Packard, which letter was retained by Mr. Packard, and the writer waa 
unable to obtain a copy. The substance of the letter is found in the 
body of the report, and has been submitted to the examination of Mr. 
Packard's counsel, who agree that it is correctly stated. 

This case was on trial before the Hon. Charles R. Starr, at Kankakee 
City, Illinois, from Monday, January llth, 1864, to Tuesday the 19th, 
and came up on an application made by Mrs. Packard, under the Habeas 
Corpus Act, to be discharged from imprisonment by her husband in 
their own house. 

The case has disclosed a state of facts most wonderful and startling. 
Reverend Theophilus Packard came to Manteno, in Kankakee county, 
Illinois, seven years since, and has remained in charge of the Preabyte- 
rian Church of that place until the past two years. 

In the winter of 1859 and 1860, there were differences of opinion 


between Mr. Packard and Mrs. Packard, upon matters of leligicm, 
which resulted in prolonged and vigorous debate La the home circle. 
The heresies maintained by Mrs. Packard were carried by the husband 
from the fireside to the pulpit, and made a matter of inquiry by the church, 
aud which soon resulted in open warfare; and her views and propo- 
sitions were misrepresented and animadverted upon, from the pulpit, and 
herself made the subject of unjust criticism. In the Bible Class and 
in the Sabbath School, she maintained her religious tenets, and among 
her kindred and friends, defended herself from the obloquy of her 

To make the case fully understood, I will here remark, that Mr. Pack- 
ard was educated in the Calvinistic faith, and for twenty-nine years hn3 
been a preacher of that creed, and would in no wise depart from the 
religion of his fathers. He is cold, selfish and illiberal in hia views, 
possessed of but little talent, and a physiognomy innocent of expres- 
sion. He has large self-will, and his stubbornness is only exceeded 
by his bigotry. 

Mrs. Packard is a lady of fine mental endowments, and blest with 
a liberal education. She is an Original, vigorous, masculine thinker, 
and were it not for her superior judgment, combined with native mod* 
esty, she would rank as a "strong-minded woman." As it is, her 
conduct comports strictly with the sphere usually occupied by woman, 
She dislikes parade or show of any kind. Her confidence that Right 
will prevail, leads her to too tamely submit to wrongs. She was 
educated in the same religious befref with her husband, and during the 
first twenty years of married life, his labors in the parish and in the 
pulpit were greatly relieved by the willing hand and able intellect of 
his wife. 

Phrenologists would also say of her, that her self-will was large, and 
lier married life tended in no wise to diminish this phrenological bump. 
They have been married twenty-five years, and have six children, the 
issue of their intermarriage, the youngest of whom was eighteen 
months old when she was kidnapped and transferred to Jackson ville. J 
The older children have maintained a firm position against the abuse 
and persecutions of their father toward their mother, but were of too 
tender age to render her any material assistance. 

Her views of religion are more in accordance with the liberal views 
of the age in which we live. She scouts the Calvinistic doctrine of 
man's cota* depravity, and that God has foreordained some to be saved 
and others to be damned. She stands fully on the platform of man 8 
free agency and accountability to God for his actions. She belie vea 


that man, and nations, are progressive ; and that in his own good time, 
and in accordance with His great purposes, Right will prevail over 
Wrong, and the oppressed will be freed from the oppressor. She 
believes slavery to be a national sin, and the church and the pulpit a 
proper place to combat tliis sin. These, in brief, are the points in her 
religious creed which were combatted by Mr. Packard, and were de- 
nominated by him as "emanations from the devil," or "the vagaries 
of a crazed brain." 

For maintaining such ideas as above indicated, Mr. Packard denounced 
her from the pulpit, denied her the privilege of family prayer in the 
home circle, expelled her from the Bible Class, and refused to let her 
be heard in the Sabbath School. He excluded her from her friends, 
and made her a prisoner in her own house. 

Her reasonings and her logic appeared to him as the ravings of a mad 
woman her religion was the religion of the devil. To justify his 
conduct, he gave out that she was insane, and found a few willing be- 
lievers, among his family connections, 

This case was commenced by filing a petition in the words following, 
to wit: 



To the Honorable CHABLES R. STABB, Judge of the 2Qth Judicial 

Circuit in the State of Illinois, 

William Haslet, Daniel Beedy, Zalmon Hanford, and Joseph 
Younglove, of said county, on behalf of Elizabeth P. W. Packard, 
wife of Theophilus Packard, of said county, respectfully represent unto 
your Honor, that said Elizabeth P. W. Packard is unlawfully restrained 
of her liberty, at Manteno, in the county of Kankakee, by her hus- 
band, Rev. Theophilus Packard, being forcibly confined and imprisoned 
in a close room of the dwelling-house of her said husband, for a long 
time, to wit, for the space of four weeks, her said husband refusing to 
let her visit her neighbors and refusing her neighbors to visit her ; that 
they believe her said husband is about to forcibly convey her from out 
the State ; that they believe there is no just cause or ground for 
restraining said wife of her liberty ; that they believe that said wife is 
a mild and amiable woman. And they are advised and believe, that 
said husband cruelly abuses and misuses said wife, by depriving her of 
her winter's clothing, this cold and inclement weather, and that there 
is no necessity for such cruelty on the part of said husband to said 


wife ; and they are advised and believe, that said wife desires to come 
w> Knnkakee City, to make application to your Honor for a writ of 
habeas corpus, to liberate herself from said confinement or imprison' 
ment, and that said husband refused and refuses to allow said wife to 
come to Kankakee City for eaid purpose ; and that these petitioners 
make application for a writ of habeas corpus in her behalf, at her 
request. These petitioners therefore pray that a writ of habeas corpus 
may forthwith issue, commanding said Theophilus Packard to pro- 
duce the body of said wife, before your Honor, according to law, 
and that said wife may be discharged from said imprisonment. 




H.LOWNG, \ p * aners '' -Aitorney. J. YOUNGLOVE. 



William Haslet, Daniel Beedy, Zalmon Hanford, and Joseph 
Younglove, whose names are subscribed to the above petition, being 
duly sworn, severally depose and say, that the matters and facts set 
forth in the above petition are true in substance and fact, to the best of 
their knowledge and belief. 


Sworn to and subscribed before me, this ) 
llth day of January, A. D. 1864. J 

MASON B. Looms, J. P. 

Upon the above petition, the Honorable C, R. Starr, Judge as afore- 
said, issued a writ of habeas corpus, as follows: 



The People of the State of Illinois, To THEOPHILDS PAOKABD 

WE COMMAND YOU, That the body of Elizabeth P. W. Packard, 
in your custody detained and imprisoned, as it is said, together with 
the day and cause of caption and detention, by whatsoever name the 
same may be called, you safely have before Charles R. Starr, Judge 
01* the Twentieth Judicial Circuit, State of Illinois, at his chambers, at 
K.Lnkakoe City in the said county, on the 12th instant, at one o'clock, 


r. M., and to do and receive all and singular those things which the 
said Judge shall then and there consider of her in this behalf, aud have 
you then and there this writ. 

Wihness, Charles R. Starr, Judge aforesaid, this llth day of January, 
A. D. 1864. 

[Bmenue Stamp.] Judge of the ZQlh Judicial Circuit of the State of Miitah. 

Indorsed: "By the Habeas Corpus Act" 

To said writ, the Rev. Theophilus Packard made the following 
return : 

The within named Theophilus Packard does hereby certify, to the 
within named, the Honorable Charles R. Starr, Judge of the 20th 
Judicial Circuit of the State of Illinois, that the within named Eliza- 
beth P. W. Packard is n^w in my custody, before your Honor. That the 
aid Elizabeth is the wife of the undersigned, and is and has been for 
more than three years past insane, and for about three years of that 
time was in the Insane Asylum of the State of Illinois, under treat- 
ment, as an insane person. That she was discharged from said Asylum, 
without being cured, and is incurably insane, on or about the 18th day 
of June, A. D. 1863, and that since the 23rd day of October, the 
undersigned has kept the said Elizabeth with him in Manteno, in this 
county, and while he has faithfully and anxiously watched, cared for, 
and guarded the said Elizabeth, yet he has not unlawfully restrained 
her of her liberty ; and has not confined and imprisoned her in a close 
room, in the dwelling-house of the undersigned, or in any other place 
or way, but, on the contrary, the undersigned has allowed her all the 
liberty compatible with her welfare and safety. That the undersigned 
is about to remove his residence from Manteno, in this State, to the 
town of Deerfield, in the county of Franklin, in the State of Massa- 
chusetts, and designs and intends to take his said wife Elizabeth with 
bim. That the undersigned has never misued or abused the said Eliza- 
beth, by depriving her of her winter's clothing, but, on the contrary, 
the undersigned has always treated the said Elizabeth with kindness 
and affection, and has provided her with a sufficient quantity of winter 
clothing and other clothing ; and that the said Elizabeth has never 
made any request of the undersigned, for liberty to come to Kankakea 
City, for the purpose of suing out a writ of habeas corpus. The under- 
signed hereby presents a letter from Andrew McFarlnnd. Superin- 
tendent of the Illinois State Hospital, at Jacksonville, in this Suite, 


showing her discharge, and reasons of discharge, from said institution, 
which is marked " A," and is made a part of this return. And also 
presents a certificate from the said Andrew McFarland, under the seal 
of said hospital, marked " C," refusing to re-admit the said Elizabeth 
again into said hospital, on the ground of her being incurably insane, 
which is also hereby made a part of this return. 

Dated January 12, 1864. 

The Court, upon its own motion, ordered an issue to be formed, as to 
the sanity or insanity of Mrs. E. P. W. Packard, and ordered a venire 
of twelve men, to aid the court in the investigation of said issue. And 
thereupon a venire was issued. 

The counsel for the respondent, Thomas P. Bonfield, Mason B. 
Loomis, and Hon. C. A. Lake, moved the court to quash the venire, 
on the ground that the court had no right to call a jury to determine the 
question, on an application to be discharged on .a writ of habeas corpus. 
The court overruled the motion ; and thereupon the following jury was 
selected : 

John Stiles, Daniel G. Bean, V. H. Young, F. G. Hutchinson, 
Thomas Muncey, H. Hirshberg, Nelson Jarvais, "William Hyer, Geo. 
H. Andrews, J. F. Mafet, Lemuel Milk, G. M. Lyons. 

CHRISTOPHER W. KNOTT was the first witness sworn by the 
respondent, to maintain the issue on his part, that she was insane ; who 
being sworn, deposed and said : 

I am a practicing physician in Kankakee City. Have been in prac- 
tice fifteen years. Have seen Mrs. Packard ; saw her three or four 
years ago. Am not much acquainted with her. Had never seen her 
until I was called to see her at that time. I was called to visit her by 
Theophilus Packard. I thought her partially deranged on religious 
matters, and gave a certificate to that effect. I certified that she was 
insane upon the subject of religion. I have never seen her since. 

Cross-examination. This visit I made her was three or four years ago. 
I was there twice one-half hour each time. I visited her on request 
of Mr. Packard, to determine if she was insane. I learned from him 
that he designed to convey her to the State Asylum. Do not know 
whether she was aware of my object, or not. Her mind appeared to 
be excited on the subject of religion ; on all other subjects she was 
perfectly rational. It was probably caused by overtaxing the mental 
faculties. She was what might be called a monomaniac. Monomania 


IB insanity on one subject. Three-fourths of the religious community 
are insane in the same manner, in my opinion. Her insanity was 
such that with a little rest she would readily have recovered from it. 
The female mind is more excitable than the male. I saw her per- 
haps one-half hour each time I visited her. I formed my judgment 
as to her insanity wholly from conversing with her. I could see 
nothing except an unusual zealousness and warmth upon religious 
topics. Nothing was said, in my conversation with her, about disagree- 
' ing with Mr. Packard on religious topics. Mr. Packard introduced the 
subject of religion the first time I was there : the second time, I intro- 
duced the subject. Mr. Packard and Mr. Comstock were present. 
The subject was pressed on her for the purpose of drawing her out. 
Mrs. Packard would manifest more zeal than most of people upon any 
subject that interested her. I take her to be a lady of fine mental 
abilities, possessing more ability than ordinarily found. She is pos- 
sessed of a nervous temperament, easily excited, and has a strong will. 
I would say that she was insane, the same as I would say Henry 
"Ward Beecher, Spurgeon, Horace Greely, and like persons, are insane. 
Probably three weeks intervened between the visits I made Mrs. 
Packard. This was in June, 1860. 

Re-examined. She is a woman of large, active brain, and nervous 
temperament. I take her to be a woman of good intellect. There is 
no subject which excites people so much as religion. Insanity pro- 
duces, oftentimes, ill-feelings towards the best friends, and particularly 
the family, or those more nearly related to the insane person but not 
so with monomania. She told me, in the conversation, that the Calvin- 
istic doctrines were wrong, and that she had been compelled to with- 
draw from the church. She said that Mr. Packard was more insane 
than she was, and that people would find it out. I had no doubt that 
she was insane. I only considered her insane on that subject, and she 
was not bad at that. I could not judge whether it was hereditary. 
I thought if she was withdrawn from conversation and excitement, she 
could have got well in a short time. Confinement in any shape, or 
restraint, would have made her worse. I did not think it was a bad 
case ; it only required rest. 

J. W. BBOWN, being sworn, said : 

I am a physician ; live in this city ; have no extensive acquaintance 
with Mrs. Packard. Saw her three or four weeks ago. ' I examined her 
as to her sanity or insanity. I was requested to make a visit, and had 
an extended conference with her : I spent some three hours with her. 


I had no difficulty in arriving at the conclusion, in my mind, that she 
WHS insane. 

Cross-examination. I visited her by request of Mr. Packard, at her 
house. The children were in and out of the room ; no one else was 
present. I concealed my object in visiting her. She asked me if I 
was a physician, and I told her no ; that I was an agent, selling sewing 
machines, and had come there to sell her one. 

The first subject we conversed about was sewing machines. She 
showed no signs of insanity on that subject. 

The next subject discussed, was the social condition of the female 
sex. She exhibited no special marks of insanity on that subject, 
although she had many ideas quite at variance with mine, on the 

The subject of politics was introduced. She spoke of the condition 
of the North and the South. She illustrated her difficulties with Mr. 
Packard, by the difficulties between the North and the South. She 
said the South was wrong, and was waging war for two wicked 
purposes : first, to overthrow a good government, and second, to 
establish a despotism on the inhuman principle of human slavery. But 
that the North, having right on their side, would prevail. So Mr. 
Packard was opposing her, to overthrow free thought in woman ; that 
the despotism of man may prevail over the wife ; but that she had 
right and truth on her side, and that she would prevail. 

During this conversation I did not fully conclude that she was insane. 

I brought up the subject of religion. We discussed that subject for 
a long time, and then I had not the slightest difficulty in concluding 
that she was hopelessly insane. 

Question. Dr., what particular idea did she advance on the subject 
of religion that led you to the conclusion that she was hopelessly insane? 

Answer. She advanced many of them. I formed my opinion not 
so much on any one idea advanced, as upon her whole conversation. 
She then said that she was the " Personification of the Holy Ghost." 
I did not know what she meant by that. 

Ques. "Was not this the idea conveyed to you in that conversation : 
That there are three attributes of the Deity the Father, the Son, and 
the Holy Ghost ? Now, did she not say, that the attributes of the 
Father were represented in mankind, in man ; that the attributes oi 
the Holy Ghost were* represented in woman ; and that the Son waa 
the fruit of these two attributes of the Deity ? 

Ans. Well, I am not sure but that was the idea conveyed, 
though I did not fully get her idea at the time. 


tyues. Was not that a new idea to you in theology r 

Ans. It was. 

Ques. Are you much of a theologian? 

Ans. No. 

Ques. Then because the idea was a novel one to you, you pro 
nounced her insane. 

Ans. Well, I pronounced her insane on that and other things thai 
exhibited themselves in this conversation. 

Ques. Did she not show more familiarity with the subject of 
religion and the questions of theology, than you had with these subjects? 

Ans. I do not pretend much knowledge on these subjects. 

Ques. What else did she say or do there, that showed marks of 
insanity ? 

Ans. She claimed to be better than her husband that she was 
right and that he was wrong and that all she did was good, 
and all he did was bad; that she was farther advanced than other 
people, and more nearly perfection. She found fault .particularly that 
Mr. Packard would not discuss their points of difference on religion in 
an open, manly way, instead of going around and denouncing her aa 
crazy to her friends and to the church. 

She had a great aversion to being called insane. JJefore I gt through 
the conversation she exhibited a great dislike to me, and almost treated 
me in a contemptuous manner. She appeared quite lady-like. She had 
a great reverence for God, and a regard for religious and pious people. 

Re-examined. Ques. Dr., you may now state all the reasons you 
have for pronouncing her insane. 

Ans. I have written down, in order, the reasons which I had, to 
found my opinion on, that she was insane. I will read them. 

1. That she claimed to be in advance of the age thirty or forty 

2. That she disliked to be called insane. 

3. That she pronounced me a copperhead, and did not prove the 

4. . An incoherency of thought. That she failed to illuminate ra 
and fill me with light. 

5. Her aversion to the doctrine of the total depravity of man. 

6. Her claim to perfection or nearer perfection in action and conduct 

7. Her aversion to being called insane. 

8. Her feelings towards her husband. 

9. Her belief that to call her insane and abuse her, was blasphemy 
against the Holy Ghost. 


10. Her explanation of this idea. 

11. Incoherency of thought and ideas. 

12. Her extreme aversion to the doctrine of the total depravity of 
mankind, and in the same conversation, saying her husband was a 
specimen of man's total depravity. 

13. The general history of the case. 

14. Her belief that some calamity would befall her, owing to my 
being there, and her refusal to shake hands with me when I went 

15. Her viewing the subject of religion from the osteric stand- 
point of Christian exegetical analysis, and agglutinating the polsyn- 
thetical ectoblasts of homogeneous asceticism. 

The witness left the stand amid roars of laughter ; and it required 
some moments to restore order in the court-room. 

JOSEPH H. WAY, sworn, and said : 

I am a practicing physician in Kankakee City, Illinois. I made 
a medical examination of Mrs. Packard a few weeks since, at 
her house; was there perhaps two hours. On most subjects she 
was quite sane. On the subject of religion I thought she had some 
ideas that are not generally entertained. At that time I thought 
her to be somewhat deranged or excited on that subject; since 
that time I have thought perhaps I was not a proper judge, for 
I am not much posted on disputed points in theology, and I find 
that other people entertain similar ideas. They are not in accord- 
ance with my views, but that is no evidence that she is insane. 

Cross-examined. I made this visit at her house, or his house, per- 
haps, at Manteno. I conversed on various subjects. She was per- 
fectly sane on every subject except religion, and I would not swear 
now that she was insane. She seemed to have been laboring under 
an undue excitement on that subject. She has a nervous temperament, 
and is easily excited. She said she liked her children, and that it was 
hard to be torn from them. That none but a mother could feel the ' 
anguish she had suffered ; that while she was confined in the Asylum, 
the children had been educated by their father to call her insane. She 
^said she would have them punished if they called their own mother 
insane, for it was not right. 

ABIJAH DOLE, sworn, and says : 

I know Mrs. Packard ; have known her twenty-five or thirty years. 
I am her brother-in-law. Lived in Manteno seven years. Mrs. 

: , : 


Packard has lived there six years. I have been sent for several 
times by her and Mr. Packard, and found her in an exoited state 
of mind. I was there frequently ; we were very familiar. One 
morning early, I was sent for : she was in the west room ; she was 
in her night clothes. She took me by the hand and led mo to the 
bed. Libby was lying in bed, moaning and moving her head. Mrs. 
Packard now spoke and said, "How pure we are." "I am one of 
the children of heaven; Libby is one of the branches."-*," The wo- 
man shall, bruise the serpent's head." She called Mr. Packard & 
devil. She said, Brother Dole, these are serious matters. If Brother 
Haslet will help me, we will crush the body. She said, Christ had 
come into the world to save men, and that she had come to save 
woman. Her hair was disheveled. Her face looked wild. This 
was over three years ago. 

I was there again one morning after this. She came to me. She 
pitied me for marrying my wife, who is a sister to Mr. Packard ; said I 
might find an agreeable companion. She said if she had cultivated ama- 
tiveness, she would have made a more agreeable companion. She took 
me to another room and talked about going away ; this was in June before 
taey took her to the State Hospital. She sent for me again ; she was 
in the east room ; she was very cordial. She wanted me to intercede 
for Theophilus, who was at Marshall, Michigan ; she wanted him to 
stay there, and it was thought not advisable for him to stay. "We 
wished him to come away, but did not tell her the reasons. He was 
with a Swedenborgian. 

After this I was called there once in the night. She said she could 
not live with Mr. Packard, and she thought she had better go away. 
One time she was in the Bible class. The question came up in regard 
to Moses smiting the Egyptian ;. she thpught Moses had acted too 
hasty, but that all things worked for the glory of God. I requested 
her to keep quiet, and she agreed to do it. 

I have had no conversation with Mrs. Packard since her return from 
the Hospital ; she will not talk with me because she thinks I think she 
is insane. Her brother came to see her ; he said he had not seen her 
for four or five years. I tried to have Mrs. Packard talk with him, and 
she would not have anything to do with him because he said she was a 
crazy woman. She generally was in the kitchen when I was there, 
overseeing her household affairs. 

I was superintendent of the Sabbath School. One Sabbath, just at 
the close of the school, I was behind the desk, and almost like a vision 
she appeared before me, and requested to deliver or read an address to 


the school. I was much surprised ; I felt so bad, I did not know what 
to do. (At this juncture the witness became very much affected, 
and choked up so that he could not proceed, and cried so loud that 
he could be heard in any part of the court-room. When he became 
calm, he went on and said), I was willing to gratify her all I could, 
for I knew she was crazy, but I did not want to take the responsibility 
myself, so I put it to a vote of the school, if she should be allowed 
to read it*i She was allowed to read it. It occupied ten or fifteen 
minutes in reading. 

I cannot state any of the particulars of that paper. It bore evidence 
of her insanity. She went on and condemned the church, all in all, 
and the individuals composing the church, because they did not agree 
with her. She looked very wild and very much excited. She seemed 
to be insane. She came to church one morning just as services com- 
menced, and wished to have the church act upon her letter withdrawing 
from the church immediately. Mr. Packard was in the pulpit. She 
wanted to know if Brother Dole and Brother Merrick were in the 
church, and wanted them to have it acted upon. This was three years 
ago, just before she was taken away to the hospital. 

Cross-examined. I supposed when I first went into the room that 
her influence over the child had caused the child to become deranged. 
The child was nine years old. I believed that she had exerted some 
1 mesmeric or other influence over the child, that caused it to moan and'toss 
its head. The child had been sick with brain fever ; I learned that after 
I got there. I suppose the mother had considerable anxiety over the 
child; I suppose she had been watching over the child all night, 
and that would tend to excite her. The child got well. It was sick 
several days after this ; it was lying on the bed moaning and tossing 
its head; the mother did not appear to be alarmed. Mr. Packard 
was not with her ; she was all alone ; she did not say that Mr. Packard 
did not show proper care for the sick child. I suppose she thought 
Libby would die. 

Her ideas on religion did not agree with mine, nor with my view of 
the Bible. 

I knew Mr. Packard thought her insane, and did not want her to 
discuss these questions in the Sabbath School. I knew he had opposed 
ner more or less. This letter to the church was for the purpose of 
asking for a letter from the church. 

Question. "Was it an indication of insanity that she wanted to leave 
the Presbyterian Church ? 


Answer. I think it strange that she should ask for letters from 
the church. She would not leave the church unless she was 

lam a member of the church I believe the church is right. 1 
believe everything the church does is right. I believe everything in 
the Bible. . 

Ques. Do you believe literally that Jonah was swallowed by a 
whale, and remained in its "belly three days, and was then cast up ? 

Ans. I do. 

Ques. Do you believe literally that Elijah went direct up to Heaven 
in a chariot of fire that the chariot had wheels, and seats, and was 
drawn by horses ? 

Ans. I do for with God all things are possible. 

Ques. Do you believe Mrs. Packard was insane, and is insane ? 

Ans. I do. 

I never read any of Swedenborg's works. I do not deem it proper 
for persons to investigate new doctrines or systems of theology. 

Re-examined. I became a Presbyterian eight years ago. I waa 
formerly a Congregatioualist ; Mr. Packard was a Congregationalist. 

Re-cross-examination. Ques. Was it dangerous for you to examine 
the doctrines or theology embraced in the Presbyterian Church, when 
you left the Congregational Church, and joined it? 

Ans. I will not answer so foolish a question. 

"Witness discharged. 

JOSEPHUS B. SMITH, sworn, says : 

Am aged fifty years ; have known Mrs. Paakard seven years. I cannot 
tell the first appearance of any abnormal condition of her mind. I 
first saw it at the Sabbath School. She came in and wished to read a 
communication. I do not recollect everything of the communication. 
She did not read the letter, but presented it to Brother Dole. She said 
something about her small children, and left. She seemed to be excited. 
There was nothing very unusual in her appearance. Her voice was 
rather excited; it could be heard nearly over the house. I merely 
recall the circumstance, but recollect scarce anything else. It was an 
unusual thing for any person to come in and read an address. I do not 
recollect anything unusual in her manner. 

(At this stage of the trial, an incident occurred that for a time 
rtopped all proceedings, and produced quite an excitement in the 
jom t-room ; and this report would not be faithful if it were passed 
ovei unnoticed. Mrs. Dole, the sister of Mr. Packard, came in, leading 


the little daughter ol Mrs. Packard, and in passing by the table 
occupied by Mrs. Packard and her counsel, the child stopped, went 
up to her mother, kissed and hugged her, and was clinging to her with 
all child-like fervor, when it was observed by Mrs. Dole, who 
snatched the child up and bid it "come away from that woman ; " 
adding, " She is not fit to take care of you I have you in my -charge ; " 
and thereupon led her away. The court-room was crowded to ita 
utmost, and not a mother's heart there but what was touched, and 
scarce a dry eye was seen. Quite a stir was made, but the sheriff soon 
restored order.) 

Cross-examined. I had charge of the Sunday School; am a member 
of Mr. Packard's church. I knew Mr. Packard had considered her 
insane ; knew they had had difficulties. I was elected superintendent 
of the school in place of Brother Dole, for the special purpose of 
keeping Mrs. Packard straight. 

SYBIL DOLE, sworn, and says 

I am Mr. Packard's sister; have known her t<venty-five years. Her 
natural disposition is very kind and sweet. Her education is very 
good ; her morals without a stain or blemish. I first observed a change 
in her after we came to Manteno. I had a conversation with her, 
when she talked an hour without interruption ; she talked in a wild, 
excited manner; the subject was partly religion. She spoke of her 
own attainments ; she said she had advanced in spiritual affairs. This 
was two or three years before she went to the Asylum. 

The next time was when she was preparing to go to York State. 
She was weeping and sick. Her trunk was packed and ready to go, 
but Mr. Packard was sick. From her voice, and the manner she 
talked, I formed an opinion of her insanity. She talked on various 
points ; the conversation distressed me very much ; I could not sleep. 
She was going alone ; we tried to persuade her not to go alone. She 
accused Mr. Packard very strangely of depriving her of her rights of 
conscience that he would not allow her to think for herself on 
religious questions, because they disagreed on these topics. She made 
her visit to New York. The first time I met her after her return, her 
health was much improved ; she appeared much better. In the course 
of a few weeks, she visited at my house. 

At another time, one of the children came up, and wanted me to 
go down ; I did so. She was very much excited about her son remain- 
ing at Marshall. She was wild. She thought it was very wrong and 
tyrannical for Mr. Packard not to permit her son to remain there. She 



eaid very many things which seemed unnatural. Her voice, manner 
and ways, all showed she was insane. 

I was there when Mr. Baker came there, to see about Theophilus 
remaining at Marshall with him. She was calmer than she was the 
day before. She said that she should spend the day in fasting and 
prayer. She said he had came in unexpectedly, and they were not 
prepared to entertain strangers. She was out of bread, and had to 
make biscuit for dinner. (One gentleman in the crowd turned to hia 
wife and said, " "Wife, were you ever out of bread, and had to make 
biscuit for dinner ? I must put you into an Insane Asylum 1 No 
mistake ! ") I occupied the same room and bed with her. She went 
to Mr. Packard's room, and when she returned, she said, that* if her 
son was not permitted to remain at Marshall, it would result in a divorce. 
She got up several times during the night. She told me how much 
she enjoyed the family circle. She spoke very highly of Mr. Packard's 
t kindness to her. She spoke particularly of the tenderness which had 
/ once existed between them. I did not notice anything very remarkable 
in her conduct toward Mr. Packard, until just before she was sent to 
the Hospital. 

One morning afterward, I went to her house with a lady; we wanted 
to go in, and were admitted. She seemed much excited. She said, 
" You regard me insane. I will thank you to leave my room." This 
was two or three months before she was sent to Jacksonville. Mr. 
Packard went out. She put her hand on my shoulder, and said she 
would thank me to go out too. I went out. 

I afterward wanted to take the baby home. One morning I went 
down to see her, and prepared breakfast for her. She appeared thank- 
ful, and complimented me on my kindness. She consented for m'e to 
take the child ; I did so. In a short time, about ten days after, the 
other children came up, and said, that she wanted to take her own 
child. I took the child down. . Her appearance was very wild. She 
was filled with spite toward Mr. Packard. She defied me to take the 
child again, and said that she would evoke the strong arm of the law 
to help her keep it. 

At another time, at the table, she was talking about religion, when 
Mr. Packard remonstrated with her ; she became angry, and told him 
she would talk what and when she had a mind to. She rose up from 
the table, and took her tea-cup, and left the room in great violence. 

Cross-examined. I am a member of Mr. Packard's church, and am 
his sister. He and I have often consulted together about Mrs. Packard. 
Mr Packard was the first to ever suggest that she was insane ; after 


that, I would more carefully watch her actions to find out if she was 
insane. The religious doctrines she advanced were at variance with 
those entertained by our church. She was a good, neat, thrifty ai:d 
careful housekeeper. She was economical; kept the children clean 
and neatly dressed. She was sane on all subjects except religion. I 
do not think she would have entertained these ideas, if she had not 
been insane. I do not think she would have wanted to have with- 
diawn from our church, and unite with another church, if she had not 
been insane. She said she would worship with the Methodists. They 
were the only other Protestant denomination that held service at Manteno 
at the time. I knew when she was taken to Jacksonville Hospital- 
She was taken away in the morning. She did not want to go; we 
thought it advisable for her to go. 

SARAH RUMSEY, sworn, and says : 

Have li ved one week in Mrs. Packard's house. I was present at the 
interview when Mrs. Packard ordered us to leave the room. Mrs. 
Packard was very pale and angry. She was in an undress, and her 
hair was down over her face. It was 1 1 o'clock in the forenoon I 
staid at the house ; Mrs. Packard came out to the kitchen. She was 
dressed then. She said she had come to reveal to me what Mr. Pack- 
ard was. She talked very rapidly ; she would not talk calm. She 
said Mr. Packard was an arch deceiver ; that he and the members of 
his church had made a conspiracy to put her into the Insane Asylum ; 
she wanted me to leave the conspirators. Soon after dinner she said, 
" Come with me, I have something to tell you." She said she had a 
new revelation ; it would soon be here ; and that she had been chosen 
by God for a particular mission. She said that .all who decided with 
her, and remained true to her, would be rewarded by the millennium, 
and if I would side with her, that I would be a chief apostle in the 
millennium. She wanted to go to Batavia, but that Mr. Packard 
would give her no money to take her there ; that Mr. Packard called her 
insane. She started to go out, and Mr. Packard made her return; 
took her into Mr. Comstock's, and Mr. Comstock made her go home. 

I saw her again when Libby had the brain fever. She was disturbed 
because the family called her insane. She and Libby were crying 
together; they cried together a long time. This was Tuesday. She 
would not let me into the room. The next morning while at breakfast 
Mr. Labrie passed the window and came in. He said that Georgie had 
been over for him, and said that they were killing his mother. She 
acted very strangely all the time ; was wild and excited. 


Cross-examined. Knew Mr. Packard two years before I went '.here 
to live. He was the pastor of our church. I am a member of the 
church. I did not attend the Bible class. Brother Dole came to me and 
said somebody of the church should go there, and stay at the house, 
and assist in packing her clothes and getting her ready to take off to 
the Hospital, and stay and take care of the children. I consented to 
go; I heard that Brother Packard requested Brother Dole to come 
for me. I never worked out before. They had a French servant, 
before I went there ; Mr. Packard turned her off when I came, the 
same day. I did not want to take Mrs. Packard away. I did not 
think she exhibited any very unusual excitement, when the men came 
here to take her away. Doctors Merrick and Newkirk were the 
physicians who came there with Sheriff Burgess. She did not manifest 
as much excitement, when being taken away, as I would have done, 
under the same circumstances ; any person would have naturally been 
opposed to being carried away. 

The church had opposed her, in disseminating her ideas in the church ; 
I was opposed tc*her promulgating her religious ideas in the church ; I 
thought them wrong, and injurious. . I was present at the Sabbath 
School when she read the paper to the school; I thought that bore 
evidence of insanity. It was a refutation of what Mrs. Dixon had 
written ; I cannot give the contents of the paper now. 

I was present when she read a confession of her conduct to the 
church ; she had had her views changed partially, from a sermon 
preached upon the subject of the sovereignty and immutability of God. 
I did not think it strange conduct that she changed her views ; and never 
said so. This was in the spring before the June when they took her away. 

The article she read in the school was by the permission of the 

I was present when she presented a protest against the church for 
refusing to let her be heard ; I have only an indistinct recollection of it ; 
it was a protest because they refused to listen to her. 

Mr. Dole was the only person who came to the house when she was 
taken away, except the men with Burgess. 

She said that Mr. Packard had deprived her of the liberty of con- 
science in charging her to be insane, when she only entertained ideas 
new to him. 

I thought it was an evidence of insanity, because she maintained 
these ideas. I do not know that many people entertain similar ideas 
I suppose a good many do not think the Calvinistic doctrine is right , 
they are not necessarily insane because they think so. 


When she found I was going to stay in the house, and that the 
French servant had been discharged, she ordered me into the kitchen; 
before that, she had treated me kindly as a visitor. 

I thought it was an evidence of insanity for her to order me into 
the kitchen ; she ought to have known that I was not an ordinary ser- 
vant. The proper place for the servant is in the kitchen at work, and 
not in the parlor ; I took the place of the servant girl for a short time. 

She wanted the flower beds in the front yard cleaned out, and tried 
to get Mr. Packard to do it ; he would not do it. She went and put 
on an old dress and went to work, and cleaned the weeds out, and 
worked herself into a great heat. It was a warm day ; she staid out 
until she was almost melted down with the heat. 

Question. "What did she do then? 

Answer. She went to her room and took a bath, and dressed herself 
and then lay down exhausted. She did not come down to dinner. 

Ques. And did you think that was an evidence of insanity? 

Ans. I did the way it was done. 

Ques. "What, would you have done under similar circumstances? 
"Would you have set down in the clothes you had worked in ? 

Ans. No. 

Ques. Probably you would have taken a bath and chang- J your 
clothes too. And so would any lady, would they not ? 

Ans. Yes. 

Ques. Then would you call yourself insane ? 

Ans. No. But she was angry and excited, and showed ill-will. 
She was very tidy in her habits ; liked to keep the house clean, and 
have her yard and flowers look -well. She took oons^uerable pains 
with these things. 

I remained there until she was takwi away; I approved taking fter 
away ; I deemed her dangerous to the church ; h^r ideas were c-onjrary 
to the church, and w.ere wrong. 

The baby was eighteen monti^s old when she was taken awav. She 
was very fond of her children, and treated them very kindly. Never 
saw her misuse them. Nvjver heard that she had misused them. 
Never heard that she was dangerous to herself or to her family. 
Never heard that she had threatened or offered to destroy anything 
or injure any person. 

JrooE BABTLETT was next called to the stand. 

Am f .-quainted with Mrs. Packard. Had a conversation witli heron 
religioui :.opics. "We agreed very well in most things. She did not say 


she believed in the transmigration of souls ; she said, some persoiiA had 
expressed that idea to her, but she did not believe it. It was spoken of 
lightly. She did not say ever to me, that Mr. Packard's soul would go 
into an ox. She did not say anything about her being related to the 
Holy Ghost. I thought then, and said it, that religious subjects were 
her study, and that she would easily be excited on that subject. I could 
not see that she was insane. I would go no stronger than to say, that 
her mind dwelt on religious subjects. She could not 'be called insane, for 
thousands of people believe as she does, on religion. 

MRS. SYBIL DOLE, recalled. 

At the time she got up from the table she went out. She said, ",1 
will have no fellowship with the unfruitful works o( darkness. No ! 
not so much as to eat with them." 

He-cross-examined. Question. Did you deem that an evidence of 
insanity ? 

Answer. I did. 

Ques. She called Mr. Packard the unfruitful works of darkness ? 

Ans. I suppose so. 

Ques. Did she also include you? 

Ans. She might have done so. 

Ques. This was about the time that her husband was plotting to 
kidnap her, was it not ? 

Ans. It was just before she was removed to the Asylum. 

Ques. He had been charging her with insanity, had he not, at the 
table ? 

Ans. He had. 

The prosecution now wished to adjourn the court for ten days, to 
enable them to get Dr. McFarland, Superintendent of the State 
Hospital, who, they claimed, would testify that she was insane. Coun- 
sel stated, he had been telegraphed to come, and a reply was received, 
that he was in Zanesville, Ohio, and would return in about ten days. 
They claimed his testimony would be very important. This motion 
the counsel of Mrs. Packard opposed, as it was an unheard-of proceed- 
ing to continue a cause after the hearing was commenced, to enable 
a party to hunt up testimony. 

The matter was discussed on each side for a considerable length of 
time, when the court held that the defense should go on with theii 
testimony, and after that was heard, then the court would determine 
about continuing the case to get Dr. McFarland, and perhaps he could 


be got before the defense was through, and if so, he might le sworn; 
and held that the defense should go on now. 

The counsel of Mrs. Packard withdrew for consultation, and in a 
brief time returned, and announced to the court that they would submit 
the case without introducing any testimony, and were willing to 
submit it without argument. The counsel for Mr. Packard objected to 
this, and renewed the motion for a continuance ; which the court 

The counsel for Mr. Packard then offered to read to the jury a letter 
from Dr. McFarland, dated in the month of December, 1863, written 
to Rev. Theophilus Packard ; and also a certificate, under the seal of 
the State Hospital at Jacksonville, certifying that Mrs. Packard waa 
discharged from the institution in June, 1863, and was incurably 
insane, which certificate was signed by Dr. McFarland, the Superin- 
tendent. To the introduction of this to the jury, the counsel for Mrs. 
Packard objected, as being incompetent testimony, and debarred the 
defense of the benefit of a cross-examination. The court permitted 
the letter and certificate to be read to the jury. 

These documents were retained by Rev. Theophilus Packard, and 
the reporter has been unable to obtain copies of them. The letter is 
dated in December, 1863, at the State Hospital, Jacksonville, Illinois, 
and written to Rev. Theophilus Packard, wherein Dr. McFarland writes 
him that Mrs. Packard is hopelessly insane, and that no possible good 
could result by having her returned to the Hospital ; that the officers 
of the institution had done everything in their power to effect a cure, 
and were satisfied she could not be cured, and refused to receive her into 
the institution. 

The certificate, under the seal of the Hospital, was a statement, 
dated in. June, 1863, at Jacksonville, Illinois, setting forth the tune 
(three years) that Mrs. Packard had been under treatment, and that 
she had been discharged, as beyond a possibility of being cured. 

The above is the import of these documents, which the reporter 
regrets he cannot lay before the public in fuL 

The prosecution now announced that they closed their case. 


J. L. SIMINGTON was the first witness called for the defense. 
Being sworn, he said . 

I live in Manteno ; lived there since 1859, early hi the spring. 
Knew Rev. Mr. Packard and Mrs. Packard. First became acquainted 


with them in 1858 ; I was then engaged in the ministry of the Metho 
dist Church. I have practiced medicine eleven years. 

I was consulted as a family physician by Mrs. Packard in 1860. 
Was quite well acquainted with Mrs. Packard, and with the family. 
Lived fifty or sixty rods from their house. Saw her and the family 
almost daily. I did not see anything unusual in her, in regard to her 
mind. I never saw anything I thought insanity with her. So far as I 
know she was a sane woman. I have seen her since she came from 
the Hospital ; have seen nothing since to indicate she was insane My 
opinion is, she is a sane woman. 
No cross-examination was made. 

Dr. J. D. MANN, sworn, and says : 

I live in Manteno ; have lived there nine years. Practiced medi- 
cine there six years. I am not very ultimately acquainted with either 
Mr. or Mrs. Packard. Mr. Packard invited me to go to his house to 
have an interview with Mrs. Packard. I went at his request. He 
requested me to make a second examination, which I did. There had 
been a physician there before I went. The last time, he wanted me 
t meet Dr. Brown, of this city, there. This was late in November 
last. He introduced me to Mrs. Packard. I had known her before 
she was taken to the Hospital, and this was the first time I had seen 
her since she had returned. I Was there from one to two hours. I 
then made up my mind, as I had made up my mind from the first 
interview, that I could find nothing that indicated insanity. I did not 
go when Dr. Brown was there. Mr. Packard had told me she was 
insane, and my prejudices were, that she was insane. He wanted a 
certificate of her insanity, to take East with him. I would not give it 

The witness was not cross-examined. 

JOSEPH E. LABEIE, sworn, and says: 

Have known Mrs. Packard six years; lived fifteen or twenty rods 
from their house. Knew her in spring of 1860. Saw her nearly every 
day sometimes two or three times a day. I belong to the Catholic 
Church. Have seen her since her return from Jacksonville. I have 
seen nothing that could make me think her insane. I always said she 
was a sane woman, and say so yet. 

Cross-examined. I am not a physician. I am not an expert. She 
might be insane, but no common-sense man could find it out. 

Re-examined. I am a Justice of the Peace, and Notary Public. 
Mr. Packard requested me to go to his house and take an acknowledg 


Kent of a deed from her. I went there, and she signed and acknowl- 
edged the deed! This was within the past two months. 

Re-cross-examined. I was sent for to go to the house in the spring 
of 18(50. My wife was with me. It was about taking her to Jack- 
sonville. Mrs. Packard would not come to the room where I was. I 
etayed there only about twenty minutes. 

Have been there since she returned from the Hospital. The door 
t her room was locked on the outside. Mr. Packard said, he had 
made up his mind to let no one into her room. 

The counsel for Mrs. Packard offered to read to the jury the follow- 
ing paper, which had been referred to by the witnesses, as evidence of 
Mrs. Packard's insanity, and which Deacon Smith refused to hear read. 
The counsel for Mr. Packard examined the paper, and admitted it was 
the same paper. 

The counsel for Mrs. Packard then requested permission of the court 
for Mrs. Packard to read it to the jury, which was most strenuously 
opposed. The court permitted Mrs. Packard to read it to the jury. 
Mrs. Packard arose, and read in a distinct tone of voice, so that every 
word was heard all over the court-room. 


DEACOS SMITE A question was proposed to this class, the last Sabbath 
Brother Dolo taught us, and it was requested that the class consider and report 
the result of their investigations at a future session. May I now bring it up t 
The question was tliis : 

" Have wo any reason to expect that a Christian farmer, as a Christian, will 
be any more successful in his farming operations, than an impenitent sinner 
and if not, how is it that godlinoss is profitable unto all things ? Or, in other 
words, docs the motive with which one prosecutes his secular business, other 
ttnngs being equal, make any difference in the pecuniary results?" 

Mrs. Dixon gave it as her opinion, at the time, that the motive did affect the 
pecuniary results. 

Now the practical result to which this conclusion leads, is such as will justify 
na in our judging of Mrs. Dixon's true moral character, next fall, by her succeat 
In her farming operations this summer. 

My opinion differs from hers on this point ; and my reasons are hero given in 
.writing, since I deem it necessary for me, under the existing state of feeling 
toward me, to put into a written form all I have to say, hi the class, to prevent 

Should I be appropriating an unreasonable share of time, as a pupi). Mr. 



Smith, to occupy four minutes of your time in reading them ? I should like 
rery muck to read them, that the class may pass their honest criticisms upon 


I think we have no intelligent reason for believing that the motives with which 
TTQ prosecute our secular business, have any influence in the pecuniary results. 

My reasons are common sense reasons, rather than strictly Bible proofs, viz. : 
f regard man as existing in three distinct departments of being, viz., hi 
physical or animal, his mental or intellectual, his moral or spiritual ; and eaci 
of these three distinct departments are under the control of laws, peculiar t 
ifeelf ; and these different laws do not interchange with, or affect each other' 

For instance, a very immoral man may be a very healthy, long -lived man ; for, 
notwitlistanding he violates the moral department, he may live in conformity tc 
the physical laws of his animal nature, which secure to him his physical health. 
A.nd, -on the other hand, a very moral man may suffer greatly from a diseased 
cody, and be cut off in the very midst of his usefulness by an early death, in 
Consequence of having violated the physical laws of his animal constitution. 
But on the moral plane he is the gainer, and the immoral man is the loser. 

So our success in business depends upon our conformity to those laws on which 
success depends not upon the motives which act only on the moral plane. 

On Otis ground, the Christian farmer has no more reason to expect success in 
his farming operations, than the impenitent sinner. In either case, the founda- 
tion for success must depend upon the degree of fiddiiy with which the natural 
laws are applied, which cause the natural result not upon the motives of the 
operator ; since these moral acts receive their penalty and reward on an entirely 
different plane of his being. 

Now comes in the question, how then is it true, that ' ' godliness is profitable unto 
afl tlungs, ' ' if godliness is no guarantee to success in business pursuits ? 

I reply, that the profits of godliness cannot mean, simply, pecuniary profits, 
because this would limit the gain of godliness to this world, alone ; whereas, 
it is profitable not only for Oiis life, but also for the life to come. Gain and loss, 
dollars and cents, are not the coins current in the spiritual world. 

But happiness and misery are coins which are current in boGi worlds. There- 
fore, it appears to me, that happiness is the profit attendant upon godliness, 
and for this reason, a practically godly person, who lives in conformity to all 
the various laws of his entire being, may expect to secure to himself, as a 
natural result, a greater amount of happiness than the ungodly person. 

So that, in this sense, l ' Godliness is profitable unto all things," to every 
department of our being. 

MAXTEXO, Mwish 22, 1860. E. P W. PACKARD. 


Mrs. Packard then stated that the above was presented to the class, 
the 15th day of tho following April, and was rejected by the teacner 
Deacon Smith, on the ground of its being irrelevant to the subject, 
since she had not confined herself to the' Bible alone for proof of uer 

As she took her seat, a murmur of applause arose from every par*, 
of the room, which was promptly suppressed by the sheriff. 

DANIEL BEEDY, sworn, and says: 

I live in Manteno. Have known Mrs. Packard six years ; knew 
her in the spring of I860. I lived a mile and a half from them. 
Have seen her very frequently since her return from Jacksonville. Had 
many conversations with her before she was taken away, and since uer 
return. She always appeared to me like a sane woman. I heard sbe 
was insane, and my wife and I went to satisfy ourselves. I went there 
soon after the difficulties in the Bible class. 

She is not insane. We talked about religion, politics, and various 
matters, such as a grey-haired old farmer could talk about, and I saw 
nothing insane about her. 

Mr. BLESSING, sworn, aud says : 

I live in Manteno ; have known Mrs. Packard six years ; knew her 
in the spring of 1860 ; lived eighty rods from their house. She visited 
at my. house. I have seen her at church. She attended the Methodist 
church for a while after the difficulties commenced, and then I saw her 
every Sunday. I never thought her insane. 

After the word was given out by her husband that she was insane, 
she claimed my particular protection, and wanted me to obtain a trial 
for her by the laws of the land, and such an investigation she said 
she was willing to stand by. She claimed Mr. Packard was insane, 
if .any one was. She begged for a trial. I did not then do anything, 
because I did not like to interfere between man and wife. I never 
saw anything that indicated insanity. She was always rational 
Had conversations with her since her return. She first came to my 
house. She claimed a right to live with her family. She considered 
herself more capable of taking car-e of her family than any otbt" 

I saw her at Jacksonville. I took Dr. Shirley with me to test L 
insanity. Dr. Shirley told me she was not insane 

Cross-examination waived. 


Mrs. BLESSING, sworn, and says : 

Have known Mrs. Packard seven years; knew her in 1860. Lived 
near tnem ; we visited each other as neighbors. She first came to our 
house waen she returned from Jacksonville. I did not see anything 
that indicated that she was insane. I saw her at Jacksonville. She 
had the keys, and showed me around. I heard the conversation there 
with LT. Shirley ; they talked about religion ; did not think she talked 
unnatural. When I first went in, she was at work on a dress for Dr. 
MeFarland's wife. I saw her after she returned home last fall, quite 
often, until she was locked in' her room. On Monday after she got 
home, L called on her ; she was at work ; she was cleaning up the 
feather t>eds ; they needed cleaning badly. I went there afterward ; 
her daughter let me in. On Saturday before the trial commenced, I 
was let into her room by *Mr. Packard ; she had no fire in it ; we sat 
there m the cold. Mr. Packard had a handful of keys, and unlocked 
the door and let me in. Mrs. Hanford was with me. Before this, 
Mrs. Hanford and myself went there to see her ; he would not let us see 
her ; ne shook his hand at me, and threatened to put me out. 

Mrs. HASLET, sworn, and said : 

Know Mrs. Packard very well ; have known her since they lived in 
Manteno ; knew her in the spring of 1860 ; and since she returned from 
Jacksonville, we have been on intimate terms. I never saw any signs 
of insanity with her. I called often before she was kidnapped and car- 
ried to Jacksonville, and since her return. 

I recollect the time Miss Rumsey was there; I did not see anything 
that showed insanity. I called to see her in a few days after she re- 
"turned from Jacksonville; she was in the yard, cleaning feather beda. 
I called again in a few days ; she was still cleaning house. The house 
needed cleaning ; and when I again called, it looked as if the mistress 
of the house was at home. She had no hired girl. I went again, and 
was not admitted. I conversed with her through the window ; the 
window was fastened down. The son refused me admission. The 
window \Y;>> fastened with nails on the inside, and by two screws, 
passing iii!-i>ugU the lower part of the upper sash and the upper part of 
the lower sjisli, from the outside. I did not see Mr. Packard this time. 

Cross-examination. She talked about getting released from her 
imprisonment. She asked if filing a bill of complaint would lead to a 
divu^tj. She said she did not want a divorce ; she only wanted pro- 
tection from Mr. Packard's cruelty. I advised her to not stand it 
ouietly, but get a divorce. 


Dr. DUXCAXSON, sworn, and said : 

I live here ; am a physician ; have been a clergyman ; have been a 
practicing physician twenty-one years. Have known Mrs. Packard 
since ^.is trial commenced. . Have "known her by general report for 
three years and upwards. I visited her at Mr. Orr's. I was requested 
to go there and have a conversation with her and determine if she was 
sane or insane. Talked three hours with her, on political, religious 
and scientific subjects, and on mental and moral philosophy. I was 
educated at and received diplomas from the University of Glasgow, and 
Anderson University of Glasgow. I went there to see her, and prove 
or disprove her insanity. I think not only that she is sane, but the 
most intelligent lady I have talked with ha many years. We talked 
religion very thoroughly. I find her an expert in both departments, 
Old School and New School theology. There are thousands of persons 
who believe just as she does. Many of her ideas and doctrines are 
embraced in Svvedenborgianism, and many are found only in the New 
School theology. The best and most learned men of both Europe and 
this country, are advocates of these doctrines, in one shape or the other ; 
and some bigots and men with minds of small calibre may call thest 
great minds insane ; but that does not make them insane. An insane 
mind is a diseased mind. These minds are the perfection of intellectua. 
powers, healthy, strong, vigorous, and just the reverse of diseased 
minds, or insane. Her explanation of woman representing the Hojy 
Ghost, and man representing the male attributes of the Father, ana 
that the Son is the fruit of the Father and the Holy Ghost, is a very 
ancient theological dogma, and entertained by many of our most emi- 
nent men. On every topic I introduced, sir was perfectly familiar, 
aud discussed them with an intelligence thac at once showed she was 
possessed of a good education, and a strong and vigorous mind. I did 
not agree with her hi sentiment on many things, but I do not call 
people insane because they differ from me, nor from a majority, 
even, of people. Many persons called Swedenborg insane. That is 
true ; but he had the largest brain of any person during the age in 
which he lived ; and no one now dares call him insane. You rrvght 
with as much propriety call Christ insane, because he taught the people 
many new and strange things ; or Galileo ; or Newton ; or Lutner . 
or Robert Fulton; or Morse, who electrified the world; or Watts 
or a thousand others I might name. Morse's best friends for a jong 
time thought him mad ; yet there was a magnificent nuau, tuv em- 
bodiment of health and vigor. 

So with Mrs. Packard ; there is wanting every indication of insanity 


that is laid down in the books. I pronounce her a sane woman, and 
wish we had a nation of such women. 

This witness was cross-examined at some length, which elicited 
nothing new, when he retired 

The defense now announced to the court that they had closed all 
the testimony they wished to introduce, and inasmuch as the case had 
occupied so much time, they would propose to submit it without argu- 
ment. The prosecution would not consent to this arrangement. 

The case was argued ably and at length, by Messrs. Loomis and 
Bonfield for the prosecution, and by Messrs. Orr and Loring on the 
part of the defense. 

It would be impossible to give even a statement of the arguments 
made, and do the attorneys justice, in the space allotted to this 

On the 18th day of January, 1864, at 10 o'clock, p. M., the jury 
retired for consultation, under the charge of the sheriff. After an ab- 
sence of seven minutes, they returned into court, and gave the follow- 
ing verdict: 



We, the undersigned, Jurors in the case of Mrs. Elizabeth P. W. 
Packard, alleged to be insane, having heard the evidence in the case, 
are satisfied that said Elizabeth P. "W. Packard is SANE. 





Cheers rose from every part of the house ; the ladies waved thei* 
handkerchiefs, and pressed around Mrs. Packard, and extended her 
their congratulations. It was sometime before the oxitburst of applause 
couM V checked. When order was restored, the counsel for Mrs 
PacKard n><wed the court, that she be discharged. Thereuoon th- 
o>-dTe<J ti* clerk to enter the Allowing order : 




It is hereby ordered that Mrs. Elizabeth P. "W. Packard be relieved 
from all restraint incompatible with her condition as a sane woman. 

Judge of the 10th Judicial Circuit of the State of Illinois 

January 18, 1864. 

Thus ended the trial of this remarkable case. During each day of 
the proceedings the court-room was crowded to excess by an anxious 
audience of ladies and gentlemen, who are seldom in our courts. The 
verdict of the jury was received with applause, and hosts of friends 
crowded upon Mrs. Packard to congratulate her upon her release. 

During the past two months, Mr. Packard had locked her up in her 
own house, fastened the windows outside, and carried the key to the 
door, and made her a close prisoner. He was maturing a plan to 
immure her in an Asylum in Massachusetts, and for that purpose was 
ready to start on the Thursday before the writ was sued out, when 
his plan was disclosed to Mrs. Packard by a letter he accidentally 
dropped in her room, written by his sister in Massachusetts, telling him 
the route he should take, and that a carriage would be ready at the 
station to put her in and convey her to the Asylum. 

Vigorous action became necessary, and she communicated this start- 
lin* intelligence through her window to some ladies who had come 

o o o 

to see her, and were refused admission into the house. 

On Monday morning, and before the defense had rested their case, 
Mr. Packard left the State, bag and baggage, for parts unknown, 
having first mortgaged his property for all it is worth to his sister and 
other parties. 

We cannot do better than close this report with the following edito- 
rial from the Kankakee Gazette, of January 21, 1864: 


The case of this lady, which has attracted so much attention and 
excited so much interest for ten days past, was decided on Monday 
evening last, and resulted, as almost every person thought it must, 
in a complete vindication of her sanity. The jury retired on Monday 
evening, after nearing the arguments of the counsel : and after a brief con 
sultation, they brought in a verdict that MIT. Packard is a sane woman. 


Tims has resulted an investigation which Mrs. Packard has long 
and always desired should be had, but which her cruel husband has 
ever sternly refused her. She has always asked and earnestly pleaded 
for a jury trial of her case, but her relentless persecutor has ever 
turned a deaf ear to her entreaties, and flagrantly violated all the 
dictates of justice and humanity. 

She has suffered the alienation of friends and relatives ; the shock 
of a kidnapping by her husband and his posse when forcibly removed 
to the Asylum; has endured three years incarceration in that Asylum 
upon the general treatment in which there is severe comment in the 
State, and which hi her special case was aggravatingly unpleasant and 
ill-favored ; returning to her home she found her husband's saintly 
blood still congealed, a winter of perpetual frown on his face, and the 
sad doii monotony of " insane, insane," escaping his lips in all his com- 
munications to and concerning her ; her young family, the youngest 
of the four at home being less than four years of age, these children 
over whose slumbers she had watched, and whose wailings she had 
hushed with all a mother's care and tenderness had been taught to 
look upon her as insane, and they were not to respect the counsels or 
heed the voice of a maniac just loosed from the Asylum, doom scaled 
by official certificates. 

Soon her aberration of mind led her to seek some of her better 
clothing carefully kept from her by her husband, which very woman- 
like act was seized by him as an excuse for confining her in her room, 
*nd depriving her of her apparel, and excluding her lady friends. 
Believing that he was about to again forcibly take her to an asylum, 
four responsible citizens of that village made affidavit of facts which 
caused the investigation as to her sanity or insanity. During the 
whole of the trial she was present, and counseled with her attorneys 
in the management of the case. 

Notwithstanding the severe treatment she has received for nearly 
four years past, the outrages she has suffered, the wrong to her nature 
*he has endured, she deported herself during the trial as one who is 
not only not insane, but as one possessing intellectual endowments of a 
high order, and an equipoise and control of mind far above the majority 
of human kind. Let the sapient Dr. Brown, who gave a certificate 
of insanity after a short conversation with her, and which certificate 
was to be used in aid of her incarceration for life suffer as she has 
Buffered, endure what she has endured, and the world would be deprived 
of future clinical revealings from his gigantic m'nd upon the subject 
of the spleen, and he would, to a still greater extent than in the past, 


"fail to illuminate" the public as to the virtues and glories of the 
martyr who is "watching and waiting" in Canada. 

The heroic motto: "suffer and be strong," is fairly illustrated in her 
case. While many would have opposed force to his force, displayed 
frantic emotions of displeasure at such treatment, or sat convulsed and 
" maddened with the passion of her part, ' sne meekly submitted to 
the tortures of her bigoted tormentor, trusting and believing in God's 
Providence the hour of her vindication and her release from thraldom 
would come. And now the fruit of her suffering and persecution ha.- 
all the autumn glory of perfection 

11 One who walked 

From the throne's splendor to the bloody blocs, 
Said: ' This completes my glory' with a srniie 
"Which still illuminates men's thoughts of her.' 

Feeling the accusations of his guilty conscience, seeing the meshea 
of the net with which he had kept her surrounded were broken, and a 
storm-cloud of indignation about to break over his head in pitiless 
fury, the intolerant Packard, after encumbering their property with 
trust-deeds, and despoiling her of her furniture and clothing, left the 
country. Let him wander ! with the mark of infamy upon his brow, 
through far-off States, where distance and obscurity may diminish till 
the grave shall cover the wrongs it cannot heal. 

It is to be hoped Mrs. Packard will make immediate application for a 
divorce, and thereby relieve herself of a repetition of the wrongs and 
outrages she has suffered by him who for the past four years has only 
used the marriage relation to persecute and torment her in a mereesi 
vnd unfeeling manner. 


WHEN this Trial terminated, I returned to my home in Manteno, 
where five days previous I had bestowed the parting kiss upon my 
three youngest children, little thinking it would be the last embrace 
I should be allowed to bestow upon these dear objects of my warmest 
affections. But alas ! so it proved to be. Mr. Packard had fled 
with them to Massachusetts, leaving me in the court room a childless 
widow. He could not but see that the tide of popular indignation 
was concentrating against him, as the revelations of the court venti- 
lated the dreadful facts of this conspiracy, and he " fled his country," 
a fugitive from justice. He, however, left a letter for me which was 
handed me before I left the Court-house, wherein he stated that he 
had moved to Massachusetts, and extended to me an invitation to fol- 
low him, with the promise that he would provide me a suitable home. 
But I did not feel much like trusting either to his humanity or judgment 
in providingme another home. Indeed, I did not think it safe to follow 
him, knowing that Massachusetts' laws gave him the absolute custody 
of my person as well as Illinois' laws. He went to South Deerfield, 
Massachusetts, and sought shelter for himself and his children in the 
family of his sister, Mrs. Severance, one of his co-conspirators. Here 
he found willing ears to credit his tale of abuses he had suffered in 
this interference of his rights to do as he pleased with his lawful 
wife and in representing the trial as a " mock trial," an illegal in- 
terference with his rights as head of his own- household, and a " mob 
triumph," and in short, he was an innocent victim of a persecution 
against his legally constituted rights as a husband, to protect his wife 
ii\ the way his own feelings of bigotry and intolerance should 
dictate ! 

This was the region of his nativity and former pastorate, Avhich he 
had left about eleven years previously, with an unblemished external 
character, and sharing, to an uncommon degree, the entire confidence 
of the public as a Cliristian man and a minister. Nothing had oc- 


cnrml. to their knowledge, to disturb this confidence in his present in- 
tegrity as an honest reporter, and the entire community credited his 
testimony as perfectly reliable, in his entire misrepresentations of the 
facts in the case, and the character of the trial. His view was, the 
only view the community were allowed to hear, so far as it was in 
his power to prevent it. The press also lent him its aid, as his 
organ of communication. He met also his old associates in the min- 
istry, and by his artfully arranged web of lies, and his cunning soph- 
istries, he deluded them also into a belief of his views, sp that they, 
unanimously, gave him their certificate of confidence and fraternal 
sympathy. Yea, even my own father and brothers became victims t 
also of his sophisms and misrepresentations, so that they honestly be- 
lieved me to be insane, and that the Westerners had really interfered 
with Mr. Packard's rights and kind intents towards his wife, in inter- 
cepting as they had, his plans to keep her incarcerated for life. 

Thus this one-sided view of the facts in the case so moulded public 
sentiment in this conservative part of New England, that he even ob- 
tained a certificate from my own dear father, a retired orthodox cler- j 
gyman in Sunderland, Massachusetts, that, so far as he knew, he had I 
treated his daughter generally with propriety ! ! This certificate 
served as a passport to the confidence of Sunderland people in Mr. 
Packard as a man and a minister, and procured for him a call to be- 
come their minister in holy things. He was accordingly hired, a* 
stated supply, and paid fifteen dollars a Sabbath for one year and a 
half, and was boarded by my father in his family, part of the time, 
free of charge. 

The condition in which Mr. Packard left me I will now give 
in the language of another, by inserting here a quotation from | 
one of the many Chicago papers which published an account 
of this trial with editorial remarks accompanying it. The following 
is a part of one of these Editorial Articles, which appeared under the 
caption : 


Chicago, March 6, 1864. 

" We recently gave an extended account of the melancholy case of 
Mrs. Packard, of Manteno, 111., and showed how she was persecuted by 
her husband, Rev. Theophilus Packard, a bigoted Presbyterian minister 
of Manteno. Mrs. Packard became liberal in her views, in fact, avowed 
Universalist sentiments ; and as her husband was unable to answer her 
arguments, he thought he could silence her tongue, by calling her insane, 


and having her incarcerated in the Insane Asylum at Jacksonville, 
Illinois. He finally succeeded in finding one or two orthodox physi- 
cians, as bigoted as himself, ready to aid him in his nefarious work, 
and she was confined in the asylum, under the charge (?) of Dr. Me 
Farland, who kept her there three years. She at last succeeded in 
having a jury trial, and was pronounced sane. Previous, however, 
to the termination of the trial, this persecutor of his wife, mortgaged 
his property, took away his children from the mother, and left her 
penniless and homeless, without a cent to buy food, or a place where 
to lay her head ! And yet he pretended to be,lieve that she was 
insane-! Is this the way to treat an insane wife ! Abandon her, 
turn her out upon the world without a morsel of bread, and no home ? 
Her husband calls her insane. Before the case is decided by the 
jury, he starts for parts unknown. Was there ever such a case 
of heartlessness ? If Mr. Packard believed his wife to be hopelessly 
insane, why did he abandon her ? Is this the way to treat a compan- 
ion afflicted with insanity ? If he believed his own story, he should, 
like a devoted husband, have watched over her with tenderness, his 
heart full of love should have gone out towards the poor, afflicted wo- 
man, and he should have bent over her and soothed her, and spent the 
last penny he had, for her recovery ! But instead of this, he gathers 
in his funds, " packs up his duds," and leaves his poor, insane wife, as 
he calls her, in the court room, without food or shelter. He abandons 
tier, leaving her penniless, homeless and childless ! 

" Mrs. Packard is now residing with Mr. Z. Handford, of Manteno, 
who writes to the Kankakee Gazette as follows : 

" In the first place, Mrs. Packard is now penniless. After having 
aided her husband for twenty-one years, by her most indefatigable 
exertions, to secure for themselves a home, with all its clustering 
comforts, he, with no cause, except a difference in religious opinions, 
exiled her from her home, by forcing her into Jacksonville Insane 
Asylum, where he hoped to immure her for life, or until she would 
abandon what lie calls her ' insane notions.' 

"But in the overruling providence of a just God, her case has 
been ventilated, at last, by a jury trial, the account of which is 
already before the public. 

"From the time of her banishment into exile, now more than 
three and a half years, he has not allowed her the control of one 
dollar of their personal property. And she has had nothing to do 
with their real estate, within that time, excepting to sign one deed 


for the transfer of some of their real estate in Mount Pleasant, t 
Iowa, which she did at her husband's earnest solicitations, and his \ 
promise to let her have her ' defense,' long enough to copy, which 
document he had robbed her of three years before, by means of Dr. 
McFarland as agent. Her signature, thus obtained, was acknowl- 
edged as a valid act, and the deed was presented to the purchaser as 
a valid instrument, even after Mr. Packard had just before taken an 
oath that his wife was an insane woman ! 

"He has robbed her of all her patrimony, including not only her 
furniture, but her valuable clothing also, and a note of six hundred 
dollars on interest, which he gave her seven years before, as an equiva- 
lent for this amount of patrimony which her father, Rev. Samuel Ware, 
of Sunderland, Massachusetts, sent Mrs. Packard for her special 
benefit, and to be used for her and her children as her own judgment 
should dictate. He has taken her furniture and clothing, or the avails 
of them, with him to Massachusetts, without allowing her a single 
article of furniture for her own individual comfort and use. Thus he 
has left her without a single penny of their common property to pro- 
cure for herself the necessaries of life. , .*,;'... 

" He has left her homeless. Before the court closed, Mr. Packard t 
left this scene of revelations, and mortgaged and rented their home in 
Manteno, and dispossessed it by night of its furniture, so that when 
the court closed, Mrs. Packard had no sort of home to return to, the 
new renter having claimed possession of her home, and claiming a 
legal right to all its privileges, excluding her from its use entirely as 
a home, without leaving her the least legal claim to any of the avails 
of the rent or sales for the supply of her present necessities. 

" Again, she is childless. Her cruel husband, not satisfied with 
robbing his wife of all her rightful property, has actually kidnapped | 
all her dear children who lived at home, taking them with him, clan- 
destinely, to Massachusetts, leaving her a ' childless widow,' entirely 
dependent for her living, either upon her own exertions, or the char- 
ities of the public. We will not attempt to describe the desolation 
of her maternal heart, when she returned to her deserted home, to 
find it despoiled of all her dearest earthly treasures ; with no sweet 
cherub, with its smi-ling, joyous face to extend to her the happy, wel- 
come kiss of a mother's return. 

" But one short week previous, Mrs, Packard had bestowed the 
parting kiss upon her three youngest children, little dreaming it 
would be the last embrace the mother would ever be allowed to be- 


stow upon her dear offspring, in their own dear home. But now, 
alas! where is her only daughter, Elizabeth, of thirteen years, and 
her George Hastings, of ten years, and her darling baby, Arthur 
Dwight, of five years ? Gone ! gone ! never to return, while the 
mandate of their father's iron will usurps supreme control of this 
household ! 

"Yes, the mother's home and heart are both desolate, for her heart-' 
treasures her dear children are no more to be found. At length, 
rumor reaches her that her babe, Arthur, is at their brother Dole's. 
The anxious mother hastens to seek for it there. But all in vain. 
The family, faithful to their brother's wishes, keep the babe carefully 
hid from the mother, so that she cannot p,et even one glimpse of her 
sweet, darling boy. Her cruel husbanJ, fearing her attempts to se- 
cure the child might prove successful, has sent for it to be brought to 
him in Massachusetts, where he now is fairly out of the mother's 
reach.'" Z. HAXFORD. 

I made various attempts to recover my furniture, which I found 
was stored at Deacon Doles' house, a brother-in-law of Mr. Packard's, 
under the pretense, that he had bought it, although he could never 
show one paper as proof of property transferred. I took counsel of 
the Judge and lawyers j'.t Kankakee, to see if I could in any way 
recover my stolen furniture, which I had bought with my own patri- 
mony. " Can I rcplevy it as stolen property ?" said I. "No," said my 
advisers, " you cannot replevy anything, for you are a married wo- 
man, and a married woman has no legal existence, unless she holds 
property independent of her husband. As this is not your case, you 
are nothing and nobody in law. Your husband has a legal right to all 
your common property you have not even a right to the hat on 
your head ! " " Why ? " said I, " I have bought and' paid for it with 
my own money." " That is of no consequence you can hold noth- 
ing, as you are nothing and nobody in law ! You have a moral right 
to your own things, and your own children, but no legal right at all ; 
therefore you, a married woman, cannot replevy, although any one 
else could under like circumstances." " Is this so ? Has a married 
woman no identity in Statute Book of Illinois ? " " It is so. Her 
interests are all lost in those of her husband, and he has the absolute 
control of her home, her property, her children, and her personal 

Yes, all this is but too true, as my own sad experience fully de- 


monstrates. Now I can realize the sad truths so often iterated, reite- 
rated to me by my husband, namely : " You have no riylit tc your 
home, I have let you live with me twenty-one years in my home as a 
favor to you. You have no right to your children. I let you train 
them, as far as I think it is proper to trust your judgment this priv- 
ilege of training and educating your own children is a favor bestowed 
upon you by me, which I can withold or grant at my own option. 
You have no right to your money patrimony after you intrusted it to 
my care, and I gave you a note for it on interest which I can either 
pay you or not at my own option. You have no right to. your personal 
liberty if I feel disposed to christen your opinions insane opinions, for 
I can then treat you as an insane person or not, just at my own op- 
tion." Yes, Mr. Packard has only treated me as he said the laws 
of Illinois allowed him to do, and how can he be blamed then ? Did 
not " wise men " make the laws, as he often used to assert they did ? 
And can one be prosecuted for doing a legal act ? Nay verily no 
law can reach him ; even his kidnapping me as he did is legalized in 
Illinois Statute Book, as the following article which was published in 
several Boston papers in the winter of 1865, demonstrates, namely; 


" From the ' Disclosures ' of Mrs. Packard's book, it appears a 
self-evident fact that one State of our Union has an express provision 
for the imprisonment of married women who are not insane. And 
this process of legal kidnapping is most strikingly illustrated in the 
facts developed in Mrs. Packard's own experience, as delineated in 
her book entitled ' The Great Drama.' 

" The following is a copy of the Law, as it now stands on the Illi- 
nois Statute Book : 

"Session Laws 15, 1851. Page 96." 

" SEC. 10. Married women and infants who, in the judgment 
of the Medical Superintendent, [meaning the Superintendent of the 
' Illinois State Hospital " for the insane] are evidently insane or dis- 
tracted, may be entered or detained in the Hospital on the request 
of the husband, or the woman or guardian of the infants, without the 
evidence of insanity required in other cases." 


" Hon. S. S. Jones of St. Charles, Illinois, thus remarks upon this 
Act : 

" Thus we see a corrupt husband, with money enough to corrupt 
a Superintendent, can get rid of a wife as effectually as was ever done 
in a more barbarous age. The Superintendent may be corrupted 
either with money or influence, that he thinks will give him position, 
place, or emoluments. Is not this a pretty statute to be incorporated 
into our laws no more than thirteen years ago ? Why not confine 
the husband at the instance of the wife, as well as the wife at the in- 
stance of the husband? The wife evidently had no voice in making 
the law. 

" Who, being a man, and seeing this section in the Statute Book 
of Illinois, under the general head of ' Charities,' does not blush and 
hang his head for very shame at legislative perversion of so holy a 
term ? I have no doubt, if the truth of the matter were known, this 
act was passed at the special instance of the Superintendent. A de- 
sire for power. I do not know why it has not been noted by me and 
others before." 

" And we would also venture to inquire, what is the married wo- 
man's' protection under such a Statute law? Is she not allowed 
counter testimony from a physician of her own choice, or can she not 
demand a trial of some kind, to show whether the charge of insanity 
brought against her is true or false ? Nay, verily. The Statute ex- 
pressly states that the judgment of the medical Superintendent, to 
whom the husband's request is made, is all that is required for him 
to incarcerate his wife for any indefinite period of time. Neither 
she, her children, nor her relatives have any voice at all in the mat- 
ter. Her imprisonment may be life-long, for anything she or her 
friends can do for her to prevent it. If the husband has money or 
influence enough to corrupt the officials, he can carrv out his single 
wishes concerning his wife's life-destiny. 

" Are not the ' Divorce Laws ' of Illinois made a necessity, o 
meet the demands of the wife,* as her only refuge from this exposure 
to a ' false imprisonment ' for life in an Insane Asylum ? 

" We hope our readers will be able to read Mrs. Packard's book 
for themselves ; especially her ' Self-defence from the charge of In- 
sanity,' wherein the barbarities of this statute are made to appear in 
their true light, as being merely a provision for ' Legal Kidnapping.' '' 

BOSTON, Feb. 24, 18G5. 


Satisfied as I was that there was no legal redress for me in the 
laws, and no hope in appealing to Mr. Packard's mercy or manliness, 
I determined to do what I could to obtain a self-reliant position, by 
securing if possible the protection of greenbacks, confident that this 
kind of protection is better than none at all. I concluded, therefore, 
to publish the first installment of " The Great Drama," an allegorical 
book I wrote while in the Asylum, consisting of twelve parts. But 
how could this be done in my penniless condition ? was the great 
question to be practically settled. I accordingly borrowed ten dollars 
of Mr. Z. Hanford, of Manteno, a noble, kind hearted man, who 
offered me a home at his house after the trial, and went to Chicago to 
consult the printers in reference to the expense of printing one thous- 
and copies of this book, and get it stereotyped. I found it would cost 
me five hundred dollars. I then procured a few thousand tickets on 
which was printed " The bearer is entitled to the first volume of 
Mrs. Packard's book, entitled the Great Drama. None are genuine 
without my signature. Mrs. E. P. W. Packard." And commenced 
canvassing for my unborn book, by selling these tickets for fifty cents 
each, assuring the purchaser I would redeem the ticket in three 
month's time, by giving them a book worth fifty cents. When I had 
sold about eight or nine hundred tickets, I went to Chicago to set my 
printers and stereotypers, engravers and binders, at work on my book. 
But I now met with a new and unlocked for difficulty, in the sudden 
inflation of prices in labor and material. My book could not now be 
printed for less than seven hundred dollars ; so that my first edition 
would not pay for itself into two hundred dollars. As the case now 
was, instead of paying for my book by selling one thousand tickets, I 
must sell fourteen hundred, besides superintending the various work- 
men on the different departments of my book. Nothing daunted by 
this reverse, instead of raising the price of my tickets to seventy-five 
cents to meet this unfortunate turn in my finances, I found I must 
fall back upon the only sure guarantee of success, namely : patient 
perseverance. By the practical use of this great backbone of success, 
perseverance, I did finally succeed in printing my book, and paying 
the whole seven hundred dollars for it in three months' time, by sell- 
ing four hundred tickets in advance on another edition. I sold and 
prin'ed, and then printed and sold, and so on, until I have printed 
and sold in all, twelve thousand books in fifteen months' time. In- 
cluded in this twelve thousand are several editions of smaller pam- 
phlets, varying in price from five to twenty-five cents each. 




At this stage of my Narrative it may not be inappropriate to nar- 
rate my interview with Mayor Sherman, of Chicago, since it not only 
discloses one of the dangers and the difficulties I had to encounter, in 
prosecuting my enterprise, but also serves as another exemplification 
of that marital power which is legally guaranteed to the husband, 
leaving the wife utterly helpless, and legally defenceless. 

I called upon him at his office in the court house, and was received 
with respectful, manly courtesy. After introducing myself as the 
Mrs. Packard whose case had recently acquired so much notoriety 
through the Chicago press, and after briefly recapitulating the main 
facts of the persecution, I said to him : 

" Now, Mr. Sherman, as the Mayor of this city, I appeal to you 
for protection, while printing my book in your city. Will you pro- 
tect me here?" 

" Why, Mrs. Packard, what protection do you need ? What dan- 
gers do you apprehend ? " 

" Sir, I am a married woman, and- my husband is my persecutor, 
therefore I have no legal protection. The husband is, you probably 
know, the wife's only protector in the law, therefore, what I want 
now, Sir, is protection against my protector ! " 

" Is he in this city ? " 

" No, Sir ; but his agents are, and he can delegate his power to 
them, and authorize them what to do." 

" What do you fear he will do?" 

" I fear he may intercept the publication of my book ; for you 
probably know, Sir, he can come either himself, or by proxy, and, 
with his Sheriff, can demand my mannscript of my printer, and 
the printer, nor you, Sir, have no legal power to defend it. He 
can demand it, and burn it, and I am helpless in legal self-de- 
fense. For, Sir, my identity was legally lost in his, when I married 
him, leaving me nothing and nobody in law ; and besides, all I have 
is his in law, and of course no one can prosecute him for taking his 
own things my manuscript is his, and entirely at his disposal. I 
have no right in law even to my own thoughts, either spoken or 
written he has even claimed the right to superintend my written 
thoughts as well as post office rights. I can not claim these rights 
they are mine only as he grants me them as his gifts to me." 

" What does your printer say about it ? " 


" He says if the Sheriff comes to him for the book he shall tell 
him he must get the book where he can find it ; /shall not find it for 
him. I then said to my printer, supposing he should come with 
money, and offer to buy the manuscript, what then ? " "I say, it 
will take more money than there is in Chicago to buy that manu- 
script of us," replied my printer. 

" I think that sounds like protection, Mrs. Packard. I think you 
have nothing to fear." 

" No, Mr. Sherman, I have nothing to fear from the manliness of 
my printer, for this is my sole and only protection but as one man 
to whom I trusted even myself, has proved a traitor to his manli- 
ness, is there not a possibility another may. I should not object to 
a double guard, since the single guard of manliness has not even 
protected me from imprisonment." 

" Well, Mrs. Packard, you shall have my protection ; and I can 
also assure you the protection of my counsel, also. If you get into 
trouble, apply to us, and we will give you all the help the laws will 

" I beg you to consider, Sir,' the laws do not allow you to interfere 
in such a matter. Are you authorized to stop a man from doing a 
legal act ? " 

"No, Mrs. Packard, I am not. I see you are without any legal 
protection. Still I think you are safe in Chicago." 

" 1 hope it may so prove, Sir. But one thing more I wish your 
advice about ; how can I keep the money I get for my book from 
Mr. Packard, the legal owner of it?" 

" Keep it about your person, so he can't get it." 
" But, Sir ; Mr. Packard has a right to my person in law, and 
can take it anywhere, and put it where he pleases ; and if he can get 
my person, he can take what is on it." 

"That's so you are in a bad case, truly I must say, I never be- 
fore knew that any one under our government was so utterly defence- 
less as you are. Your case ought to be known. Every soldier in 
our army ought to have one of your books, so as to have our laws 

Soldiers of our army ! receive this tacit compliment from Mayor 
Sherman. You are henceforth to hold the reins of the American 
Government. And it is my candid opinion, they could not be in bet- 
ter or safer hands. And in your hands would I most confidently 
trust my sacred cause the cause of Married Woman; for, so far as 


my observation extends, no class of American citizens are more 
manly, than our soldiers. I am inclined to cherish the idea, that gal- 
lantry and patriotism are identified ; at least, I find they are almost 
always associated together in the same manly heart. 

When I had sold about half of my twelve thousand books, I resolved 
to visit my relatives in Massachusetts, who had not seen me for about 
twelve years. I felt assured that my dear father, and brothers, and 
my kind step-mother, were all looking at the facts of my persecution 
from a wrong stand-point ; and I determined to risk my exposure to 
Mr. Packard's persecuting power again, so far as to let my relatives 
see me once for themselves ; hoping thus the scales might drop from 
their eyes, so far at least as to protect me from another kidnapping 
from Mr. Packard 

I arrived first at my brother Austin Ware's house in South Deer- 
field, who lives about two miles from Mr. Severance, where were my 
three youngest children, and where Mr. Packard spent one day of 
each week. I spent two nights with him and his new wife, who 
both gave me a very kind and patient hearing ; and the result was, 
their eyes were opened to see their error in believing me to be an 
insane person, and expressed their decided condemnation of the 
course Mr. Packard had pursued towards me. Brother became at 
once my gallant and manly protector, and the defender of my rights. 
" Sister," said he, " you have a right to see your children, and you 
shall see them. I will send for them to-day." He accordingly sent 
a team for them twice, but was twice refused by Mr. Packard, who 
had heard of my arrival. Still, he assured me I should see them in 
due time. He carried me over to Sunderland, about four miles dis- 
tant, to my father's house, promising me I should meet my dear 
children there ; feeling confident that my father's request joined with 
his own, would induce Mr. Packard to let me see once more my own 
dear offspring. As he expected, my father at once espoused my 
cau.-e, and assured me I should see my children; " for," added he, 
" Mr. Packard knows it will not do for him to refuse me." He then 
directed brother to go directly for them himself, and say to Mr. 
Packard : " Elizabeth's father requests him to let the children have 
an interview with their mother at his house." But, instead of the 
children, came a letter from brother, saying, that Mr. Packard has 
refused, in the most decided terms, to let sister see her own children; 
or, to use his own language, he said, " I came from Illinois to Massa- 
chusets to protect the children from their mother, and I shall do it, in 


spite of you, or father Ware, or any one else ! " Brother add?, " the 
mystery of this dark case is now solved, in my mind, completely. 
Mr. Packard is a monomaniac on this subject ; there is no more rea- 
son in his treatment of sister, than in a brute." 

These facts of his refusal to let me see my children, were soon in cir- 
culation in the two adjacent villages of Sunderland and South Deerfield, 
and a strongly indignant feeling was manifested against Mr. Packard's 
defiant and unreasonable position ; and he, becoming aware of the dan- 
ger to his interests which a conflict with this tide of public sentiment 
might occasion, seemed forced, by this pressure of public opinion, to suc- 
cumb ; for, on the following Monday morning, (this was on Saturday, P. 
M.,) he brought all of my three children to my father's house, with him- 
self and Mrs. Severance, as their body-guard, and with both as my wit- 
nesses, I was allowed to talk with them an hour or two. He refused 
me an interview with them alone in my room. 

I remained at my father's house a few days only, knewing that 
even in Massachusetts the laws did not protect me from another sim- 
ilar outrage, if Mr. Packard could procure the certificate of two phy- 
sicians that I was insane ; for, with these alone, without any chance 
at self-defense, he could force me into some of the Private Asylums 
here, as he did into a State Asylum in Illinois. 

I knew that, as I was Mr. Packard's wife, neither my brother nor 
father could be my legal protectors in such an event, as they could 
command no influence in my defense, except that of public sentiment 
or mob-law. I therefore felt forced to leave my father's house in 
self-defence, to seek some protection of the Legislature of Massachu- 
setts, by petitioning them for a change in their laws on the mode 
of commitment into Insane Asylums. As a preparatory step, I en- 
deavored to get up an agitation on the subject, by printing and sell- 
ing about six thousand books relative to the subject ; and then, trust- 
ing to this enlightened public sentiment to back up the movement, I 
petitioned Massachusetts Legislature to make the needed change in 
the laws. Hon. S. E. Sewall, of Boston, drafted the Petition, and I 
circulated it, and obtained between one and two hundred names of 
men of the first standing and influence in Boston, such as the Alder- 
men, the Common Council, the High Sheriff, and several other City 
Officers; and besides, Judges, Lawyers, Editors, Bank Directors, 
Physicians, &c. Mr. Sewall presented this petition to the Legisla- 
ture, and they referred it to a committee, and this committee had 
seven special meetings on the subject. I was invited to meet with 


thorn each time, and did so, as were also Mrs. Phelps and Mrs. 
Denny, two ladies of Boston who had suffered a term of false impris- 
onment in a private institution at Sommersville, without any previous 
trial. Hon. S. E. Sewall and Mr. Wendell Phillips both made a plea in 
its behalf before this committee, and the gallantry and manliness of this 
committee allowed me a hearing of several hour's time in all, besides 
allowing me to present the two following Bills, which they afterwards 
requested a copy of in writing. The three Superintendents, Dr. 
Walker, Dr. Jarvis, and Dr. Tyler, represented the opposition. And 
my reply to Dr. Walker constituted the preamble to my bills. 



Gentlemen of the Committee : 

I feel it my duty to say one word in defence of the Petitioners, in 
reply to Dr. Walker's statement, that, "in his opinion, nineteen 
twentieths of the petitioners did not know nor care what they peti- 
tioned for, and that they signed it out of compliment to the lady." 

I differ from Dr. Walker in opinion on this point, for this reason. 
I obtained these names by my own individual appeals, except from 
most of the members of the " Common Council," who signed it during 
an evening session, by its being passed around for their names. I 
witnessed their signing, and saw them read it, carefully, before sign- 
ing it. And I think they signed it intelligently, and from a desire for 
safer legislation. The others I know signed intelligently, and for this 
reason. And I could easily have got one thousand more names, had 
it been necessary ; for, in gelling my books, I have conversed with 
many thousand men on this subject, and among them all, I have only 
found one man who defends the present mode of commitment, by 
leaving it all to the physicians. 

I spent a day in the Custom House, and a day and a half in the 
Navy Yard, and these men, like all others, defend our movement. 
I have sold one hundred and thirty-nine books in the Navy Yard 
within the last day and a half, by conversing personally with gentle- 
men hi their counting-rooms on this subject, and they are carefully 
watching your decision on this question. 

Now, from this stand-point of extensive observation, added to my 
own personal experience, I feel fully confident these two Bills are 
needed to meet the public demand at this crisis. 


BILL No. 1. 

No person shall be regarded or treated as an Insane person, or a 
Monomaniac, simply for the expression f>f opinions, no matter how 
absurd these opinions may appear to others. 


1st This Law is needed for the personal safety of Reformers. "We 
are living in a Progressive Age. Everything is in a state of trans- 
mutation, and, as our laws now are, the Reformer, the Pioneer, the 
Originator of any new idea is liable to be treated as a Monomaniac, 
with imprisonment. 

2d. It is a Grime against human progress to allow Reformers to be 
treated as Monomaniacs ; for, who will dare to be true to the inspira- 
tions of the divinity within them, if the Pioneers of truth are thus 
liable to lose their personal liberty for life by so doing ? 

3d. It is Treason against the principles of our Government to 
treat opinions as Insanity, and to imprison for it, as our present laws 

4th. There always are those in every age who are opposed to every 
thing new, and if allowed, will persecute Reformers with the stigma 
of Insanity. This has been the fate of all Reformers, from the days 
of Christ the Great Reformer until the present age. 

5th. Our Government, of all others, ought especially to guard, by 
legislation, the vital principle on which it is based, namely : indi- 
viduality, which guarantees an individual right of opinion to all 

Therefore, gentlemen, protect your thinkers! by a law, against the 
charge of Monomania, and posterity shall bless our government, as a 
model government, and Massachusetts as the Pioneer State, in thus 
protecting individuality as the vital principle on which the highest de- 
velopment of humanity rests. 

BILL No. 2. 

No person shall be imprisoned, and treated as an insane person, 
except for irregularities of conduct, such as indicate that the indi- 
vidual is so lost to reason, as to render him an unaccountable moral 


Multitudes are now imprisoned, without the least evidence that 
reason is dethroned, as indicated by this test. And I am a repre- 


santative of this class of prisoners ; for, when Dr. McFarland was 
driven to give his reasons for regarding me as insane, on this ba^is, 
the only reason which he could name, after closely inspecting my 
conduct for three years, was, that I once "fell down stairs ! " 

I do insist upon it, gentlemen, that no person should be impris- 
oned without a just cause ; for personal liberty is the most blessed 
boon of our existence, and ought therefore to be reasonably guarded 
as an inalienable right. But it is not reasonably protected under our 
present legislation, while it allows the simple opinion of two doctors 
to imprison a person for life, without one proof in the conduct of the 
accused, that he is an unaccountable moral agent. "We do not hang 
a person on the simple opinion that he is a murderer, but proof is 
required from the accused's own actions, that he is guilty'of the charge 
which forfeits his life. So the charge which forfeits our personal lib- 
erty ought to be proved from the individual's own conduct, before im- 

So long as insanity is treated as a crime, instead of a misfortune, as 
o ir present system practically does so treat it, the protection of our 
individual liberty imperatively demands such an enactment. Many 
contend that every person is insane on some point. On this ground, 
ail persons are liable to be legally imprisoned, under our present 
system ; for intelligent physicians are everywhere to be found, who 
will not scruple to give a certificate that an individual is a Monoma- 
niac on that point where he differs from him in opinion! This Mo- 
nomania in many instances is not Insanity, but individuality, which is 
the highest natural development of a human being. 

Gentlemen, I know, and have felt, the horrors the untold soul 
agonies attendant on such a persecution. Therefore, as Philanthrox 
pists, I beg of you to guard your own liberties, and those of your 
countrymen, by recommending the adoption of these two Bills as an 
imperative necessity. 

The above Bills were presented to the Committee on the Commit- 
ment of the Insane, in Boston State House, March 29, 1865, by 


The result was, the petition triumphed, by so changing the mode 

of commitment, that, instead of the husband being allowed to enter 

his wife at his simple request, added to the certificate of two physi- 

C cians, he must now get ten of her nearest relatives to join with him in 

,^_ this request ; and the person committed, instead of not being allowed 


to communicate by writing to any one outside of the Institution, ex- 
cept under the censorship of the Superintendent, can now send a let- 
ter to each of these ten relatives, and to any other two persons whom 
the person committed shall designate. This the Superintendent is 
required to do within two days from the time of commitment. 

This Law is found in Chapter 268, Section 2, of the General 
Laws of Massachusetts. I regard my personal liberty in Massachu- 
setts now as not absolutely in the power of my husband ; as my family 
friends must now co-operate in order to make my commitment legal. 
And since my family relatives are now fully satisfied of my sanity, 
after having seen me for themselves, I feel now comparatively safe, 
while in Massachusetts. I therefore returned to my father's house in 
Sunderland, and finding both of my dear parents feeble, and in need 
of some one to care for them, and finding myself in need of a season 
of rest and quiet, I accepted their kind invitation to make their house 
my home for the present. At this point my father indicated his true 
position in relation to my interests, by his self-moved efforts in my 
behalf, in writing and sending the following letter to Mr. Packard.* 


" Sunderland, Sept. 2, 1865. 

" REV. SIR : I think the time has fully come for you to give up to 
Elizabeth her clothes. Whatever reason might have existed to jus- 
tify you in retaining them, has, in process of time, entirely vanished. 
There is not a shadow of excuse for retaining them. It is my pre- 
sumption there is not an individual in this town who woirld justify 
you in retaining them a single day. Elizabeth is about to make a 
home at my house, and I must be her protector. She is very desti- 
tute of clothing, and greatly needs all those articles which are hers. 
I hope to hear from you soon, before I shall be constrained to take 
another step. Yours, Respectfully, 


The result of this letter was, that in about twenty-four hours after 
the letter was delivered, Mr. Packard brought the greater part of my 
wardrobe and delivered it into the hands of my father. 

In a few weeks after this event, Mr. Packard's place in the pulpit 
in Sunderland was filled by a candidate for settlement, and he left the 
place. The reasons why he thus left his ministerial charge in this 
place, cannot perhaps be more summarily given than by transcribing 

* See Appendix, p. 138. 


the following letter which father got me to write for him, in answer 
to Rev. Dr. Pomeroy's letter, inquiring of my father why Mr. Pack- 
ard had left Sunderland. 


Sunderland, Oct. 28, 1865. 

DR. POMEROT, DEAR SIR : I am sorry to say that my dear father 
feels too weak to reply to your kind and affectionate letter of the 
twenty-third instant, and therefore I cheerfully consent to reply to it 

As to the subject of your letter, it is as you intimated. We have 
every reason to believe that father's defence of me, has been the indi- 
rect cause of Mr. Packard's leaving Sunderland ; although we knew 
nothing of the matter until he left, and a candidate filled his place. 
Neither father, mother, nor I, have used any direct influence to under- 
mine the confidence of this people in Mr. Packard. But where this 
simple fact, that I have been imprisoned three years, is known, to 
have become a demonstrated truth, by the decision' of a jury, after a 
thorough legal investigation of five day's trial, it is found to be rather 
of an unfortunate truth for the public sentiment of the present age to 
grapple with. And Mr. Packard and his persecuting party may yet 
find I uttered no fictitious sentiment, when I remarked to Dr. Me 
Farland in the Asylum, that I shall yet live down this slander of In- 
sanity, and also live down my persecutors. And Mr. Packard is af- 
fording me every facility for so doing, by his continuing strenuously 
to insist upon it, that I am, now, just as insane as when he incarcer- 
ated me in Jacksonville Insane Asylum. And he still insists upon 
it, that an Asylum Prison is the only suitable place for me to spend 
the residue of my earth-life in. But, fortunately for me, my friends 
judge differently upon seeing me for themselves. Especially fortun- 
ate is it for me, that my own dear father feels confident that his house 
is a more suitable home for me, notwithstanding the assertion of Mrs. 
Dickinson, (the widow with whom Mr. Packard boards,) that, " it is 
such a pity that Mrs. Packard should come to Sunderland, where Mr. 
Packard preaches ! " Mr. Johnson replied in answer to this remark, 
that he thought Mrs. Packard had a right to come to her father's 
house for protection, and also that her father had an equal right to 
extend protection to his only daughter, when thrown adrift and pen- 
nyless upon the cold world without a place to shelter her defenceless 


Mr. Packard has withdrawn all intercourse with us all since he 
was called upon by father to return my wardrobe to me. Would that 
Mr. Packard's eyes might be opened- to see what he is doing, and 
repent, so that I might be allowed to extend lo him the forgiveness 
my heart longs to bestow, upon this gospel condition. 

Thankful for all the kindness and sympathy you have bestowed 
upon my father and mother, as well as myself, I subscribe myself 
your true friend, . E. P. W. PACKARD. 

P. S. Father and mother both approve of the above, which I have 
written at father's urgent request. E. P. W. P. 

Fidelity to the truth requires me to add one more melancholy fact, 
in order to make this narrative of events complete, and that is, that 
Mr. Packard has made merchandise of this stigma of Insanity he has 
branded me with, and used it as a lucrative source of gain to himself, 
in the following manner. He has made most pathetic appeals to 
the sympathies of the public for their charities to be bestowed upon 
him, on the plea of his great misfortune in having an insane wife to 
support one who was incapable of taking care of herself or her six 
children and on this false premise he has based a most pathetic argu- 
ment and appeal to their sympathies for pecuniary help, in the form of 
boxes of clothing for himself and his destitute and defenceless child- 
ren. These appeals have been most generously responded to from 
the American Home Missionary Society. So that when I returned 
to my home from the Asylum, I counted twelve boxes of such clothing, 
some of which were very large, containing the spoils he had thus pur- 
loined from this benevolent society, by entirely false representations. 

My family were not destitute. But on the contrary, were abund- 
antly supplied with a supernumerary amount of such missionary 
gifts, which had been lavished, upon us, at his request, before I was 
imprisoned. I had often said to him, that I and my children had 
already more than a supply for our wants until they were grown up. 
Now, what could he do with twelve more such boxes? My son, 
I.-aac, now hi Chicago, and twenty-one years of age, told me he had 
counted fifty new vests in one pile, and he had as many pants and 
coats, and overcoats, and almost every thing else, of men's wearing 
apparel, in like ratio. He said I had a pile of dress patterns accu- 
mulated from these boxes, to one yard in depth in one solid pile. 
And this was only one sample of all kinds of ladies' apparel which he % 
had thus accumulated, by liis cunningly dervised begging system. 


Still, to this, very date, he is pleading want and destitution as a 
basis for more charities of like kind. He has even so moved the 
benevolent sympathies of the widow Dickinson with whom he boarded, 
as to make her feel that he was an hcnest claimant upon their char- 
ides in this line, on the ground of poverty and destitution. She 
accordingly started a subscription to procure him a suit of clothes, on 
the ground of his extreme destitution, and finally succeeded in beg- 
ging a subscription of one hundred and thirteen dollars for his ben- 
efit, and presented it to him as a token of sympathy and regard. 

Another fact, he has put his property out of his hands, so that he 
can say he has nothing. And should I sue him for my maintainance, 
I could get nothing. His rich brother-in-law, George Hastings, 
supports the three youngest children, mostly, thus leaving scarcely no 
claimants upon his own purse, except his own personal wants. His 
wife and six children he has so disposed of, as to be almost entirely 
independent of him of any support. And it is my honest opinion, 
that had Sunderland people known of these facts in his financial mat- 
ters, they would not have presented him with one hundred and thir- 
teen dollars, as a token of their sympathy and esteem. Still, looking 
at the subject from their stand-point, J have no doubt they acted con- 
scientiously in this matter. I have never deemed it my duty to en- 
lighten them on this subject, except as the truth is sought for from 
me, in a few individual isolated cases. I do not mingle with the peo- 
ple scarcely at all, and have sold none of my books among them. 
Self-defence does not require me to seek the protection of enlight- 
ened public sentiment now that the laws protect iny personal liberty, 
while in Massachusetts. 

But fidelity to the cause of humanity, especially the cause of " Mar- 
ried Woman," requires me to make public the facts of this notorious 
persecution, in order to have her true legal position known and fully 
apprehended. And since my case is a practical illustration of what 
the law is on this subject showing how entirely destitute she is of 
any legal protection, except what the will and wishes of her husband 
secures to her and also demonstrates the fact, that the common-law, 
everywhere, in relation to married woman, not only gravitates to- 
wards an absolute despotism, but even protects and sustains and de- 
fends a despotism of the most arbitrary and absolute kind. There- 
fore, in order to have her social position changed legally, the need 
of this change must first be seen and appreciated by the common 
people the law-makers of this Republic. And this need or neces- 


sitj for a revolution on this subject can be made to appear in no 
more direct manner, than by a practical ca-e, such as my own furn- 
ishes. As the need of a revolution of the law in relation to negro 
servitude was made to appear, by the practical exhibition of the Slave 
Code in " Uncle Tom's " experience, showing that all slaves were 
liable to suffer to the extent he did ; so my experience, although like 
" Uncle Tom's," an extreme case, shows how all married women are 
liable to suffer to the same extent that I have. Now justice to hu- 
manity claims that such liabilities should not exist in any Christian 
government. The laws should be so changed that such another out- 
ra^e could not possibly take place und^r the sanction of the laws of a 
Christian government. 

As Uncle Tom's case aroused the indignation of the people against 
the slave code, so my case, so far as it is known, arouses this same 
feeling of indignation against tho-e laws which protect married 
servitude. Married woman needs legal emancipation from married 
servitude, 1 as much as the slave needed legal emancipation from his 

Again, all slaves did not suffer under negro slavery, neither do all 
married women suffer from this legalized servitude. Still, the prin- 
ciple of slavery is wrong, and the principle of emancipation is right, 
and the laws ought so to regard it. And this married servitude ex- 
poses the wife to as great suffering a-* negro servitude did. It is my 
candid opinion, that no Southern slave ever suffered more spiritual 
agony than I have suffered ; as I am more developed in my moral 
and spiritual nature than they are, therefore more capable of suffer- 
ing. I think no slave mother ever endured more keen anguish by 
being deprived of her own offspring than I have in being legally sep- 
arated from mine. God grant, that married woman's emancipation 
may quickly follow in the wake of negro emancipation ! 


In canvassing for my books various important questions have been 
propounded to me, which the preceding Narrative of Events does not 
fully answer. 


" Why, Mrs. Packard, do you not get a divorce ? " 
Because, in the first place, I do not want to be a divorced woman ; 
but, on the contrary, I wish to be a married woman, and have my 


husband for my protector; for I do not like this being divorced from 
my own home. I want a home to live in, and 1 prefer the one I 
have labored twenty one years myself to procure, and furnished to 
my own taste and mind. Neither do I like this being divorced from 
my own children. I want to live with my dear children, whom I 
have borne and nursed, reared and educated, almost entirely by my 
own unwearied indefatigable exeriions ; and I love them, with all the 
fondness of a mother's undying love, and no place is home to me in 
this wide world without them. And again, I have done nothing to 
deserve this exclusion from the rights and privileges of my own dear 
home ; but on the contrary, my untiring fidelity to the best interests 
of my family for twenty-one years of healthful, constant service, hav- 
ing never been sick during this time so as to require five dollars doc- 
tor's bill to be paid for me or my six children, and having done all 
the housework, sewing, nursing, and so forth, of my entire family for 
twenty-one years, with no hired girl help, except for only nine months, 
during all this long period of constant toil and labor. I say, this self- 
sacriiizing devotion to the best interests of my family and home, de- 
serve and claim a right to be protected in it, at least, so long as my 
good conduct continues, instead of being divorced from it, against my 
own will or consent. In short, what I want is, protection in my home, 
instead of a divorce from it. I do not wish to drive Mr. Packard 
from his own home, and exclude him from all its rights and privi- 
leges neither do I want he should treat me in this manner, espe- 
cially so long as he himself claims that I have always been a most 
kind, patient, devoted wife and mother. He even claims as his justi- 
fication of his course, that I am so good a woman, and he loves me so 
well, that he wants to save me from fatal errors ! 

It is my opinions my religious opinions and those alone, he 
makes an 'occasion for treating me as he has. He frankly owned to 
me, that he was putting me into an Asylum so that my reputation for 
being an insane person might destroy the influence of my religious 
opinions ; and I see in one letter which he wrote to my father, he 
mentions this as the chief evidence of my insanity. He writes : " Her 
many excellences and past services I highly appreciate ; but she says 
she has widely departed from, or progressed beyond, her former re- 
ligious views and sentiments and I think it is too true ! !" Here is 
all the insanity he claims, or has attempted to prove. 

Now comes the question : Is this a crime for which I ought to be 
divorced from all the comforts and privileges of my own dear home ? 


To do this, that is, to get a divorce would it not be becoming an 
accomplice in crime, by doing the very deed which he is so desirous 
of having done, namely : to remove me from my family, for fear 
of the contaminating influence of my new views ? Has a married wo- 
man no rights at all ? Can she not even think her own thoughts, and 
speak her own words, unless her thoughts and expressions harmonize 
with those of her husband ? I think it is high time the merits of this 
question should be practically tested, on a proper basis, the basis 
of truth of facts. And the fact, that I have been not only prac- 
tically divorced from my own home and children, but also incar- 
cerated for three years in a prison, simply for my religious belief, by 
the arbitrary will of my husband, ought to raise the question, as to 
what are the married woman's rights, and what is her protection ? 
And it is to this practical issue I have ever striven to force this ques- 
tion. And this issue I felt might be reached more directly and 
promptly by the public mind, by laying the necessities of the case 
before the community, and by a direct appeal to them for personal 
protection instead of getting a divorce for my protection. I know 
that by so doing, I have run a great risk of losing my liberty again. 
Still, I felt that the great cause of married woman's rights might be 
promoted by this agitation ; and so far as my own feelings were con- 
cerned, I felt willing to suffer even another martyrdom in this cause, 
if so be, my sisters in the bonds of marital power might be benefited 

I want and seek protection, as a married woman not divorce, in 
order to escape the abuses of marital power that is, I want pro- 
tection from the abuse of marital power, not a divorce from it. I can 
live in my home with my husband, if he will only let me do so ; but 
he will not suffer it, unless I recant my religious belief. Cannot re- 
ligious bigotry under such manifestations, receive some check under 
our government, which is professedly based on the very principle of re- 
ligious tolerance to all ? Cannot there be laws enacted by which a 
married woman can stand on the same platform as a married man 
that is, have an equal right, at least, to the protection of her inalien- 
able rights ? And is not this our petition for protection founded in 
justice and humanity? 

Is it just to leave the weakest and most defenceless of these two 
parties wholly without the shelter of law to shield her, while the 
strongest and most independent has all the aid of the legal arm to 
strengthen his own ? Nay, verily, it is not right or manly for our 


64 MARITAL POWKB iiXiiiH J JLii-'l.-.l>. 

man government thus to usurp the whole legal power of self-protec- 
tion and defence, and leave confiding, trusting woman wholly at 
the meivy of this gigantic power. For perverted men will use this 
absolute power to abuse the defenceless, rather than protect them; 
and abuse of power inevitably leads to the contempt of its victim. A 
man who can trample on all the inalienable rights of his wife, will, 
by so doing, come to despise her as an inevitable consequence of 
wrong doing. Woman, too, is a more spiritual being than a man, 
and is therefore a more sensitive being, and a more patient sufferer 
than a man ; therefore she, more than any other being, needs pro- 
tection, and she should find it in that government she has sacrificed 
so much to uphold and sustain. 

Again, I do not believe in the divorce principle. I say it is a " Se- 
cession " principle. It undermines the very vital principle of our 
Union, and saps the very foundation of our social and civil obliga- 
tions. For example. Suppose the small, weak and comparatively 
feeble States in our Union were not protected by the Government in 
any of their State rights, while the large, strong, and powerful ones. 
Lad their Slate rights fully guaranteed and secured to them. Would 
not this state of the Union endanger the rights of the defenceless 
ones ? and endanger the Union also? Could these defenceless Spates 
resort to any other means of self-defence from the usurpation of the 
powerful States than that of secession ? But secession is death to 
the Union death to the principles of love and harmony which ought 
to bind the parts in one sacred whole. 

Now, I claim that the Marriage Union rests on just this principle, 
as our laws now stand. The woman has no alternative of n^Ort 
from any kind of abuse from her partner, but divorce, or secession 
from the Marriage Union. Now the weak States have rights as well 
as the strong ones, and it is the rights of the weak, which the govern- 
ment are especially bound to respect and defend, to prevent usurpa- 
tion and its legitimate issue, secession from the Union. What we 
want of our government is to prevent this usurpation, by protecting 
us equally with our partners, so that we shall not need a divorce n. all. 

By equality of rights, I do not mean that woman's rights and man's 
rights are one and the same. By no means ; we do not want the 
man's rights, but simply our own, natural, womanly rights. There are 
man's rights and woman's rights. Both different, yet both eq ally 
inalienable. There must be a head in every firm; and the head in 
the Marriage Firm or Union is the man, as the Bible and nature both 


plainly teach. We maintain that the senior partner, the man, has 
rights of the greatest importance, as regards the interests of the mar- 
riage firm, which should not only be respected and protected by oar 
government, but ako enforced upon them as an obligation, if the 
senior is not self-moved to use his rights practically and one of the&e 
his rights, is a right to protect his own wife and children. The junior 
partner also has rights of equal moment to the interests of the firm, 
and one of these is her right to be protected by her senior partner. 
Not protected in a prison, but in her own home, as mistress of her 
own house, and as a Gfod appointed guardian of her infant children. 
The government would then be protecting the marriage union, while 
it now practically ignores it. 

To make this matter still plainer, suppose this government was 
under the control of the female instead of the male influence, and 
suppose our female government should enact laws which required 
the men when they entered the marriage union to alienate their right 
to hold their own property their right to hold their future earnings 
their right to their own homes their right to their own offspring, 
if they should have any their right to their personal liberty and 
all these rights be passed over irito the hands of their wives for safe 
keeping, and so long as they chose to be married men, all their claims 
on our womanly government for protection should be abrogated 
entirely by this marriage contract. Now, I ask, how many men 
would venture to get married under these laws ? Would they not 
be tempted to ignore the marriage laws of our woman government 
altogether ? Now, gentlemen, we are sorry to own it, this is the very 
condition in which your man government places us. We, women, 
looking from this very standpoint of sad experience, are tempted to 
exclaim, where is the manliness of our man government ! 

Divorce, I say, then, is in itself an evil and is only employed as 
an evil to avoid a greater one, in many instances. Therefore, in- 
stead of being forced to choose the least of two evils, I would rather 
reject both evils, and choose a good thing, that of being protected in 
my own dear home from unmerited, unreasonable abuse a restitu- 
tion of my rights, instead of a continuance of this robbery, sanc- 
tioned by a divorce. 

In short, we desire to live under such laws, as will oblige our hus- 
bands to treat us with decent ra-pect, so long as our good conduct 
merits it, and then will they be made to feel a decent regard for us as 

their companions and partners, whom the laws protect from their abuse. 



" What are your opinions, Mrs. Packard, which have caused all 
this rupture in your once happy family ? " 

My first impulse prompts me to answer, pertly, it is no one s bus- 
iness what I think but my own, since it is to God alone I am ac- 
countable for my thoughts. Whether my thoughts are right or 
wrong, true or false, is no one's business but my own. It is my own 
God given right to superintend my own thoughts, and this right I 
shall never guarantee to any other human being for God himself 
has authorized me to "judge ye not of your own selves what is 
right ? " Yes, I do, and shall judge for myself what is right for me 
to think, what is right for me to speak, and what is right for me to 
do and if I do wrong, I stand amenable to the laws of society and 
my country ; for to human tribunals I submit all my actions, as just 
and proper matter for criticism and control. But my thoughts, I 
shall never yield to any human tribunal or oligarchy, as a just and 
proper matter for arbitration or discipline. It is my opinion that the time 
has gone by for thoughts to be chained to any creeds or oligarchys ; but 
on the contrary, these chains and restraints which have sp long bound the 
human reason to human dictation, must be broken, for the reign of in- 
dividual, spiritual freedom is about dawning upon our progressive world. 

Yes, I insist upon it, that it is my own individual right to auperin- 
tend my own- thoughts ; and I say farther, it is not my right to super- 
intend the thoughts or conscience of any other developed being. It 
is none of my business what Mr. Packard, my father, or any other 
developed man or woman believe or think, for I do not hold myself 
responsible for their views. I believe they are as honest and sincere 
as myself in the views they cherish, although so antagonistic to my 
own ; and I have no wish or desire to harass or disturb them, by 
urging my views upon their notice. Yea, further, I prefer to have 
them left entirely free and unshackled to believe just as their own 
developed reason dictates. And all I ask of them is, that they allow 
me the same privilege. My own dear father does kindly allow me 
this right of a developed moral agent, although we differ as essen- 
tially and materially in our views as Mr. Packard and I do. We, 
like two accountable moral agents, simply agree to differ, and all is 
peace and harmony. 

My individuality has been naturally developed by a life of practi- 
cal godliness, so that I now know what I do believe, as is not the case 
with that class in society who dare not individualize themselves. This 


class are mere echoes or parasites, instead of individuals. They just 
flow on with the tide of public sentiment, whether right or wrong ; 
whereas the individualized ones can and do stem or resist this tide, 
when they think it is wrong, and in this way they meet with perse- 
cution. It is my misfortune to belong to this unfortunate class. 
Therefore I am not ashamed or afraid to avow my honest opinions 
even in the face of a frowning world. Therefore, when duty to my- 
self or others, or the cause of truth requires it, I willingly avow my 
own honest convictions. On this ground, I feel not only justified, but 
authorized, to give the question under consideration, a plain and can- 
did answer, knowing that this narrative of the case would be incom- 
plete without it. 

Another thing is necessary as an introduction, and that is, I do not 
present my views for others to adopt or endorse as their own. They 
are simply my individual opinions, and it is a matter of indifference to 
me, whether they find an echo in any other individual's heart or not. 
I do not arrogate to myself any popish right or power to enforce my 
opinions upon the notice of any human being but myself.. "While at 
the same time^, I claim that I have just as good a right to my opinions 
as Scott, Clark, Edwards, Barnes, or Beecher, or any other human 
being has to theirs. ' And furthermore, these theologians have no 
more right to dictate to me what I must think and believe, than I 
have to dictate to them what they must think and believe. All have 
an equal right to their own thoughts. 

'And I know of no more compact form in which to give utterance 
to my opinions, than by inserting the following letter, I wrote from my 
prison, to a lady friend in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, and sent out on my 
" under ground railroad." The only tidings I ever got from this 
letter, was a sight of it in one of the Chicago papers, following a long 
and minute report of my jury trial at Kankakee. I never knew how 
it found its way there ; I only knew it was my own identical letter, 
since I still retain a true copy of the original among my Asylum 
papers. The following is a copy of the original letter, as it now 
stands in my own hand-writing. The friend to whom it was written 
has requested me to omit those portions of the letter which refer 
directly to herself. In compliance with her wishes, I leave a blank 
for such omissions. In other respects it is a true copy. The candid 
reader can judge for himself, whether the cherishing of such rad- 
ical opinions is not a crime of sufficient magnitude, to justify all my 
wrongs and imprisonment! Is not my persecutor guiltless in thismatter? 



Jacksonville, HI., Oct. 23d, 1861. 

My love and sympathy for you is undiminished. Changes do not 
sever our hearts. I cannot but respect your self-reliant, independent, 
and therefore progressive efforts to become more and more assimi- 
lated to Christ's glorious image. I rejoice whenever I find one who 
dares to rely upon their own organization, in the investigation of truth. 
In other words, one who dares to be an independent thinker. * * * 

Yes, you, Mrs. Fisher, in your individuality, are just what God 
made you to be. And I respect every one who respects himself 
enough not to try to pervert their organization, by striving to remodel 
it, and thus defile God's image in them. To be natural, is our highest 
praise. To let God's image shine through our individuality, should 
be. our highest aim. Alas, Mrs. Fisher, how few there are, who dare 
to be true to their God given nature ! 

That terrible dogma that our natures are depraved, has ruined its 
advocates, and led astray many a guileless, confiding soul. Why can 
we not accept of God's well done work as perfect, and instead of de- 
filing, perverting it, let it stand in all its holy proportions, filling the 
place God designed it to occupy, and adorn the temple it was fitted 
for ? I, for one, Mrs. Fisher, am determined to be a woman, true to 
my nature. I regard my nature as holy, and every deviation from, its 
instinctive tendency, I regard as a perversion a sin. To live a nat- 
ural, holy life, as Christ did, I regard as my highest honor, my chief 

I know this sentiment conflicts with our educated belief our 
Church creeds and the honestly cherished opinions of our relatives 
and friends. Still I believe a " thus saith the Lord " supports it. 
Could Christ take upon himself our nature, and yet know no sin, if 
our natures are necessarily sinful ? Are not God's simple, common 
sense teaching*, authority enough for our opinions ? It is, to all hon- 
est souls. 

Indeed, Mrs. Fisher I have become so radical, as to call in ques- 
tion every opinion in my educated belief, which conflicts with the 
dictates of reason and common sense. I even believe that God has 
revealed to his creatures no practical truth, which conflicts with the 
common instincts of our common natures. In other words, I believe 
that God has adapted our natures to his teachings. Truth and 


nature harmonize. I believe that all truth has its source in God, and 
is eternal. But some perceive truth before others, because some are 
less perverted in their natures than others, by their educational influ- 
ences, so that the light of the sun of righteousness finds less to obstruct 
its beams in some than in others. Thus they become lights in the 
world, for the benefit of others less favored. * * * 

You preceded me, in bursting the shackles of preconceived opinions 
and creeds, and have been longer basking in the liberty wherewith 
Christ makes his people free, and have therefore longer been taught 
of him in things pertaining to life and godliness. Would that I had 
had the mental courage sooner to have imitated you, and thus have 
broken the fetters which bound me to dogmas and creeds. O, Mrs. 
Fisher, how trammelled and crippled our consciences have been ! 
O, that we might have an open Bible, and an unshackled conscience ! 
And these precious boons we shall have, for God, by his providence, 
is securing them to us. Yes, Mrs. Fisher, the persecutions through 
which we are now passing is securing to us spiritual freedom, liberty, 
a right, a determination to call no man master, to know no teacher 
but the Spirit, to follow no light or guide not sanctioned by the Word 
of God and our conscience to know no " ism " or creed, but truth- 
ism, and no pattern but Christ. 

Henceforth, I am determined to use my own reason and conscience 
in my investigation of truth, and in the establishment of my own 
opinions and practice I shall give my own reason and conscience the 
preference to all others. * * * 

I know, also, that I am a sincere seeker after the simple truth. I 
know I am not willful, but conscientious, in my conduct. And, not- 
withstanding others deny this, I know their testimony is false. The 
Searcher of hearts knows that I am as honest with myself, as I am 
with others. And, although like Paul, I may appear foolish to 
others in so doing, yet my regard for truth, transcends all other con- 
siderations of minor importance. God's good work of grace in me 
shall never be denied by me, let others defame it, and stigmatize it 
as insanity, as they will. They, not I, are responsible for this sacri- 
legious act. God himself has made me dare to be honest and truth- 
ful, even in defiance of this heaven daring charge, and God's work 
will stand in spite of all opposition. " He always wins, who sides 
with God." Mrs. Fisher, I am not now afraid or ashamed to utter 
my honest opinions. The worst that my enemies can do to defame 
my character, they have done, and I fear them no more. I am now 


free to be true and honest, for this persecution for opinion and con- 
science' sake, has so strengthened and confirmed me in the free ex- 
ercise of these inalienable rights in future, that no opposition can 
overcome me. For I stand by faith in what is true and right. I 
feel that I am born into a new element freedom, spiritual freedom. 
And although the birth throes are agonizing, yet the joyous results 
compensate for all. 

How mysterious are God's ways and plans ! My persecutors 
verily thought they could compel me to yield these rights to human 
dictation, when they have only fortified them against human dictation. 
God saw that suffering for my opinions, was necessary to confirm me 
in them. And the work is done, and well done, as all God's work 
always is. No fear of any human oligarchy will, henceforth, terrify 
me, or tempt me to succumb to it. 

I am not now afraid that I shall be called insane, if I avow my 
belief that Christ died for all mankind, and that this atonement will 
be effectual in saving all mankind from endless torment that good 
will ultimately overcome all evil that God's benevolent purposes 
concerning his creatures will never be thwarted that no rebellious 
child of God's great family will ever transcend his ability to disci- 
pline into entire willing obedience to his will. Can I ever believe 
that God loves his children less than I do mine ? * * * And 
has God less power to execute his kind plans than I have ? Yes, I 
do and will rejoice to utter with a trumpet tongue, the glorious truth, 
that God is infinitely benevolent as well as infinitely wise and just. 

Mrs. Fisher, what can have tempted us ever to doubt this glorious 
truth ? And do we not practically deny it, when we endorse the revolting 
doctrine of endless punishment ? I cannot but feel that the Bible, 
literally interpreted, teaches the doctrine of endless punishment ; yet, 
since the teachings of nature, and God's holy character and govern- 
ment, seem to contradict this interpretation, I conclude we must have 
misinterpreted its holy teachings. For example, Jonah uses the word 
everlasting with a limited meaning, when he says, " thine everlast- 
ing bars are about me." Although to his view his punishment was 
everlasting, yet the issue proved that in reality, there was a limit to 
the time he was to be in the whale's belly. So it may be in the ca<e 
of the incorrigible ; they may be compelled to suffer what to them is 
endless torment, because they see no hope for them in the future. 
Yet the issue will prove God's love to be infinite, in rescuing them 
from eternal pedition. 


Again, Mrs. Fisher, my determination and aim is, to become a per- 
fect person in Ghrisfs estimation, although by so doing, I may be- 
come the filth and off-scouring of all perverted humanity. What con- 
sequence is it to us to be judged of man's judgment, when the cause 
of our being thus condemned by them as insane, is the very char- 
acter which entitles us to a rank among the archangels in heaven ? 

Again, I am calling in question my right to unite myself to any 
Church of Christ militant on earth ; fearing I shall be thereby en- 
tramrnelled by some yoke of bondage that the liberty wherewith 
Christ makes his people free may thus be circumscribed. There is 
so much of the spirit of bigotry and intolerance in every denomina- 
tion of Christians now on earth, that they do not allow us an open 
Bible and an unshackled conscience. Or, in other words, there are 
some to be found in almost every church, to whom we shall become 
stumbling blocks or rocks of offence, if we practically use the liberty 
which Christ offers us. Now what shall I do? I do want to obey 
Christ's direct command to come out from the world and be separate, 
while at the same time I feel that there is more Christian liberty and 
charity out of the Church than in it. I am now waiting and seeking 
the Spirit's aid in bringing this question to a practical test and issue. 

And, Mrs. Fisher, I fully believe, from God's past care of me, that 
he will lead me to see the true and living way in which I ought to 
walk. I will not hide my light under a bushel, but put it upon a 
candlestick, that it may give light to others. I will also live out, 
practically, my honestly cherished opinions, believing "that they that 
do his commandments shall know of the doctrine." I also fully be- 
lieve that the more fully and exclusively I live out the teachings of 
the Holy Spirit, the more persecution I shall experience. For they 
that will live godly, in Christ's estimation, " shall suffer persecution." 

Mrs. Fisher, I fully believe that Christ's coming cannot be far dis- 
tant His coming will restore all things, which we have lost for his 
sake. Our cause will then find an eloquent pleader in Christ him- 
self, and through our Advocate, the Judge, Himself, will acknowledge 
us to be his- true, loyal subjects, and we shall enter into the full pos- 
session of our promised inheritance. "With this glorious prospect in 
full view to the eye of faith, let us " gird up the loins of our mind." 
In other words, let us dare to pursue the course of, the independent 
thinker, and let us run with patience the race set before us. Let us 
carry uncomplainingly the mortifying cross, which is laid upon us, so 
long as God suffers it to remain ; remembering that it is enough for 


the servant that he be as his Master. For " as they have persecuted 
me, they will persecute you also." " Be of good cheer." Mrs. Fisher, 
" I have overcome the world." Blessed consolation ! Mrs. Fisher, 
the only response I expect to get from this letter, is your silent heart- 
felt sympathy in my sorrows. No utterance is allowed for my allevi- 
ation. And the only way that I am allowed to administer consolation 
through the pen is by stratagem. I shall employ this means so far as 
lies in my power, so that when the day of revelation arrives, it may 
be said truthfully of me, " she hath done what she could." Impossi- 
bilities are not required of us. 

Please tell Theophilus, my oft repeated attempts to send him a 
motherly letter, have been thwarted. And he, poor persecuted boy ! 
cannot be allowed a mother's tender, heartfelt sympathy. O, my 
God, protect my precious boy ! and carry him safely through this pit- 
iless storm of cruel persecution. Do be to him a mother and a sister, 
and God shall bless you. Please deliver this message, charged to 
overflowing with a mother's undying love. Be true to Jesus. Ever 
believe me your true friend and sympathizing sister, 



" Do you think, Mrs. Packard, that your husband really believes 
you are an insane person ? " 

I do not. I really believe he knows I am a sane person ; and still, 
he is struggling with all his might to make himself and others believe 
this delusion, because his own conscience is accusing him constantly 
with this lie against it. With all his accumulated testimonials that I 
am insane, and all his sophistries and reasoning upon false premises 
to establish this lie, he cannot silence this accusing monitor within 
himself, testifying to the contrary. Either this is in reality the case, 
or he has at last reached that point, where a person has made such a 
sinner of his own conscience as to believe his own lies ; or, in other 
words, he has so perverted his conscience as to become conscientiously 
wrong. But it is not for me to judge his heart, only from the stand- 
point of his own actions, and from this basi?, I give the above as my 
honest opinion on this point. 

Two facts alone may be sufficient to give somecorroboration in support 
of this opinion. After taking me from my asylum prison, and while 
his prisoner at my own house, he asked me to sign a deed for the 


transfer of some of his real estate in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, and finding 
I could not be induced to do it, without returning to me my note of 
six hundred dollars he had robbed me of, and also some of my good 
clothing, he sought to transfer it, as the law allows one to do, in case 
the needed witness is legally incapacitated by insanity to give their 
signature ; and for this purpose he was obliged to take an oatu that I 
was insane. He did take this oath that I was insane, and thereby 
outlawed as a legal witness. It was administered by Justice Labrie. 
A few days after this, he called this same Justice in to our house to 
witness my signing this deed, and used it as a valid signature. Now 
to say under oath one thing one day, and to deny it the next, is rather 
crooked business for a healthy Christian conscience to sanction. 

Another fact. When he was preparing to put me into an Insane 
Asylum, I asked him why he was so very anxious to put the stigma 
of insanity upon me, when he knew I was not insane ? Said he, " I 
am doing it so that your opinions need not be believed. I must pro- 
tect the cause of Christ." 

Cause of Christ i I felt like exclaiming, if your cause of Christ 
needs such a defence, I think it must be in a sad condition. If it 
can 't stand before the opinions of a woman, I should n't think a man 
would attempt to protect it ! The truth is, the cause of Christ to him 
is his creed a set of human opinions. While the real cause of Christ 
is humanity ; and a very important part of this cause of Christ to a 
true man, is the protection of his own wife. 


" Could you forgive Mr. Packard, and live with him again as his 
wife ? " 

Yes, I could, freely, promptly and fully forgive him, on the gospel 
condition of practical repentance. This condition could secure it, 
and this alone. As I understand Christ's teachings, he does not allow 
me to forgive him until he does repent, and in some sense make res- 
titution. He directs me to forgive my brother if he repent yea, if he 
sins and repents seventy times seven, I must forgive as many times. 
But if he does not repent, I am not allowed to forgive him. And so 
long as he insists upon it, both by word and deed, that he has done 
only what was right for him to do, and that he shall do the same 
thing again, if he has a chance to, I do not see any chance for me to 
oestow my forgiveness upon a penitent transgressor. 


He feels that I am the one to ask forgiveness, for not yielding my 
opinions to his dictation, instead of causing him so much trouble in 
trying to bring me under subjection to his will, in this particular. He 
does not claim that I ever resisted his will in any other particular 
and I have not felt it my duty to do so. I had rather yield than 
quarrel any time, where conscience is not concerned. He knows I 
have done so, for twenty-one years of married life. But to tell a lie, 
and be false to my honest convictions, by saying I believed what I did 
not believe, I could not be made to do. 

My truth loving nature could never be subjected to falsify itself I 
must and shall be honest and truthful. And although King David 
said in his haste, " all men are liars," I rejoice he did not say all 
women were, for then there would have been no chance for my vin- 
dication of myself as a truthful woman ! This one thing is certain, I 
have been imprisoned three years because I could not tell a lie, and 
now I think it would be bad business for me to commence at this late 

I cannot love oppression, wrong, or injustice under any circum- 
stances. But on the contrary, I do hate it, while at the same time I 
can love the sinner who thus sins ; for I find it in my heart to forgive 
to any extent the penitent transgressor. I am not conscious of feel- 
ing one particle of revengeful feeling towards Mr. Packard, while at 
the same time I feel the deepest kind of indignation at his abuses of 
me. And furthermore, I really feel that if any individual ever de- 
served penitentiary punishment, Mr. Packard does, for his treatment 
of me. Still, /would not inflict any punishment upon him for this 
business of punishing my enemies I am perfectly content to leave 
entirely with my Heavenly Father, as he requires me to do, as I un- 
derstand his directions. And my heart daily thanks God that it is 
not ray business to punish him. One sinner has no right to punish 
another sinner. God, our Common Father, is the only being who 
holds this right to punish any of his great family of human children. 

All that is required of me is, to do him good, and to protect my- 
self from his abuse as best I can ; and it is not doing him good to for- 
give him before he repents. It is reversing God's order. It is not 
to criminate him that I have laid the truth before the public. Duty 
demands it as an act of self-defence on my part, and a defence of the 
rights of that oppressed class of married women which my case rep- 
resents. I do not ask for him to be punished at any human tribunal ; 
all I ask is, protection for myself, and also the class I represent. 


One other fact it may be well here to mention, and that is : I have 
withdrawn all fellowship with him in his present attitude towards me. 
I do not so much as speak or write to him, and this I do from the 
principle of self-defence, and not from a spirit of revenge. I know all 
my words and actions are looked upon through a very distorted me- 
dium, and whatever: I say or do, he weaves into capital to carry on his 
persecution with. And I think I have Christ's example too as my 
defence in this course ; for when he was convinced his persecutors 
questioned him only for the purpose of catching him in his words, 
" he was speechless." I have said all I have to say to Mr. Packard 
in his present character. But when he repents, I will forgive him, 
and restore him to full communion. 


"In what estimation is Mr. Packard held in the region where 
these scenes were enacted ? " 

Where the truth is known, and as the revelations of the court room 
developed the facts exactly as they were found to exist, the popular 
verdict is decidedly against him. Indeed, the tide of popular indigna- 
tion rises very high among that class, who defend religious liberty and 
equal rights, free thought, free speech, free press. . -V; 

I state this as a fact which my own personal observation demon- 
strates. In canvassing for my book in many of the largest cities in 
the State of Illinois, I had ample opportunity to test this truth, and 
were I to transcribe a tithe of the expressions of this indignant feeling 
which I alone have heard, it would swell this pamphlet to a mammoth 
size. A few specimen expressions must therefore be taken as a fair 
representation of this popular indignation. "Mr. Packard cannot 
enter our State without being in danger of being lynched," is an ex- 
pression I have often heard made from the common people. 

From the soldiers I have often heard these, and similar expressions ; 
" Mrs. Packard, if you need protection again, just let us know it, and 
we will protect you with the bullet, if there is no other defence." 
" If he ever gets you into another Asylum, our cannon shall open its 
walls for your deliverance," &c. 

The Bar in Illinois may be represented by the following expres- 
sions, made to me by the Judges of the Supreme Court, in Ottawa 
Court house " Mrs. Packard, this is the foulest outrage we ever 
heard of in real life ; we have read of such deep laid plots in 


romances, but we never knew one acted out in real life before. We 
did not suppose such a plot could be enacted under the laws of our 
State. But this we will say, if ever you are molested again in our 
State, let us know it, and we will put Mr. Packard and his con- 
spiracy where they ought to be put." 

The pulpit of Illinois almost universally condemns the outrage, as 
a crime against humanity and human rights. But fidelity to the 
truth requires me to say that there are some exceptions. The only 
open defenders I ever heard for Mr. Packard, came from the Church 
influence, and the pulpit. Among all the ministers I have conversed 
with on this subject, I have found only two ministers who uphold his 
course. One Presbyterian minister told me, he thought Mr. Packard 
had done right in treating me as he had ; " you have no right," said 
he, " to cherish opinions which he does not approve, and he did right 
in putting you in an Asylum for it. I would treat my wife just so, 
if she did so ! " The name and residence of this minister I could give 
if I chose, but I forbear to do so, lest I expose him unnecessarily. 

The other clergyman was a Baptist minister. "I uphold Mr. 
Packard in what he has done, and I would help him in putting you 
in again should he attempt it." The name and place of this minister 
I shall' withold unless self-defence requires the exposure. 

When I have added one or two more church members to those two 
just named, it includes the whole number I ever heard defend, in my 
presence, Mr. Packard's course. Still, I have no doubt but that these 
four represent a minority in Illinois, who are governed by the same 
popish principles of bigotry and intolerance as Mr. Packard is. And 
I think it may be said of this class, as a Chicago paper did of Mr. 
Packard, after giving an account of the case, the writer said : " The 
days of bigotry and oppression are not yet past. If three-fourths 
of the people of the world were of the belief of Rev. Packard and his 
witnesses, the other fourth would be burned at the stake." 

The opinion of his own church and community in Manteno, where 
he preached at the time I was kidnapped, is another class whose ver- 
dict the public desire to know also. I will state a few facts, and leave 
the public to draw their own inferences. When he put me off, his 
church and people were well united in him, and as a whole, the 
church not only sustained him in his course, but were active co-con- 
spirators. When I returned, he preached nowhere. He was closeted 
at his own domicil on the Sabbath, cooking the family dinner, while 
his children were at church and sabbath school. His society was,' 


almost entirely broken up. I was told he preached until none would 
come to hear him ; and his deacons gave as their reason for not sus- 
taining him, that the trouble in his family had destroyed his influence 
in that community. Multitudes of his people who attended my trial, 
whom I know defended him at the time he kidnapped me, came to 
me with these voluntary confessions : " Mrs. Packard, I always knew 
you were not insane." "I never believed Mr. Packard's stories." 
"I always felt that you was an abused woman," &c., &c. 

These facts indicated some change even in the opinion of his own 
allies during my absence. As I said, I leave the public to draw their 
own inferences. I have done my part to give them the premises of 
facts, to draw them from. 


" Mrs. Packard, is your husband's real reason for treating you as 
he has, merely a difference in your religious belief, or is there not 
something back of all this? It seems unaccountable to us, that mere 
bigotry should so annihilate all human feeling." 

This is a question I have never been able hitherto to answer, sat- 
isfactorily, either to myself or others ; but now I am fully prepared to 
answer it with satisfaction to myself, at least ; that is, facts, stubborn 
facts, which never before came to my knowledge until my visit home, 
compel me to feel that my solution of this perplexing question, is now 
based on the unchangeable truth of facts. For I have read with my 
own eyes the secret correspondence which he has kept up with my 
father, for about eight years past, wherein this question is answered 
by himself, by his own confessions, and in his own words. 

And as a very natural prelude to this answer, it seems to me not 
inappropriate to answer one other question often put to me first, 
namely : "has he not some other woman in view?" 

I can give my opinion now, not only with my usual promptness, 
but more than my usual confidence that I am correct in my opinion. 
I say confidently, he has not any other woman in view, nor never 
had ; and it was only because I could not fathom to the cause of this 
" Great Drama," that this was ever presented to my own mind, as a 
question. 1 believe that if ever there was a man who practically be- 
lieved in the monogomy principle of marriage, he is the man. Yes, 
I believe, with only one degree of faith less than that of knowledge, 
that the only Bible reason for a divorce never had an existence in 
our case. 


And here, as the subject is now opened, I will take occasion to say, 
that as I profess to be a Bible woman both in spirit and practice, I 
cannot conscientiously claim a Bible right to be divorced. I never 
have had the first cause to doubt his fidelity to me in this respect, and 
he never has had the first cause to doubt my own to him. 

But fidelity to the truth of God's providential events compel me to 
give it as my candid opinion, that the only key to the solution of thisj 
mysterious problem will yet be found to be concealed in the fact, that 
Mr. Packard is a monomaniac on the subject of woman's rights, and 
that it was the triumph of bigotry over his manliness, which occa- 
sioned this public manifestation of this peculiar mental phenomenon. 
Some of the reasons for thh opinion, added to the facts of this dark 
drama which are already before the public, lie ha the following 

In looking over the correspondence above referred to, I find the 
* ; confidential " part all refers to dates and occasions wherein I can dis- 
tinctly recollect we had had a warm discussion on the subject of wo- 
man's rights ; that is, I had taken occasion from the application of his 
insane dogma, namely, that " a woman has no rights that a man is 
bound to respect" to defend the opposite position of equal* rights. I 
used sometimes to put my argument into a written form, hoping thus 
to secure for it a more calm and quiet consideration. I never used 
any other weapons in self-defence, except those paper pellets of the 
brain. And is not that man a. coward who cannot stand before such 
artillery ? 

But not to accuse Mr. Packard of cowardice, I will say, that in- 
stead of boldly meeting me as his antagonist on the arena of argu- 
ment and discussion, and there openly defending himself against my 
knockdown arguments, with his Cudgel of Insanity, I find he closed 
off such discussions with his secret " confidential " letters to my rela- 
tives and dear friends, saying, that he had sad reason to fear his 
wife's mind was getting out of order ; she was becoming insane on the 
subject of woman's rights ; " but be sure to keep this fact a profound 
secret especially, never let Elizabeth hear that /ever intimated such 
a thing." 

I presume this is not the first time an opponent in argument has 
called his conqueror insane, or lost to reason, simply because his logic 
was too sound for him to grapple with, and the will of the accuser was 
too obstinate to yield, when conscientiously convinced. But it cer- 
tainly is more honorable and manly, to accuse him of insanity to his 


face, than it is to thus secretly plot against him an imprisonable 
offence, without giving him the least chance at self-defence. 

Again, I visited Hon. Gerrit Smith, of Peterborough, New York, 
about three years before this secret plot culminated, to get light on 
this subject of woman's rights, as I had great confidence in the de- 
ductions of his noble, capacious mind ; and here I found my positions 
were each, and all, indorsed most fully by him. Said he, " Mrs. Pack- 
ard, it is high time that you assert your rights, there is no other way 
for you to live a Christian life with such*a man." And, as I left, 
while he held my hand in his, he remarked, " You may give my love 
to Mr. Packard, and say to him, if he is as developed a man as I con- 
sider his wife to be a woman, I should esteem it an honor to form his 
acquaintance." So it appears that Mr. Smith did not consider my 
views on this subject as in conflict either with reason or common 

Again, his physician, Dr. Fordice Rice, of Cazenovia, New York, 
to whom I opened my whole mind on this subject, said to me in con- 
clusion " I can unravel the whole secret of your family trouble. Mr. 
Packard is a monomaniac on the treatment of woman. I don't see 
how you have ever lived with so unreasonable a man." 

I replied, " Doctor, I can live with any man for I will never 
quarrel with any one, especially a man, and much less with my hus- 
band. I can respect Mr. Packard enough, notwithstanding, to do him 
good all the days of my life, and no evil do I desire to do him ; and 
moreover, I would not exchange him for any man I know of, even 
if I could do so, simply by turning over my hand; for I believe he is 
just the man God appointed from all eternity to be my husband. 
Therefore, I am content with my appointed portion and lot of conju- 
gal happiness." 

Again. It was only about four years before I was kidnapped, that 
Mr. O. S. Fowler, the great Phrenologist, examined his head, and 
expressed his opinion of his mental condition in nearly these words. 
" Mr. Packard, you are losing your mind your faculties are all 
dwindling your mind is fast running out in a few years you will 
not even know your own name, unless your tread-mill habits are 
broken up. Your mind now is only working like an old worn out 
horse in a tread mill." 

Thus our differences of opinion can be accounted for on scientific 
principles. Here we see his sluggish, conservative temperament, 
rejecting light, which costs any effort to obtain or use clinging, serf- 


like, to the old paths, as with a death grasp ; while my active, radical 
temperament, calls for light, to bear me onward and upward, never 
satisfied until all available means are faithfully used to reach a more 
progressive state. Now comes the question. Is activity and pro- 
gression in knowledge and intelligence, an indication of a sane, nat- 
fural condition, or is it an unnatural, insane indication? And is a 
stagnant, torpid, and retrogressive state of mentality, a natural or an 
unnatural condition a sane, or an insane state? 

In our mental states we simply grew apart, instead of together. He 
was dwindling, dying; I was living, growing, expanding. And this 
natural development of intellectual power in me, seemed to arouse 
this morbid feeling of jealousy towai'ds me, lest I outshine him. That 
is, it stimulated his monomania into exercise, by determining to anni- 
hilate or crush the victim in whose mental and moral magnetism he 
felt so uneasy and dissatisfied with himself. While, at the same time, 
the influence of my animal magnetism, was never unpleasant to him ; 
but, on the contrary, highly gratifying. Yea, I have every reason to 
believe he ever regarded me as a model wife, and model mother, and 
housekeeper. He often made this remark to me : " I never knew a 
woman whom I think could equal you in womanly virtues." 

Again. While on this recruiting tour, I made it my home for sev- 
eral weeks at Mr. David Field's, who married my adopted sister, 
then living in Lyons, New York. I made his wife my confidant 
of my family trials, to a fuller degree than I ever had to any other 
human being, little dreaming or suspecting that she was noting my 
every word and act, to detect if possible, some insane manifestations. 
But, to her surprise, eleven weeks observation failed to develop the 
first indication of insanity. The reason she was thus on the alert, 
was, that my arrival was preceded by a letter from Mr. Packard, say- 
ing his wife was insane, and urged her to regard all my representa- 
tions of family matters as insane statements. Then he added, " Now, 
Mrs. Field, I must require of you one thing, and that is, that you 
burn this letter as soon as you have read it; don't even let your 
husband see it at all, or know that you have had a letter from me, 
and by all means, keep this whole subject a profound secret from 

My sister, true to Mr. Packard's wishes, burned this letter, and 
buried the subject entirely in oblivion. But when she heard that I 
was incarcerated in an Asylum, then, in view of all she did know, 
and in view of what she did not know, she deeply suspected there 


was foul play in the transaction, and felt it to be her duty to tell her 
husband all she knew. He fully indorsed her suspicions, and they 
both undertook a defence for me, when she received a most insulting 
and abusive letter from Mr. Packard, wherein he, in the most 
despotic manner, tried to browbeat her into silence. Many tears did 
this devoted sister shed in secret over this letter and my sad fate as 
this letter revealed Mr. Packard's true character to her in an un- 
masked state. " 0, how could that dear, kind woman live with such 
a man ! " was her constant thought. 

Nerved and strengthened by her husband's advice, she determined 
to visit me in the Asylum, and, if- possible, obtain a personal interview. 
She did so. She was admitted to my room. There she gave me the 
first tidings I ever heard of that letter. While at the Asylum, my 
attendants, amongst others, asked her this question : " Mrs. Field, can 
you tell us why such a lady as Mrs. Packard, is shut up in this 
Asylum; we have never seen the least exhibition of insanity in her; 
and one in particular said, I saw her the first day she was entered, 
and she was then just the same quiet, perfect lady, you see her to be 
to day now do tell us why she is here ? " 

Her reply I will not give, since her aggravated and indignant feel- 
ings prompted her to clothe it in very strong language against Mr. 
Packard, indicating that he ought to be treated as a criminal, who 
deserved capital punishment. In my opinion, sister would have come 
nearer the truth, had she said he ought to be treated just as he is 
treating his wife as a monomaniac. 

And I hope I shall be pardoned, if I give utterance to brother's 
indignant feelings, in his own words, for the language, although stiong, 
does not conflict with Christ's teachings or example. Among the pile 
of letters above alluded to, which Mr. Packard left accidentally in my 
room, was one from this Mr. Field, which seemed to be an answer to 
one Mr. Packard wrote him, wherein it seemed he had been calling 
Mr. Field to account for having heard that he had called him a 
"devil," and demanded of him satisfaction, if he Lad done.-o; for 
Mr. Field makes reply: " I do believe men are possessed with devils 
now a days, as much as they were in Christ's d xys, and I believe too 
that some are not only possessed with one devil, but even seven devil?, 
and I believe you are the man ! " I never heard of his denying the 
charge as due Mr. Field afterwards ! 

From my own observations in an insane asylum, I am fully satis- 


fitfd that Mr. Field is correct in his premises, and I must also allow 
that he has a right of opinion in its application. 

Looking from these various stand-points, it seems to me self-evident, 
that this Great Drama is a woman's rights struggle. From the com- 
mencement to its present stage of development, this one insane idea 
seems to be the backbone of the rebellion : A married woman has no 
rights which her husband is bound to respect. 

While he simply defended his insane dogma a? an opinion only, no 
one had thu least right to call him a monomaniac ; but when this in- 
sane idea became a practical one, then, and only till then, had we 
any right to call him an insane person. Now, if the course he has 
taken with me is not insanity that is, an unreasonable course, I ask, 
what is insanity ? 

Now let this great practical truth be for one moment considered, 
namely, All that renders an earth-life desirable all the inalienable 
right-! and privileges of one developed, moral, and accountable, sensi- 
tive being, lie wholly suspended on the arbitrary will of this intolerant 
man, or monomaniac. No law, no friend, no logic, can defend me in 
the least, legally, from this despotic, cruel power; for the heart which 
controls this will has become, as it respects his treatment of me, 
" without understanding, a covenant breaker, without natural affec- 
tion, implacable, unmerciful." 

And let another truth also be borne in mind, namely, that this one 
man stands now as a fit representative of all that class in society, and 
God grant it may be found to be a very small class! who claim that 
the subjection of the wife, instead of the protection of the wife, is the 
true law of marriage. This marriage law of subjection has now cul- 
minated, so that it has become a demonstrated fact, that its track lies 
wholly in the direction of usurpation ; and therefore this track, on 
which so many devoted, true women, have taken a through or life 
ticket upon, is one which the American government ought to guard 
and protect by legal enactments ; so that such a drama as mine can- 
not be again legally tolerated under the flag of our protective govern- 
ment. God grant, that this one mute appeal of stubborn fact, may 
ba sufficient to nerve up the woman protectors of our manly govern- 
ment, to guard us, in some manner, against woman's greatest foe 
the women subjectors of society. 

It may be proper here to add the result of this recruiting tour. 
After being absent eleven weeks from my home, and this being the 


fir.^t time I had left my husband during all my married life, longer 
than for one week's time, I returnedto my home, to receive as corditil 
and as loving a welcome as any wife could desire. Indeed, it seemed 
to me, that the home of my husband's heart had become "empty, 
swept, and garnished," during my absence, and that the foul spirits 
of usurpation had left this citadel, as I fondly hoped, forever. In- 
deed, I felt that I had good reason to hope, that my logic had been 
calmly and impassionately digested and indorsed, during my absence, 
so that now this merely practical recognition of my womanly rights, 
almost instantly moved my forgiving heart, not only to extend to him, 
unasked, my full and free forgiveness for the past, but all this abuse 
seemed to be seeking to find its proper place in the grave of forget- 
ful oblivion. 

This radical transformation in the bearing of my husband towards 
me, allowing me not only the rights and privileges of a junior partner 
in the family firm, but also such a liberal portion of manly expressed 
love and sympathy, as caused my susceptible, sensitive, heart of affec- 
tion fairly to leap for joy. Indeed, I could now say, what I could 
never say in truth before, I am happy in my husband's love happy 
in simply being treated as a true woman deserves to be treated 
with love and confidence. All the noblest, purest, sensibilities of wo- 
man's sympathetic nature find in this, her native element, room for 
full expansion and growth, by stimulating them into a natural, health- 
ful exercise. It is one of the truths of God's providential events, 
that the three last years of married life were by far the happiest I 
ever spent with Mr, Packard. 

So open &nd bold was I in this avowal, during these three happy 
years, that my correspondence of those days is radiant with this truth. 
And it was not three months, and perhaps not even two months, pre- 
vious to my being kidnapped, that I made a verbal declaration of this 
fact, in Mr. Packard's presence, to Deacon Dole, his sister's husband, 
in these words. The interests of the Bible class had been our topic 
of conversation, when I had occasion to make this remark: "Bro- 
ther," said I, " don't you think Mr. Packard is remarkably tolerant 
to me these days, in allowing me to bring my radical views before 
your class ? And don't you think he is changing as fast as we can 
expect, considering his conservative organization? "We cannot, of 
course, expect him to keep up with my radical temperament. I think 
we shall make a man of him yet ! " 

Mr. Packard laughed outright, and replied, " Well, wife, I am ^lad 


you have got so good an opinion of me. I hope I shall not disappoint 
your expectations ! " 

But, alas ! where is he now ? O, the dreadful demon of bigotry, 
was allowed to enter and take possession of this once garnished house, 
through the entreaties, and persuasions, and threats, of his Deacon 
Smith, and his perverted sister, Mrs. Dole. These two spirits united, 
were stronger than his own, and they overcame him, and took from 
him all his manly armor, so that the demon he let in, " brought with 
him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in 
and dwell there," still ; so that I sadly iear " the last state of that man 
will be worse than the first." 

I saw and felt the danger of the vortex into which his sister and 
deacon were dragging him, and I tried to save him, with all the logic 
of love, and pure devotion to his highest and best interests; but all in 
vain. .Never shall I forget this fatal crisis. When, just three weeks 
before he kidnapped me, I sat alone with him in his study, and while 
upon his lap, with my arms encircling his neck, and my briny cheek 
pressed against his own, I begged of him to be my protector, in these 
words : " O, husband ! don't yield to their entreaties 1 Do be true to 
your marriage vow true to yourself true to God. Instead of taking 
the side of bigotry, and going against your wife, do just protect to me 
my right of opinion, which this deacon and sister seem determined to 
wrest from me. Just say to the clas., " My wife has as good a right 
to her opinion as the class have to theirs and I shall protect her in 
this right you need not believe her opinions unless you choose; but 
she shall have her rights of opinion, unmolested, for I shall be my 
wife's protector." I added, "Then, husband, you will be a man. 
You will deserve honor, and you will be sure to have it ; but if you 
become my persecutor, you will become a traitor 'to your manli- 
ness ; you will deserve dishonor, and you will surely get it in full 

My earnestness he construed into anger. He thrust me from him. 
He determined, at all hazard, to subject my rights of opinion to his 
will, instead of protecting them by his manliness. The plot already 
laid, eight years previous, now had a rare opportunity to culminate, 
k sure as he was of all needed help in its dreadful execution. In Hire 
short weeks I was a State's prisoner of Illinois Lunatic Asylum, being 
supported as a State pauper! 

From this fatal evening all appeals to his reason and humanity 
have been worse than fruitless. They have only served to aggravate 


hi? maddened feeling*, and goad him on to greater deeds of despera- 
tion. Like Nebuchadnezzar, his reason is taken from him, on this 
one subject ; and unrestrained, maddened, resentment fills his de- 
praved soul his manliness is dead. Is he not a monomaniac ? 


I find in circulation various false reports and misrepresentations, so 
slanderous in their bearing upon my character and reputation, and 
that of my family relatives, that I think they demand a passing 

notice from me, in summing up this brief record of events. 


" Mrs. Packard's mother was an insane woman, and sevaral of her 
relatives have been insane ; and, therefore, Mrs. Packard's insanity 
is hereditary, consequently, she is hopelessly insane." 

This base and most cruel slander originated from Mr. Packard's 
own heart ; was echoed before the eyes of the public, by Dr. McFar" 
land, Superintendent of the Insane Asylum, through the Chicago 
Tribune, in a letter which he wrote to the Tribune in self-defence, 
after my trial. The verdict of the jury virtually impeached Dr. Mc- 
Farland as an accomplice in this foul drama, and as one who had 
prostituted his high public trust, in a most notorious manner. This 
presentation of him and his institution before the public, seemed to 
provoke this letter, as a vindication of his course. And the most 
prominent part of this defence seemed to depend upon his making the 
people believe that the opinion of the jury was not correct, in pro- 
nouncing me sane. And he used this slander as the backbone of his 
argument, to prove that I was hopelessly insane, there having been 
no change either for the better or worse, while under his care, and 
that I left the institution just as I entered it, incurably insane. 

I think I cannot answer this slander more summarily and concisely, 
than by quoting, verbatim, Mr. Stephen R. Moore's, my attorney, 
reply to this letter, as it was published at the time in the public 


" Your letter starts out with a statement of an error, which I be- 
lieve to be wholly unintentional, and results from placing too much 
confidence in the statements of your friend, Rev. Theophilus Pack- 


ard. Yo i say, " Mrs. P., as one of the results of a strongly inherited 
predisposition, (her mother having been for a long period of her life 
insane,) had an attack of insanity previous to her marriage." Such 
are not the facts. Neither the mother, nor any blood relations of 
Mrs. Packard, were ever suspected or charged with being insane. 
And it is a slander of one of the best and most pious mothers of New 
England, and her ancestry, to charge her and them with insanity ; 

and could have emanated only from the heart of the pious , 

who would incarcerate the companion of his bosom for three years 
with gibbering idiots and raving maniacs. 

/~ " Nor had Mrs. Packard an attack of insanity before her marriage. 

\ The pious Packard has fabricated this story to order, from the circum-l 

I stance, that when a young lady, Mrs. Packard had a severe attack 
^ of brain fever, and under which fever she was for a time delirious. 

/ and no further, has this a semblance of truth." 

/ This is the simple truth, which all my relatives are ready, and 
many of them very anxious to certify to ; but the limits of this pam- 

V phlet will not admit any more space in answer to this slander. 


" Mrs. Packard is very adroit in concealing her insanity." 
This report originated from the same source, and I will answer it 
in the words of the same writer, as found in his printed reply : " You 
say, ' Mrs. Packard is very adroit in concealing her insanity.' She 
has indeed been most adroit in this concealment, when her family 
physician of seven year's acquaintance, and all her friends and neigh- 
bors, with whom she visited daily, and her children, and the domes- 
tics, and lastly, the court and jury had not, and could not, discover 
any traces of insanity ; and the only persons who say they find her 
insane, were Dr. McFarland, your pious friend Rev. Packard, his 
sister, and her husband, one deacon of the church, and a fascinating 
young convert all members of his church and a doctor. These 
witnesses each and every one swore upon the stand, " That it was 
evidence of insanity in Mrs.- Packard, because she wished to leave 
the Presbyterian church, and join the Methodist." I quote the rea- 
sons given by these "Lambs of the Church," that you may know 
what weight their opinions are entitled to. The physician, upon whose 
certificate you say you held Mrs. Packard, swore upon the trial, that 
three-fourths of the religious community were just as insane as Mrs. 



"All her family friends, almost without exception, sustain Mr. 
Packard in his course." 

Not one of my family friends ever intelligently sustained Mr. Pack- 
ard in his course. But they did % sustain him ignorantly and unde- 
signedly, for a time, while his tissue of lies held them back from in- 
vestigating the merits of the case for themselves. But as soon as 
they did know, they became my firm friends and defenders, and Mr. 
Packard's private foes and public adversaries. I do not mean by 
this, that they manifest any revengeful feelings towards him, but sim- 
ply a God-like resentment of his inhuman course towards me. All 
my relatives, without exception, who have heard my own statement 
.from my own lips, now unite in this one opinion, that Mr. Pack- 
ard has had no right nor occasion for putting me into an insane 

But fidelity to the truth requires me to say in this connection, that 
among my family relatives, are three families of Congregational min- 
isters that each of these families have refused me any hearing, so 
that they are still in league with, and defenders of, Mr. Packard. All 
I have to say for them is, " May the Lord forgive them, for they 
know not what they do." 

But it may be urged that the published certificates of her friends 
contradict this statement. This is not the case. Those certificates 
which have appeared in print since my return to my friends, all bear 
date to the time they were given previous to my return. 

And in this connection I feel conscientiously bound, in defence 
of my kindred, to say, that some of these certificates are mere for- 
geries in its strict sense ; that is, they were drafted by Mr. Packard, 
himself, and most adroitly urged upon the individual whose signa- 
ture he desired to obtain, and thus his logic, being based in a false- 
hood, which was used as a truth, and received as such, they are thus 
made to certify to what was not the real truth. My minor children's 
certificates are the mere echoes of their father's will and dictation. 
He has tried to buy the signatures of my two oldest sons, now of age, 
in Chicago, by offering them some of his abundant surplus clothing, 
from his missionary boxes, if they would only certify that their mo, 
ther was insane. But these noble sons have too much moral rectitude 
to sell their consciences for clothes or gohl. Instead of being abet- 
tors in their father's crimes, they have, and do still, maintain a most 


firm stand in defence of me. And for this manly act of filial piety 
towards me, their father has disinherited both of them, as he has me, 
from our family rights. 

Another thing, it is no new business for Mr. Packard to practice 
forgery. This assertion I can prove by his own confession. Not 
long beforie I was exiled from my home, he said to me one day, " I 
have just signed a note, which, if brought against me in law, would 
place me in a penitentiary ; but I think I am safe, as I have fixed it." 
Again, Mr. Packard sent a great many forged letters to the Superin- 
tendent of the Asylum, while I was there, professing to come from a 
different source, wherein the writer urged, very strongly, the neces- 
sity of keeping me in an asylum, and begging him, most pathetically, 
to keep me there, not only for Mr. Packard's sake, but also for his 
children's sake, and community's sake, and, lastly, for the cause of 
Christ's sake ! Dr. McFarland used to come to me for an explana- 
tion of this singular phenomenon. I would promptly tell him the 
letters are a forgery the very face of them so speaks for who 
would think of a minister in Ohio writing, self-moved, to a Superin- 
tendent in Illinois, begging of him to keep another man's wife in his 
Asylum ! Either these letters were exact copies of Mr. Packard's, 
with the exception of the signature, or, they were entirely drafted 
from Mr. Packard's statement, and made so as to be an echo of Mr 
Packard's wishes, but seeming to be a self-moved act of the writer's 
own mind and wishes. 

O, how fruitful is a depraved heart in devising lies, and masking 
them with the semblance of truth ! and how many lies it takes to de- 
fend one ! The lie he was thus trying to defend was, that I was in- 
sane, when I was not, and all this gigantic frame work of certificates 
and testimony became necessary as props to sustain it. 

I now give the testimony of my lawyer, who, after witnessing the 
revelations of the court room, thus alludes to this subject in his reply 
to Dr. McFarland's letter. " The certificates produced, fully attest- 
ing her insanity, before she was admitted, I suspect were forgeries of 
the pious Packard, altered to suit the occasion, and your too gener- 
ous disposition to rely upon the statements made to you, was taken 
advantage of again, and they were imposed upon you, without the 
critical examination their importance demanded." 



" Mrs. Packard is alienated from her kindred, and even her own 
father and husband." 

I will confess I am alienated from such manifestations of love as 
they showed me while in the Asylum ; that is, from none at all. Not 
one, except my adopted sister, and my two sons at Chicago, ever 
made an attempt to visit me, or even wrote me scarcely one line. I 
do say, this was rather cold sympathy for one passing through such 
scenes as I was called to pass through. This fact was not only an 
enigma to myself, but it was so to all my Asylum friends, and even 
to the Doctor himself, if I can believe his own words. He would 
often say to me, " Mrs. Packard, who are your friends ? have you 
any in the wide world ? If so, why do they not look after you ?" 

I used at first to say, I have many friends, and no enemies, except 
Mr. Packard, that I know of in the whole world. All my relatives 
love me tenderly. But after watching in vain for three years of 
prison life for them to show me some proof of it, I changed my song, 
and owned up, I had no friends worth the name ; for my adversity 
had tried or tested their love, and it had all been found wanting 
entirely wanting. So it looked to me from that stand point. And I 
still insist upon it, this was a sane conclusion. For what is that love 
worth, that can't defend its friend in adversity ? I say it is not worth 
the name of love. 

But it must be remembered, I saw then only one side of the pic- 
ture. The other side I could not see until I saw my friends, and 
looked from their standpoint. Then I found that the many letters 1 
had written had never reached them ; for Mr. Packard had instructed 
Dr. McFarland, and had insisted upon it, that not a single letter should 
be sent to any of my friends, not even my father, or sons, without 
reading it himself, and then sending it to him to read, before sending 
it ; and so he must do with all the letters sent to me ; and the result 
was, scarcely none were delivered to me, nor were mine sent to my 
friends. But instead of this, a brisk correspondence was kept up 
between Dr. McFarland and Mr. Packard, who both agreed in repre- 
senting me as very insane ; so much so, that my good demanded that 
I be kept entirely aloof from their sympathy. I have seen and read 
these letters, and now, instead of blaming my friends for regarding 
me as insane, I don't see how they could have come to any other con- 
clusion. From their standpoint, they acted judiciously, and kindly. 


They were anxious to aid the afflicted minister to the extent they 
could, in restoring reason to his poor afflicted, maniac wife, and they 
thought the Superintendent understood his business, and with him, 
and her kind husband to superintend, they considered I must be well 
cared for. 

And again, how could they imagine, that a man would wish to have 
the reputation of having an insane wife, when he had not? And 
could the good and kind Mr. Packard neglect even his poor afflicted 
wife ? No^ she must be in good hands, under the best of care, and it 
is her husband on whom we must lavish our warmest, tenderest, sym- 
pathies ! Yes, so it was ; Mr. Packard managed so as to get all the 
sympathy, and his wife none at all. He got all the money, and she 
not a cent. He got abundant tokens of regard, and she none at all. 
In short, he had buried me in a living tomb, with his own hands, and 
he meant there should be no resurrection. And the statement that I 
was alienated from my friends when I was entered, is utterly false. 
No one ever loved their kindred or friends with a warmer or a purer 
love than I ever loved mine. 

Neither was I alienated even from Mr. Packard, when he entered 
me. As proof of this, I will describe my feelings as indicated by my 
conduct, at the time he forced me from my dear ones at home. After 
the physicians had examined me as described in my Introduction, and 
Mr. Packard had ordered me to dress for a ride to the Asylum, I 
asked the privilege of having my room vacated, so that I might bathe 
myself, as usual, before dressing ; intending myself to then secure 
about my person, secretly, my Bible-class documents, as all that I had 
said in defence of my opinions was in writing, never having trusted 
myself to an extemporaneous discussion of my new ideas, lest I be 
misrepresented. And I then felt that these documents, alone, were 
my only defence, being denied all and every form of justice, by any 
trial. I therefore resorted ta this innocent stratagem, as it seemed to 
me, to secure them ; that is, I did not tell Mr. Packard that I had 
any other reason for being left alone in my room than the one I 
gave him. 

But he refused me this request, giving as his only reason, that he 
did not think it best to leave me alone. He doubtless had the same 
documents in view, intending thus to keep me from getting them, for 
he ordered Miss Rumsey to be my lady's maid, as a spy upon my 
actions. I dared not attempt to get them with her eye upon me, lest 
she take them from me, or report me to Mr. Packard, as directed by 


him so to do, as I believed. I resolved upon one more strategem as 
my last and only hope, and this was, to ask to be left alone long 
enough to pray in my own room once more, before being forced from 
it into my prison, When, therefore, I was all dressed, ready to be 
kidnapped, I asked to see my dear little .ones, to bestow upon them 
my parting kiss. But was denied this favor also ! 

" Then," said I, " can I bear such trials as these without God's 
help? And is not this help given us in answer to our own prayers? 
May I not be allowed, husband, to ask this favor of God alone in my 
room, before being thus exiled from it ? " 

" No," said he, " I don't think it is best to let you be alone in your 

"0, husband," said I, "you have allowed me no chance for 
my secret devotions this morning, can't I be allowed this one last 
request ? " 

" No ; I think it is not best ; but you may pray with your door 

I then kneeled down in my room, with my bonnet and shawl on, 
and in the presence and hearing of the sheriff, and the conspiracy I 
offered up my petition, in an audible voice, wherein I laid my bur- 
dens frankly, fully, before my sympathizing Saviour, as I would have 
done in secret. And this Miss Rumsey reports, that the burden of 
this prayer was for Mr. Packard's forgiveness. She says, I first told 
God what a great crime Mr. Packard was committing in treating his 
wife as he was doing, and what great guilt he was thus treasuring up 
to himself, by this cruel and unjust treatment of the woman he had 
sworn before God to protect; and what an awful doom he must surely 
meet with, under the government of a just God, for these his great 
sins against me, and so forth ; and then added, that if it was possible 
for God to allow me to bear his punishment for him, that he would 
allow me so to do, if in that way, his soul might be redeemed from 
the curse which must now rest upon it. In short, the burden of my 
prayer was, that I might be his redeemer, if my sufferings could in 
any possible way atone for his sins. Such a petition was, of course 
looked upon by this conspiracy, as evidence of my insanity, and has 
been used by them, as such. But I cannot but feel that in God's 
sight, it was regarded as an echo of Christ's dying prayer for his 
murderers, prompted by the same spirit of gospel forgiveness of ene- 
mies. In fact, if I know anything of my own heart, I do know that 
it then cherished not a single feeling of resentment towards him. 


But my soul was burdened by a sense of his great guilt, and only 
desired his pardon and forgiveness. 

As another proof of this assertion, I will describe our parting inter- 
view at the Asylum. He had stayed two nights at the Asylum, 
occupying the stately guest chamber and bed alone, while I was being 
locked up in my narrow cell, on my narrow single bed, with the 
howling maniacs around for my serenaders. He sat at the sumptu- 
ous table of the Superintendent, sharing in all its costly viands and 
dainties, and entertained by its refined guests, for his company and 
companions. While I, his companion, ever accustomed to the most 
polished and best society, was sitting at our long table, furnished with 
nothing but bread and meat ; and my companions, some of them, 
gibbering maniacs, Avhose presence and society must be purchased 
only at the risk of life or physicaHnjury. He could walk about the 
city at his pleasure, or be escorted in the sumptuous carriage, while I 
could only circumambulate the Asylum yard, under the vigilant eye 
of my keeper. O, it did seem, these two days and nights, as though 
my affectionate heart would break with my over much sorrow. No 
sweet darling babe to hug to my heart's embrace no child arms to 
encircle my neck and bestow on my cheek its hearty " good night " 
kiss. No nothing, nothing, in my surroundings, to cheer and soothe 
my tempest tossed soul. 

In this sorrowful state of mind Mr. Packard found me in my cell, 
and asked me if I should not like an interview with him, in the par- 
lor, as he was about to leave me soon. 

" Yes," said I, " I should be very glad of one," and taking his arm, 
I walked out of the hall. As I passed on, one of the attendants re- 
marked : " See, she is not alienated from her husband, see how kindly 
she takes his arm ! " When we reached the parlor, I seated myself 
by his side, on the sofa, and gave full vent to my long pent up emo- 
tions and feelings. 

" O, husband ! " said I, " how can you leave me in such a place ? 
It seems as though I cannot bear it. And my darling babe ! O, what 
will become of him ! How can he live without his mother ! And how 
can I live without my babe, and my children ! O, do, do, I beg of 
you, take me home. You know I have always been a true and 
loving wife to you, and how can you treat me so? " My entreaties and 
prayers were accompanied with my tears, which is a very uncommon 
manifestation with me ; and while I talked, I arose from my seat and 
walked the room, with my handkerchief to my eyes ; for it seemed 


as if my heart would break. Getting no response whatever from 
him, I took down my hand to see why he did not speak to me 
when what did I see ! my husband sound asleep, nodding his 
head ! 

" O, husband ! " said I, " can you sleep while your wife is in such 
agony ? " 

Said he, " I can't keep awake ;-I have been broke of my rest." 

" I see," said I, " there is no use in trying to move your feelings, 
we may as well say our 'good bye' now as ever." And as I be- 
stowed upon him the parting kiss, I said, " May our next meeting be 
in the spirit land! And if there you find yourself in a sphere of lower 
development than myself; and you have any desire to rise to a higher 
plane, remember, there is one spirit in the universe, who will leave 
any height of enjoyment, and descend to any depth of misery, to 
raise you to a higher plane of happiness, if it is possible so to do. 
And that spirit is the spirit of your Elizabeth. Farewell ! husband, 
forever ! ! " 

This is the exact picture. Now see what use he makes of it. In 
his letter to my father, he says : "She did not like to be left. I 
pitied her." (Pitied her ! How was his sympathy manifested ?) " It 
was an affecting scene. But she was very mad at me, and tried to 
wound my feelings every way. She would send no word to the 
children, and would not pleasantly bid me good bye." Pleasantly 
was underlined, to make it appear, that, because I did not pleasantly 
bid him good bye, under these circumstances, I felt hard towards 
him, and this was a proof of my alienation, and is as strong a one 
as it is possible for him to bring in support of his charge. 

Let the tender hearted mother draw her own inferences man 
cannot know what I then suffered. And may a kind God grant, 
that no other mother may ever know what I then felt, in her own 
sad experience! 

The truth is, I never was alienated from my husband, until he 
gave ma just cause for this alienation, and not until he put me into 
the A-ylum, and then it took four long months more, of the most 
intense spiritual torture, to develop in rny loving, forgiving heart, one 
feeling of hate towards him. As proof of this, I will here insert two 
letters 1 wrote him several weeks after ray incarceration. 


Jacksonville, JaJy \th, 1860, Sal>baf.h, P. M. 

Your letter of July eleventh arrived yesterday. It was the third 
I have received from home, and, indeed, is all I have received from 
any source since I came to the Asylum. And the one you received 
from me is all I have sent from here. I thank you for writing so 
often. I shall be happy to answer all letters from you, if you desire 
it, as I see you do, by your last. I like anything to relieve the 
monotony of my. daily routine. * * * 

Dr. McFarland told me, after I had been here one week, " I do 
not think you will remain but a few days longer." I suspect he found 
me an unfit subject, upon a personal acquaintance with me. Still, 
unfit as I consider myself, to be numbered amongst the insane, I am 
so numbered at my husband's request. And for his sake, I must, until 
my death, carry about with me, " This thorn in the flesh this mes- 
senger of Satan to buffet me," and probably, to keep me humble, and 
in my proper place. God grant it may be a sanctified affliction to 
me ! I do try to bear it, uncomplainingly, and submissively. But, 

! 'tis hard 'tis very hard. O, may you never know what it is to, 
be numbered with the insane, within the walls of an insane asylum, 
not knowing as your friends will ever regard you as a fit companion 
or associate for them again, outside its walls. 

O, the bitter, bitter cup, I have been called to drink, even to its 
very dreg*, just because I choose to obey God rather than man ! But, 
as my Saviour said, " the cup which my Father hath given me, shall 

1 not drink it ? O, yes, for thy sake, kind Saviour, I rejoice, that I 
am counted worthy to suffer the loss of all things, for thy sake. And 
thou hast made me worthy, by thine own free and sovereign grace. 
Yes, dear Jesus, I believe that I have learned the lesson thou hast 
thus taught me, that "in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be 

Yes, content, to sit at a table with twenty-four maniacs, three times 
a day, and eat my bread and meat, and drink my milk and water, 
while I remember, almost each time, how many vegetables and ber- 
ries are upon my own dear table at home, and I not allowed to taste, 
because my husband counts me unworthy, or unfit, or unsafe, to be an 
inmate at his fireside and table. I eat, and retire, and pray God to 
keep me from complaining. My fare does not agree with my health, 


and so I have begged of our kind attendants, to furnish me some 
poor, shriveled wheat, to keep in my room, to eat raw, to keep my 
bowels open. This morning, after asking a blessing at the table, I 
retired to my own room, to eat my raw, hard wheat alone, with my 
pine-apple to soften it, or rather to moisten it going down. Yes, the 
berries I toiled so very hard to get tor our health and comfort, I only 
must be deprived of them at my husband's appointment. The past, 
O, the sad past ! together with the present, and the unknown future. 
O, let oblivion cover the past let no record of 'my wrongs be ever 
made, for posterity to see, for your sake, my own lawful husband. 

O, my dear precious children ! how I pity you ! My heart aches 
for you. But I can do nothing for you. I am your lather's victim, 
and cannot escape from my prison to help you, even you my own 
flesh and blood my heart's treasures, my jewels, my honor and 

For I do believe you remain true to the mother who loves you so 
tenderly, that she would die to save you from the disgrace she has 
brought upon your fair names, by being stigmatised as the children 
of an insane mother, whom your father said he regarded as unsafe, 
as an inmate of your own quiet home, and, therefore, has confined 
me within these awful enclosures. 

O, may you never know what it is to go to sleep within the hear- 
ing of such unearthly sounds, as can be heard here almost at any 
hour of the night ! I can sleep in the hearing of it, for " ?o he giveth 
his beloved sleep." O, children dear, do not be discouraged at my 
sad fate, for well doing. But be assured that, although you may 
suffer in this world for it, you may be sure your reward will come in 
the next. "For, if we suffer with him, we shall also reign with 

O, do commit your souls to him in well-doing for my sake, if you 
dare not for your own sake, for I do entreat you to let me be with 
you in heaven, if your father prevents it on earth. 

I may not have much longer to suffer here on earth. Several in 
our ward are now sick in bed, and I give them more of my fruit than 
I eat myself, hoping that, when my turn comes to be sick, some one 
may thus serve me. But if not, I can bear it, perhaps better than 
they can, to be without any solace or comfort in sickness here, such 
as a friend needs. I have nothing to live for now, but to serve you, 
as I know of. But you can get along without me, can't you? Pa 
will take care of you. Do be kind to him, and make him as happy 


as possible. Yes, honor your father, if he has brought such dishonor 
upon your name and reputation. 

I will devote my energies to these distressed objects around me, 
instead of attending to your wants, as a mother should be allowed to 
do, at least, so long as she could do so, as well as I could, and did, 
when I was taken from you. I know I could not, for lack of physical 
strength, do as much for you as I once could, still I was willing, and 
did do all I could for you. . Indeed, I find I am almost worn out by 
my sufferings. I am very weak and feeble. Still, I make no com- 
plaints, for I am so much better off than many others here. 

Do bring my poor lifeless body home when my spirit, which 
troubled your father so much, has fled to Jesus' arms for protection, 
and lay me by my asparagus bed, so you can visit my grave, and 
weep over my sad fate in this world. I do not wish to be buried in 
Shelburne, but let me rise where I suffered so much for Christ's sake. 

O, do not, do not, be weary in well doing, for, did I not hope to 
meet you in heaven, it seems as though my heart would break ! 

I am useful here, I hope. Some of our patients say, it is a para- 
dise here now, compared with what it was before I came. The 
authorities assure me, that I am doing a great work here, for the 

When I had the prospect of returning home in a few days, as I 
told you, I begged with tears not to send me, as my husband would 
have the same reason for sending me back as he had for bringing me 
here. For the will of God is still my law and guide, so I cannot do 
wrong, and until I become insane, I can take no other guide for my 
conduct. Here I can exercise my rights of conscience, without 
offending any one. 

Yes, I am getting friends, from high and low, rich and poor. I am 
loved, and respected here by all that know me. I am their confident, 
their counsellor, their bosom friend. O, how I love this new circle 
of friends ! There are several patients here, who are no more insane 
than I am ; but are put here, like me, to get rid of them. But here 
we can work for God, and here die for him. 

Love to all my children, and yourself also. I thank you for the 
fruit, and mirror. It came safe. I had bought one before. 

I am at rest and my mind enjoys that peace the world cannot give 
or take away. "When I am gone to rest, rejoice for me. Weep not 
for me. I am, and must be forever happy in God's love. 

The questions are often asked me, " Why were you sent here ? you 


are not insane. Did you injure any one ? Did you give up, and 
neglect your duties ? Did you tear your clothes, and destroy your 
things ? What did you do that made your friends treat such a good 
woman so ?" Let silence be my only reply, for your sake, my hus- 
band. Now, my husband, do repent, and secure forgiveness from God, 
and me, before it is too late. Indeed, I pity you ; my soul weeps on 
your account. But God is merciful, and his mercies are great above 
the heavens. Therefore, do not despair ; by speedy repentance 
secure gospel peace to your tempest-tossed soul. So prays your lov- 
ing wife, ELIZABETH. 


I thank you kindly for writing me, and thus relieving my burdened 
heart, by assuring me that my dear children are alive and well. I 
have foeen sadly burdened at the thought of what they are called 
to suffer on their mother's account. Yes, the mother's heart has wept 
for them every moment : yet my heart has rejoiced in God my Savior, 
for to suffer as well as to do His holy will, is my highest delight, my 
chief joy. Yes, my dear husband, I can say in all sincerity and hon- 
esty, " The will of the Lord be done." I can still by his abundant 
grace utter the true emotions of my full heart, in the words of my 
favorite verse, which you all know has been my solace in times of 
doubt, perplexity and trial. It is this : 

" With cheerful feet thy path of duty run, 

God nothing does, nor suffers to be done, 

But what thou wouldst thyself, couldst thou but see, 

Tlirough all events of things as well as He." 

O, the consolation the tempest tossed spirit feels in the thought that 
our Father is at the helm, and that no real harm can befall ua 
with such a pilot to direct our course. And let me assure you all for 
your encouragement, that my own experience bears honest, practical 
testimony that great peace they have who make God their shield, 
their trust, their refuge ; and I can even add that this Insane Asylum 
has boen to me the gate to Heaven. * * * 

By Dr. McFarland's leave, I have established family worship in 
our hall ; and we never have less than twelve, and sometimes eighteen 
or more, quite quiet and orderly, while I read and explain a chapter 
then join in singing a hymn then kneeling down, I offer a prayer, 


as long as I usually do at our own family altar. I also implore the 
blessing of God at the table at every meal, while twenty-nine mani- 
acs, as we are called, silently join with me. Our conversation, for 
the most part, is intelligent, and to me most instructive. At first, 
quite a spirit of discord seemed to pervade our circle. But now it is 
quiet and even cheerful. I find that we as individuals hold the 
happiness of others to a great degree in our own keeping, and that 
" A merry heart doeth good like medicine." * * * 

If God so permit, I should rejoice to join the dear circle at home, 
and serve them to the best of my ability. " Nevertheless, not as I 
will, but as Thou wilt." I thank you, husband, for your kindness, 
both past and prospective. Do forgive me, wherein I have wronged 
you, or needlessly injured your feelings, and believe me yours, 


P. S. Tell the dear children to trust God, by doing right. 

I now do frankly own, I am fully alienated from him, in his pres- 
ent detestable character, as developed towards me, his lawful wife. 
And I claim that it is not' consistent with the laws of God's moral 
government, for a fully sane being to feel otherwise. 

But it is not so with my kindred, and other friends. I am not 
alienated from them, for I have had no just and adequate cause for 
alienation. They erred ignorantly, not willfully. They were willing 
to know the truth ; they were convicted, and are now converted to the 
truth. They have confessed their sin against me in thus neglecting 
me, and have asked my forgiveness. I have most freely forgiven 
them, and such penitents are fully restored to my full fellowship and 
confidence. To pro^e they are penitent, one confession will serve as 
a fair representation of the whole. I give it in the writer's own 
words, verbatim, from the letter now before me. "We are all glad 
you have been to visit us, and we regret we have not tried to do 
more for you, in times past. I am grieved that you have been left to 
suffer so much alone had we known, I think something would have 
been done for you. Forgive us, won't you, for our cruel neglect?" 
Yes, I do rejoice to forgive them, for Christ allows me to forgive the 
penitent transgressor. But he does not allow me to do better than 
he does to forgive the impenitent transgressor. And I do not ; but 
as I have before said. I stand ready with my forgiveness in my hear* 
to ektend it to him, most freely, on this gospel condition of repeat 
ance practical repentance. 



" Dr. McFarland, the Superintendent of the Asylum, says she is 
insane ; and he ought to know" 

Yes, he ought to know. But, in my opinion, Dr. McFarland, does 
not know a sane from an insane person ; or else, why does he keep so 
many in that Asylum, as sane as himself? And mine is not the first 
case a court and jury differed from him in opinion on this subject. 
He has been so long conversant with the insane, that he has become 
a perfect monomaniac on insanity and in his treatment of the insane. 
I never saw such inhumanity, and cruelty, and barbarity, practiced 
towards the innocent and helpless as he sanctions and allows in that 
Asylum. I could write a large volume in confirmation of this asser- 
tion, made up of scenes I myself witnessed, during my three years' 
incarceration in that terrible place. The material i? all on hand for 
such a book, since I kept a secret journal of daily events, just as 
they occurred, so that my memory is not my only laboratory of such 
truths. And in arranging this matter for a book, I intend to turn 
Jacksonville Asylum inside out. That is, I shall report that Asylum 
from the standpoint of a patient, and if this book don't prove my 
assertion that Dr. McFarland is a monomaniac, I am sure it will 
prove him to be something worse. But I claim to defend his heart 
from the charge of villainy, and his intellect from imbecility, for I 
have often said of him, " Dr. McFarland is the greatest man I ever 
saw, and he would be the best if he wasn't so bad ! " 

But this is not the place to make a defence for Dr. McFarland. 
Let him stand where his own actions put him, for that is the only 
proper place for either superintendent or patient to stand upon. But 
I will own, God made him fit for one of his great resplendent lumi- 
naries ; but Satan has marred this noble orb, so that now it has some 
very dark spots on its disk, such as his patients can behold with- 
out the aid of a telescope ! Yes, as a general thing, his patients 
are not allowed to behold anything else but these dark spots, while 
the public are allowed to see nothing except the splendors of this 
luminary. And when my telescopic book is in print, the public may 
look, or not look, at the scenes behind the curtain, just as they please. 
The exact scenes are now fully daguerreotyped on my brain and heart 
both, as well as on my manuscript journal. In this volume I am only 
allowed to report what relates to myself alone. Therefore I haVe but 
little to say ; for as it respects his treatment of me, individually, I 


regard him as a practical penitent, and on this basis, I have really 
forgiven him. And God only knows what a multitude of sins this 
man's repentance has covered! And my Christianity forbids my ex- 
posing the sins of a practical penitent, after having practicalb' for- 
given him. 

As proof of his penitence, I bring this fact, that it was under his 
superintendence, and by his consent alone, that I was permitted to 
spend the last nine mouths of my prison life in writing " The Great 
Drama." This book was commenced as an act of self-Jefence from 
the charge of insanity, and this man was the first person in America 
that ever before allowed me any right of self-defence. And this act 
of practical manliness on his part, awakened, as its response, my full 
and hearty forgiveness of all the wrongs he had hitherto heaped upon 
me ; and these wrongs had not been " like angels visits, few and far 
between." But I had, in reality, much to forgive. At least, so 
thought my personal friends at the Asylum, if their words echoed 
their real feelings. Their feelings on this subject were not unfre- 
quently uttered in very strong language like the following : " If Mrs. 
Packard can forgive Dr. McFarland all the wrongs and abuses he 
has heaped upon her she must be more than human." And I now 
have before me a letter from one who had been for several years an 
officer in that institution, from which I will make an extract, as it 
corroborates this point. She says, " How the mind wanders back to 
those dark hours. O, that hated letter ! once presented you by a 

, who delighted to torture those he could not subdue. Our 

hearts did pity you, Mrs. Packard. Mrs. Tenny,(now the wife of the 
then assistant physician, but my attendant at the time referred to,) 
and myself often said, everything was done that could be, to annihi- 
late and dethrone your reason. Poor child! They had all fled 
none to watch one hour ! All I have to" say is, if there can be found 
man or woman who could endure what you did in that three years, 
and not become a raving maniac, they should be canonized." 

Yes, God, God alone, saved me from the awful vortex Mr. Pack- 
ard and Dr. McFarland had prepared for me the vortex of ob- 
livion God has delivered me from them who were stronger than I, 
and to his cause, the cause of oppressed humanity, for which I there 
suffered so much in its defence, I do now consecrate my spared in- 
tellect, and reason, and moral power. 

Tin's " Great Drama," written there, is my great battery, which, 
hi God's providence, I hope sometime to get rich enough to publish; 


and it is to the magnanimity of Dr. McFarland alone, under God, 
that m;> thanks are due, for letting me write this book. He dictated 
none o it. He allowed me perfect spiritual liberty, in penning this 
voluminous literary production of seven hundred pages ; and if ever 
there was a book written wholly untrammelled by human dictation, 
this is the book. But. as I said, his magnanimity, even at the elev- 
enth hour, has, so far as I am concerned, secured my forgiveness. 

But he has been, and I fear still is, a great sinner against others, 
also ; for, as I have often said, it is my candid opinion, that there 
were fifty in that house, as patients, who have no more right to be 
there than the Doctor himself. Judging them from their own actions 
and words, there is no more evidence of insanity in them, than in Dr. 
McFarland's words and actions. He certainly has no scruples about 
keeping perfectly sane persons as patients. At first, this was to me 
an enigma I could not possible solve. But now I can, on the suppo- 
sition that he don't know a sane from an insane person, because he 
has become a monomaniac on this subject, just as Mr. Packard has 
on the woman question. The Doctor's insane dogmas are, first : all 
people are insane on some points ; second : insane persons have no 
rights that others are bound to respect 

He has never refused any one's application on the ground of their 
not being insane, to my knowledge, but he has admitted many whom 
he admitted were not near as insane as the friends who brought them 
were. He can see insanity in any one where it will be for his in- 
terest to see it. And let him put any one through the insane treat- 
ment he subjects his patients to, and they are almost certain to mani- 
fest some resentment, before the process is complete. And this nat- 
ural resentment which his process evokes, is what he calls their in- 
sanity, or rather evidence of it. I saw the operation of his nefarious 
system before I had been there long, and I determined to stand proof 
against it, by restraining all manifestations of my resentful feelings, 
which his insults to me were designed to develop. And this is his 
grand failure in my case. He has no capital to make out his charge 
upon, so far as my own actions are concerned. No one ever saw me 
exhibit the least angry, resentful feelings. I say that to God's grace 
alone is this result due. I maintain, his treatment of his patients is 
barbarous and criminal in many cases ; therefore he shows insanity 
in his conduct towards them. 

Again, he does not always tell the truth about his patients, nor to 
his patients. And this is another evidence of his insanity. I do say, 


Iving is insanity ; and if I can ever be proved to be a liar, by my 
own words or actions, I do insist upon it I merit the charge put upon 
me of monomania, or insanity. But, speaking the truth, and nothing 
but the truth, is not lying, even if people do not believe my asser- 
tions. For the truth will stand without testimony, and in spite of all 
contradiction. And when one has once been proved to have lied, 
they have no claims on us to be believed, when they do speak the 
truth. Were I called to prove my assertion that the Doctor misrep- 
resents, I could do so, by his own letters to my husband, and my 
father, now in my possession, and by letters Mr. Field had from him 
while I was in the Asylum. For example, why did he write to Mr. 
Field that I " was a dangerous patient, not safe to live in any private 
family," and then refuse to answer direct questions calling for evi- 
dence in proof on this point, and give as his reason, that he did not 
deem it his duty to answer impertinent questions about his patients ? 
Simply because the assertion was a lie, and had support or 
defend it, in facts, as they existed. These letters abound in misrep- 
resentations and falsehoods respecting me, and it is no wonder my 
friends regarded me as insane, on these representations from the Su- 
perintendent of a State Asylum. 

I have every reason to think Dr. McFarland believes, in his heart, 
that I am entirely sane ; but policy and self-interest has prompted 
him to deny it in words, hoping thus to destroy the influence of the 
sad truths I utter respecting the character of that institution. A very 
intelligent employee in that institution, and one who had, by her posi- 
tion, peculiar advantages for knowing the real state of feeling towards 
me in that institution, once said to me, " Mrs. Packard, I can assure 
you, that there is not a single individual in this house who believes 
you are an insane person ; and as for Dr. McFarland he knows you 
are not, whatever he may choose to say upon the subject." 

One thing is certain, his actions contradict his words, in this mat- 
ter. Would an insane person be employed by him to carry his pa- 
tients to ride, and drive the team with a whole load of crazy women, 
with no one to help take care of them and the team but herself? 
And yet Dr. McFarland employed me to do this very thing fourteen 
times ; and I always came back safely with them, and never abused 
my liberty, by dropping a letter into the post-office, or any thing of the 
kind, and never abused the confidence reposed in me in any manner. 

Would he give a crazy woman money to go to the city, and make 
purchases for herself? And yet he did so by me. Would a crazy 


woman be employed to make purchases for the house, and use as a 
reason for employing her, that her judgment was superior to any in 
the house ? And yet this is true of me. Would a crazy woman be 
employed to cut, fit and make his wife's and daughter's best dresses, 
instead of a dressmaker, because she could do them better, in their 
opinion, than any dressmaker they could employ ? And yet I was 
thus employed for several weeks, and for this reason. And would 
his wife have had her tailoress consult my judgment, before cutting 
her boy's clothes, and give as her reason, that she preferred my 
judgment and planning before her own, if I was an insane person ? 
And yet she did. 

Would the officials send their employees to me for help, in execut- 
ing orders which exceeded the capacity of their own judgment to per- 
form, if they considered my reason and judgment as impaired by 
insanity ? And yet this was often the case. Would the remark be 
often made by the employees in that institution, that " Mrs. Packard 
was better fitted to be the matron of the institution than any one 
under that roof," if I had been treated and regarded as an insane 
person by the officials ? And yet this remark was common there. 

No. Dr. McFarland did not treat me as an insane person, until I 
had been*there four months, when he suddenly changed his pro- 
gramme entirely, by treating me like an insane person, and ordering 
the employees to do so to, which order he could never enforce, ex- 
cept in one single instance, and this attendant soon after became a 
lunatic and a tenant of the poor house. My attendants said they 
should not treat me as they did the other patients, if the Doctor did 
order it. 

The reason for this change in the Doctor's treatment, was not 
because of any change in my conduct or deportment in any respect, 
but because I offended him, by a reproof I gave him for his abuse of 
his patients, accompanied by the threat to expose him unless he 
repented. I gave this reproof in writing, and retained a copy my- 
self, by hiding it behind my mirror, between it and the board-back. 
Several thousand copies of which are now in circulation. After this event, 
I was closeted among the maniacs, and did not step my foot upon the 
ground again, until I was discharged, two years and eight months 
afterwards. When he transferred me from the best ward to the 
worst ward, he ordered my attendants to treat me just as they did 
their other patients, except to not let me go out of the ward; 
although all the others could go to ride and walk, except myself. 


Had I not known how to practice the laws of health, this clo*e con- 
finement would doubtless have been fatal to my good health and 
strong nerves. But as it was, both are still retained in full vigor. 

My correspondence was henceforth put under the strictest censor- 
ship, and but few of my letters ever went farther than the Doctor's 
office, and most of the letters sent to me never came nearer me than 
his office. When I became satisfied of this, I stopped writing at all 
to any one, until I got an " Under Ground Express " established, 
through which my mail passed out, but not in. 

One incident I will here mention to show how strictly and vigi- 
lantly my correspondence with the world was watched. There was 
a patient in my ward to be discharged ere long, to go to her home 
near Manteno, and she offered to take anything to my children, if I 
chose to send anything by her. Confident I could not get a letter 
out through her, without being detected, I made my daughter some 
under waists, and embroidered them, for a present to her from her 
mother. On the inside of these bleached cotton double waists, I pen- 
cilled a note to her, for her and my own solace and comfort. I then 
gave these into the hands of this patient, and she took them and put 
them into her bosom saying, " The Doctor shall never see these." 
But just as she was leaving the house, the Doctor asked her, if she 
had any letter from Mrs. Packard to her children with her? She 
said she had not. 

He then asked her, " Have you had anything from Mrs. Packard 
with you ? " 

She said, " I have two embroidered waists, which Mrs. Packard 
wished me to carry to her daughter, as a present 'from her mother ; 
but nothing else." 

" Let me see those waists," said he. 

She took them from her bosom and handed them to him. He saw 
the penciling. He read it, and ordered the waists to the laundry to 
be washed before sending them, so that no heart communications 
from the mother to the child, could go with them. I believe he sent 
them afterwards by Dr. Eddy. 

In regard to Dr. McFarland's individual guilt in relation to his 
treatment of me, justice to myself requires me to add, that I cherish 
no feelings of resentment towards him, and the worst wish my heart 
dictates towards him is, that he may repent, and become the " Model 
Man " his nobly developed capacities have fitted him to become ; for 


he is, as I have said, the greatest man I ever saw, and he would be 
the best if he wasn't so bad ! 

And the despotic treatment his patients receive undr his govern- 
ment, is only the natural result of one of the fundamental laws of hu- 
man nature, in its present undeveloped state ; which is, that the his- 
tory of our race for six thousand years demonstrates the fact, that 
absolute, unlimited power always tends towards despotism or an 
usurpation and abuse of other's rights. Dr. McFarland has, in a 
practical sense, a sovereignty delegated to him, by the insane laws, 
almost as absolute as the marital power, which the law delegates to 
the husband. All of the inalienable rights of his patients are as 
completely subject to his single will, in the practical operation of 
these laws, as are the rights of a married woman to the will of her 
husband. And these despotic superintendents and husbands in the 
exercise of this power, are no more guilty, in my opinion, than that 
power is which licenses this deleterious element. No Republican 
government ought to permit an absolute monarchy to be established 
under its jurisdiction. And wtiere it is found to exist, it ought to be 
destroyed, forthwith. And where this licensed power is known to 
have culminated into a despotism, which is crushing humanity, really 
and practically, that government is guilty in this matter, so long as it 
tolerates this usurpation. 

Therefore, while the superintendents are guilty in abusing their 
power, I say that government which sustains oppression by its laws, 
is the first transgressor. Undoubtedly our insane asylums were orig- 
inally designed and established, as humane institutions, and for a 
very humane and benevolent purpose ; but, on their present basis, 
they really cover and shield many wrongs, which ought to be ex- 
posed and redressed. It is the evils which cluster about these insti- 
tutions, and these alone, which I am intent on bringing into public 
view, for the purpose of having them destroyed. All the good 
which inheres in these institutions and officers is just as precious as 
if not raided with the alloy; therefore, in destroying the alloy, great 
care should be used not to tarnish or destroy the fine gold with it. 
As my case demonstrates, they are now sometimes used for inquisi- 
tional purposes, which certainly is a great perversion of their original 



" Mrs. Packard's statements are- incredible. And she uses such 
strong language in giving them expression, as demonstrates her still 
to be an in=ane woman." 

I acknowledge the fact, that truth is stranger than fiction ; and I 
also assert, that it is my candid opinion, that strong language is the 
only appropriate drapery some truths can be clothed in. For exam- 
ple, the only appropriate drapery to clothe a lie in, is the strong lan- 
guage of lie or liar, not misrepresentation, a mistake, a slip of the 
tongue, a deception, an unintentional error, and so forth. And for 
unreasonable, and inhuman, and criminal acts, the appropriate dra- 
pery is, insane acts ; and an usurpation of human rights and an 
abuse of power over the defenceless, is appropriately clothed by the 
term, Despotism. And one who defends his creed or party by im- 
proper and abusive means, is a Bigot. One who is impatient and 
unwilling to endure, and will not hear the utterance of opinions in 
conflict with his own, without persecution of his opponent, is Intol- 
erant towards him ; and this is an appropriate word to use in describ- 
ing such manifestations. 

And here I will add, I do not write books merely to tickle the 
fancy, and lull the guilty conscience into a treacherous sleep, whose 
waking is death. Nor do I write to secure notoriety or popularity. 
But I do write to defend the cause of human rights ; and these rights 
can never be vindicated, without these usurpations be exposed to 
public view, so that an appeal can be made to the public conscience ? 
on the firm basis of unchangeable truth the truth of facts as they 
do actually exist. I know there is a class, but I fondly hope they are 
the minority, who will resist this solid basis even who would not 
believe the truth should Christ himself be its medium of utterance 
and defence. But shall I on this account withold the truth, lest such 
cavilers reject it, and trample it Under foot, and then turn and rend 
me with the stigma of insanity, because I told them the simple truth ? 
By no means. For truth is not insanity ; and though it may for a 
time be crushed to the earth, it shall rise again with renovated 
strength and power. Neither is strong and appropriate language 
insanity. But on the contrary, I maintain that strong language is 
the only suitable and appropriate drapery for a reformer to clothe 
his thoughts in, notwithstanding the very unsuitable and inappropri- 


ate stigma of Insanity which has always been the reformer's lot to 
bear for so doing in all past ages, as well as the present age. 

Even Christ himself bore this badge of a Reformer, simply be- 
cause he uttered truths which conflicted with the established religion 


of the church of his day. And shall I repine because I am called 
insane for the same reason ? It was the spirit of bigotry which led 
the intolerant Jews to stigmatize Christ as a madman, because he 
expressed opinions differing from their own. And it is this same 
spirit of bigotry which has been thus intolerant towards me. And it 
is my opinion that bigotry is the most implacable, unreasonable, un- 
merciful feeling that can possess the human soul. And it is my fer- 
vent prayer that the eyes of this government may be opened to see, 
that the laws do not now protect or shield any married woman from 
this same extreme manifestation of it, such as it has been my sad lot to 
endure, as the result of this legalized persecution. 


I deem it appropriate in this connection, to express the gratitude I 
feel for the kind, practical sympathy, and liberal patronage, which 
has been extended to me by the public, through the sale of my 
books. Had it not been for your generous patronage, my kind pat- 
rons, I, and the noble cause I represent, would have been crushed to 
the earth, so far as my influence was concerned. For with" no law to 
shield me, and with no " greenbacks " to defend myself with, what 
could I have done to escape another imprisonment, either in some 
asylum or poor house ? 

It has been, and still is, the verdict of public sentiment, which the 
circulation of these "books has developed, that has hitherto shielded me 
from a second kidnapping. And this protection you have kindly 
secured to me by buying my books. I would willingly have given 
my books a gratuitous circulation to obtain this protection, if I could 
possibly have done so. But where could the $3000.00 I have paid 
out for the expense of printing and circulating these books have been 
obtained ? No one could advance me money safely, so long as I was 
Mr. Packard's lawful wife, and I could not even get a divorce, with- 
out the means for prosecuting the suit. Indeed, it was your patron- 
age alone, which could effectually help me on to a self-reliant plat- 
form the platform of " greenback independence." 


I have never made any appeal to the charities of the public, neither 
can I do so, from principle. For so long as I retain as good health 
as it is my blessed privilege still to enjoy, I feel conscientiously bound 
to work for my living, instead of living on the toil of olhers.. My 
strong and vigorous health is the only capital that I can call my own. 
All my other natural, inalienable rights, are entirely in the hands 
of my persecutor, and subject to his control. But while this capital 
holds good, I am not a suitable object of charity. I am prosecuting 
business on business principles, and I am subject to the same laws 
of success or failure as other business persons are. I intend, and 
hope to make my business lucrative and profitable, as well as phi- 
lanthropic and benevolent. 

I maintain that I have no claims upon the charities of the public 
while at the same time I maintain that I have a claim upon the sym- 
pathies of our government. It is our government, the man govern- 
ment of America, who have placed me in my deplorable condition ; 
for I am just where their own laws place me, and render all other 
married women liable to be placed in the same position. It is the 
" Common Law " which our government took from English laws 
which makes a nonentity of a married woman, whose existence is 
wholly subject to another, and whose identity is only recognized 
through another. In short, the wife is dead, while her husband 
lives, as to any legal existence. And where the Common Law is 
not modified, or set aside by the Statute Laws, this worst form 
of English despotism is copied as a model law for our American 
people ! 

Yes, I feel that I have a just claim upon the sympathies of our 
government. Therefore, in selling my books, I have almost entirely 
confined my application to the men, not the women, for the men 
alone constitute the American government. And my patrons have 
responded to my claims upon their sympathy, in a most generous, 
and praiseworthy manner. Yea, so almost universally have I met 
with the sympathy of those gentlemen that I have freely conversed 
with on this subjec-t, that I cherish the firm conviction, that our whole 
enlightened government would " en masse," espouse the principles I 
defend, and grant all, and even more than I ask for married woman, 
could they but see the subject in the light those now do, whom I have 
conversed with on this subject. I am fully satisfied that all that our 
manly government needs to induce them to change this " Common 
Law" in relation to woman is, only to know what this law is, and 


how cruelly it subjects the women in its practical application. For 
man is made, and constituted by God himself, to be the protector 
of woman. And when he is true to this his God given nature, he is 
her protector. And all true men who have not perverted or de- 
praved their God-like natures, will, arid do, as instinctively protect 
their own wives, as they do themselves. And the wives of such men 
do not need any other law, than this law of manliness, to protect them 
or their interests. 

But taking the human race as they now are, we find sorr.e excep- 
tions to this general rule. And it is for these exceptions that the law 
is needed, and not for the great masses. Just as the laws against 
crimes are made for the criminals, not for the masses of society, for 
they do not need them ; they are a law unto themselves, having their 
own consciences for their Judges and Jurors. I see no ca.ulid, just 
reason why usurpation, and injustice, and oppression, should not be 
legislated against, in this form, as well as any other. Developed, re- 
fined, sensitive woman, is as capable of feeling wrongs as any other 
human being. And why should she not be legally protected from 
them as well as a man ? My confidence in this God-like principle 
of manliness is almost unbounded. Therefore I feel that a hint is 
all that is needed, to arouse this latent principle of our government 
into prompt and efficient action, that of extending legal protection to 
subjected married woman. 

There is one word I will here say to my patrons, who have the 
first in.-tallment of my " Great Drama " in their possession, that you 
have doubtless found many things in that book which you cannot now 
understand, and are therefore liable to misinterpret and misappre- 
hend my real meaning. I therefore beg of you not to judge' me 
harshly at present, but please suspend your judgment until this alle- 
gory is published entire, and then you will be better prepared to pass 
judgm. >nt upon it. Supposing Bunyan's allegory of his Christian pil- 
grim had isolated parts of it published, separate from the whole, and 
we know no:hing about the rest, should we not be liable to misinter- 
pret his real moaning ? 

Another thing, I ask you to bear in mind, this book was wr'tten 
when my mind was at its culminating point of spiritual or ia< -nlal tor- 
ture, as it were, and this may serve in your mind as an excusr, for 
what nvay seem to you, as extravagant expressions; while tome, they 
were only the simple truth as I experienced it. No one can judge 
of these feelings correctly, until they have been in my exact place 


and position ; and since this is an impossibility, you have a noble op- 
portunity for the exercise of that charity towards me which you would 
like to have extended to yourselves in exchange of situations. 

A person under extreme physical torture, gives utterance to strong 
expressions, indicating extreme anguish. Have we, on this account, 
any reason or right to call him insane ? So a person in extreme spir- 
itual or mental agony, has a right to express his feelings in language 
corresponding to his condition, and we have no right to call him in- 
sane for doing so. - <. " 

Upon a calm and candid review of these scenes, from my present 
standpoint, I do maintain that the indignant feelings which I still 
cherish towards Mr. Packard, and did cherish towards Dr. McFar- 
land, tor their treatment of me, were not only natural, sane feelings, 
but also were Christian feelings. For Christ taught us, both by his 
teachings and example, that we ought to be angry at sin, and even 
hate it, with as marked a feeling as we loved good. " I, the Lord, 
hate evil." And so should we. But at the same time we should not 
sin, by carrying this feeling so far, as to desire to revenge the wrong- 
doer, or punish him ourselves, for then we go too far to exercise the 
feeling of forgiveness towards him, even if he should repent. We 
are not then following Christ's directions, "Be ye angry and sin 
not." Now I am not conscious of ever cherishing one revengeful 
feeling towards my persecutors ; while, at the same time, I have 
prayed to God, most fervently, that he would inflict a just punish- 
ment upon them for their sins against me, if they could not be 
brought to repent without. For my heart has ever yearned to forr 
give them, from the first to the last, on this gospel condition. 

I think our government has been called to exercise the same kind 
of indignation towards those conspirators who have done all they can 
do to overthrow it ; and yet, they stand ready to forgive them, and 
restore them to their confidence, on the condition of practical repent- 
ance. And I say further, that it would have been wrong and sinful 
for our government to have witheld this expression of their resent- 
ment towards them, and let them crush it out of existence, without 
trying to defend itself. I say it did right in defending itself with a 
resistance corresponding to the attack. So I, in trying to defend 
myself against this conspiracy against my personal liberty, have only 
acted on the self-defensive principle. Neither have I ever aggressed 
on the rights of others in my self-defence. I have simply defended 
my own rights. 


In my opinion, it would be no more unreasonable to accuse the 
inmates of " Libby Prison " with insanity, because they expressed 
their resentment of the wrongs they were enduring in strong lan- 
guage, than it is to accuse me of insanity for doing the fame thing 
while in my prison. For prison life is terrible under any circum- 
stances. But to be confined amongst raving maniacs, for years in 
succession, is horrible in the extreme. For myself, I should not hes- 
itate one moment which to choose, between a confinement in an 
insane asylum, as I was, or being burned at the stake. Death, under fl 
the most aggravated forms of torture, would now be instantly chosen 
by me, rather than life in an insane asylum. And whoever is dis- 
posed to call this " strong language," I say, let them try it for them- 
selves as I did, and then let them say whether the expression is any 
stronger than the case justifies. For until they have tried it, they 
can never imagine the horrors of the maniac's ward in Jacksonville 
Insane Asylum. 

In this connection it may be gratifying to my patrons and readers 
both, to tell them how I came to write such a book, instead of an or- 
dinary book in the common style of language. It was because such 
a kind of book was presented to my mind, and no other was. It 
was under these circumstances that this kind of inspiration came 
upon me. 

The day after my interview with the Trustees, the Doctor came to 
my room to see what was to be done. His first salutation was 
" Well, Mrs. Packard, the Trustees seemed to think that you hit 
your mark with your gun." 

" Did they ? " said I. " And was it that, which caused such roars 
and roars of laughter from the Trustees' room after I left ? " 

" Yes. Your document amused them highly. Now, Mrs. Pack- 
ard, I want you to give me a copy of that document, for what is 
worth hearing once is worth hearing twice." 

" Very well," said I, " I will. And I should like to give the 
Trustees a copy, and send my father one, and some others of the 
Calvinistic clergy. But it is so tedious for me to copy anything, how 
would it do to get a few handbills or tracts printed, and send them 
where we please ? " 

u You may," was his reply, " and I will pay the printer." 

" Shall I add anything to it ; that is, what I said to the Trustees, 
and so forth ? " 

" Yes, tell the whole ! "Write what you please ! " 


With this most unexpected license of unrestricted liberty, I com- 
menced re-writing and preparing a tract for the press. But before 
twenty-four hours had elapsed since this liberty licence was granted 
to my hitherto prison-bound intellect, the vision of a big book began 
to dawn upon my mind, accompanied with the most delightful feel- 
ings of satisfaction with my undertaking. And the next time the 
Doctor called, I told him, that it seemed to me that I must write a 
book a big book and "that is the worst of it," said I, "I don't 
want a large book, but I don't see how I can cut it down, and do it 
justice. I want to lay two train of cars," said I, " across this conti- 
nent the Christian and the Calvinistic. Then I want to sort out all 
the good and evil found in our family institutions, our Church and 
S;ate institutions, and our laws, and all other departments of trades 
and professions, &c., and then come on with my two train of carp, 
and gather up this scattered freight, putting the evil into the Calvin- 
istic train, and the good into the Christian train, and then engineer 
them both on to their respective terminus. These thoughts are all 
new and original with me, having never thought of srch a tl ing, 
until this sort of mental vision came before my mind. What shall I 
do, Doctor?" 

" Write it out just as you see it." 

He then furnished me with paper and gave directions to the attend- 
ants to let no one disturb me, and let me do just as I pleased. And 
I commenced writing out this mental vision; and in six week's time 
I penciled the substance of " The Great Drama," which, when writ- 
ten 'out for the press, covers two thousand five hundred pages ! Can 
I not truly say my train of thought was engineered by the u r Light- 
ning Express ? " This was the kind of inspiration under which my 
book was thought out and written. I had no books to aid me, but 
Webster's large Dictionary and the Bible. It came wholly through 
my own reason and intellect, quickened into unusual activity by 
some spiritual influence, as it seemed to me. The production is a 
remarkable one, as well as the inditing of it a very singular phe- 

The e -timation in which the book is held by that class in that 
Asylum who are "spirit medium-," and who e only knowledge of its 
contents they wholly derive from their clairvoyant powers of reading 
it, without the aid of their natural vision, it may amuse a class of my 
readers to know. It was a fact the attendants told me of, that my 
book and its contents, was made a very common topic of remark in 


almost every ward in the house ; while all this time, I was closeted 
alone in my room writing it, and they never saw me or* my book. I 
would often be greatly amused by the remarks they made about it, as 
they were reported to me by witnesses who heard them. Such as 
these: " I have read Mrs. Packard's book through, and it is the most 
amusing thing I ever read." " Calvinism is dead dead as a her- 
ring." "Mrs. Packard drives her own team, and she drives it 
beautifully, too." "The Packard books are all over the world, 
Norway is full of them. They perfectly devour the Packard books 
in Norway." " Mrs. Packard finds a great deal of fault with the 
Laws and the Government, and she has reason to." " She defends 
a higher and better law than our government has, and she'll be in 
Congress one of these days, helping to make new laws ! " 

If this prophetess had said that woman's influence would be felt in 
Congress, giving character to the laws, I might have said I believed 
she had uttered a true prophecy. 

One very intelligent patient, who was a companion of mine, and 
had read portions of my book, came to my room one morning with 
some verses which she had penciled the night previous, by moonlight, 
on the fly-leaf of her Bible, which she requested me to read, and 
judge if they were not appropriate to the character of my book. 
She said she had been so impressed with the thought that she must 
get up and write something, that she could not compose herself to 
sleep until she had done so ; when she wrote these verses, but could 
not tell a word she had written the next morning, except the first 
line. I here give her opinions or the book in her own poetic lan- 
guage, as she presented them to me. 



Affectionately presented to the " World's Friend "Mrs. E. P. W. Packard by her friend, 
Mrs. Sophia N. B. Olsen. 

Go, little book, go seek the world ; 

With banner new, with flag unfurled; 

Go, teach mankind aspirings high, 

By human immortality ! 9 

Thou canst not blush ; thine open page 

Will all our higher powers engage; * 

Thy name on every soul shall be, 

Defender of humanity ! 


The poor, the sad, the sorrowing heart, 
Shall joy to see thy book impart 
Solace, to every tear-dimmed eye, 
That's wept, till all its tears are dry. 

The palid sufferer on the bed 
Of sickness, shall erect the head 
And cry, " Life yet hath charms for me 
When Packard's books shall scattered be. w 

Each prison victim of despair 
Shall, in thy book, see written there 
Another gospel to thy race, 
Of sweet " Requiescat in pace." 

The time-worn wigs, w'ih error gray, 
Their dusty locks with pale dismay, 
Shall shake in vain in wild despair, 
To see their prostrate castles, where ? 

No mourner's tear shall weep their doom, 
No bard shall linger o'er their tomb, 
No poet sing, but howl a strain 
Farewell, thou doom'd, live not again. 

Yes, oh, poor Ichabod must lay, 

Deep buried in Aceldema ! 

His lost Consuelo shall rise 

No more, to cheer his death-sealed eyes. 

Then speed thy book, oh, sister, speed, 
The waiting world thy works must readj 
Bless'd be the man who cries, " Go on," 
" Hinder it not, it shall be gone." 

Go, little book, thy destiny 
Excelsior shall ever be ; 
A fadeless wreath shall crown thy brow, 
writer of that book ! e'en now. 

The wise shall laugh the foolish cry- 
Both wise and foolish virgins, why ? 
Because the first will wiser grow, 
The foolish ones some wisdom snow. 


The midnight cry is coming soon, 
The midnight lamp will shine at noon ; 
I fear for some, who snoring lie, 
Then rise, ye dead, to judgment fly. 

The stars shall fade away the sun 
Himself grow dim with age when done 
Shining upin our frigid earth; 
But Paci ar 1's book shall yet have birth, 
But never death, on this our earth. 


So much for the opinions of those whom this age call crazy, but 
who are, in my opinion, no more insane than all that numerous class 
of our day, who are called " spirit mediums ; " and to imprison them 
as insane, simply because they possess these spiritual gifts or powers, 
is a barbarity, which coming generations will look upon with the 
same class of emotions, as we now look upon the barbarities attend- 
ing Salem Witchcraft. It is not only barbarous and cruel to de- 
prive them of their personal liberty, but it is also a crime against 
humanity, for which our government must be held responsible at 
God's bar of justice. 

I will now give some of the opinions of a few who know some- 
thing of the character of my book, whom the world recognize as 
sane. Dr. McFarland used to sometimes say, " Who knows but you 
were sent here to write an allegory for the present age, as Bunyan 
was sent to Bedford Jail to write his allegory ? " Dr. Tenny, the 
assistant physician, once said to me as he was pocketing a piece 
of my waste manuscript, " I think your book may yet become so 
popular, and acquire so great notoriety, that it will be considered an 
honor to have a bit of the paper on which it was written ! " 

I replied, " Dr. Tenny, you must not flatter me." 

Said he, "I am not flattering, I am only uttering my honest 

Said another honorable gentleman who thought he understood 
the character of the book, " Mrs. Packard, I believe your book will 
yet be read in our Legislative Halls and in Congress, as a specimen 
of the highest form of law ever sent to our world, and coming mill- 
ions will read your history, and bless you as one who was afflicted 
for. humanity's sake." It must be acknowledged that this intelligent 
gentleman had some solid basis on which he could defend this ex- 


travagant opinion, namely : that God does sometimes employ " the 
weak things of the world to confound the mighty." 

These expressions must all be received as mere human opinions, 
and nothing more. The book must stand just where its own in- 
trinsic merits place it. If it is ever published, it, like all other mere 
human productions, will find its own proper level, and no opinions 
can change its real intrinsic character. The great question with me 
is, how can I soonest earn the $2,500.00 necessary to print it with? 
Should I ever be so fortunate as to gain that amount by the sale 
of this pamphlet, I should feel that my great life-work was done, so 
that I might feel at full liberty to rest from my labors. But until 
then, I cheerfully labor and toil to accomplish it. 


In thi connection, I deem it right and proper that I should ac- 
knowledge the aid I have received from the public Press those 
newspapers whose manliness has prompted them to espouse the 
cause of woman, by using their columns to help me on in my ardu- 
our enterprise. My object can only be achieved, by enlightening 
the public mind into the need and necessities of the case. The peo- 
ple do not make laws until they see the need of them. Now, when 
one case is presented showing the need of a law to meet it, and this 
is found to be a representative case, that is, a case fairly representing 
an important class, then, and only till then, is the public mind pre- 
pared to act efficiently in reference to it. And as the Press is the 
People's great engine of power in getting up an agitation on any sub- 
ject of public interest, it is always a great and desirable object to 
secure its patronage in helping it forward. This help it has been my 
good fortune to secure, both in Illinois and Massachusetts. 

And my most grateful acknowledgments are especially due the 
Journal of Commerce of Chicago, also the Chicago Tribune, the 
Chicago Times, the Post, the New Covenant, and the North Western 
Christian Advocate. All these Chicago Journals aided me more or 
less in getting up an agitation in Illinois, besides a multitude of other 
papers throughout that State too numerous to mention. 

Some of the papers in Massachusetts, to whom my acknowledg- 
ments are due, are the Boston Journal, the Transcript, the Traveller, 
the Daily Advertiser, the Courier, the Post the Recorder, the Com- 


monwealth, the Investigator, the Nation, the Universalist, the Chris- 
tian Register, the Congregationalist, the Banner of Light, and the 
Liberator. All these Boston Journals have aided me, more or less, 
in getting up an excitement in Massachusetts, and bringing the sub- 
ject before the Massachusetts Legislature. Many other papers 
throughout the State have noticed my cause with grateful interest. 

As the pubKc come to apprehend the merits of my case, and look 
upon it as a mirror, wherein the laws in relation to married women 
are reflected, they will doubtless join' with me in thanks to these 
Journals who have been used as means of bringing this light before 


Although mycause/being based in eternal truth, does not depend 
upon certificates and testimonials to sustain it, and stands therefore in 
no need of them ; yet, as they are sometimes called for, as a confirm- 
ation of my statements, I have asked for just such testimonials as the 
following gentlemen felt self-moved to give me. I needed no testi- 
monials while prosecuting my business in Illinois, for the facts of the 
case were so well known there, by the papers reporting my trial so 
generally. I needed no other passport to the confidence of the 

But when I came to Boston to commence my business in Massa- 
chusetts, being an entire stranger there, I found the need of some 
credentials or testimonials in confirmation of my strange and novel 
statements. And it was right and proper, under such circumstances, 
that I should have them. I therefore wrote to Judge Boardman and 
Hon. S. S. Jones, my personal friends, in Illinois, and told them the 
difficulty I found in getting my story believed, and asked them to 
send me anything in the form of a certificate, that they in their judg- 
ment felt disposed to send me, that might help me in surmounting 
this obstacle. Very promptly did these gentlemen respond to my 
request, and sent me the following testimonials, which were soon 
printed in several of the Boston papers, with such editorials accom- 
panying them, as gave them additional weight and influence in secu- 
ring to me the confidence of the public. 

Judge Boardman is an old and distinguished Judge in Illinois, re- 
ceiving, as he justly merits, the highest esteem and confidence of his 


cotemporaries, as a distinguished scholar, an eminent Judge, and a 
practical Christian. 

Mr. Jones is a middle aged man, of the same stamp as the Judge, 
receiving proof of the esteem in which he is held by his cotempora- 
ries, in being sent to Congress by vote of Illinois' citizens, and by 
having been for successive years a member of the Legislature of that 
State. He was in that position when he sent me his certificate. 


To all persons who would desire to give sympathy and encouragement 
to a most worthy but persecuted woman/ 

The undersigned, formerly from the State of Vermont, now an old 
resident of the State of Illinois, would most respectfully and frater- 
nally certify and represent: That he has been, formerly and for many 
years, associated with the legal profession in Illinois, and is well known 
in the north-eastern part of said State. That in the duties of his pro- 
fession and in the offices he has filled, he has frequently investigated, 
judicially, and otherwise, cases of insanity. That he has given con- 
siderable attention to medical jurisprudence, and studied some of the 
best authors on the subject of insanity ; has paid great attention to the 
principles and philosophy of mind, and therefore would say, with all 
due modesty, that he verily believes himself qualified to give an 
opinion entitled to respectful consideration, on the question of the 
sanity or insanity of any person with whom he may be acquainted. 
That he is acquainted with Mrs. E. P. W. Packard, and verily be- 
lieves her not only sane, but that she is a person of very superior 
endowments of mind and understanding, naturally possessing an ex- 
ceedingly well balanced organization, which, no doubt, prevented her 
from becoming insane, under the persecution, incarceration, and treat- 
ment she has received. That Mrs. Packard has been the victim 
of religious bigotry, purely so, without a single circumstance to alle- 
viate the darkness of the transaction ! A case worthy of the palmiest 
days of the inquisition ! ! 

The question may be asked, how this could happen, especially in 
Northern Illinois ? To which I answer that the common law pre- 
vails here, the same as in other States, where this law has not been 
modified or set aside by tte statute laws, which gives the legal cus- 
tody of the wife's person, into the hands of the husband, and there- 
fore, a wife can only be released from oppression, or even from im- 


prisonment by her husband, by the legal complaint of herself, or some 
one in her behalf, before the proper judicial authorities, and a hear- 
ing and decision in the case ; as was finally had in Mrs. Packard's 
case, she having been in the first place, taken by force, by her hus- 
band, and sent to the Insane Hospital, without any opportunity to 
make complaint, or without any hearing or investigation. 

But how could the Superintendent of the Insane Hospital be a 
party to so great a wrong? Very easily answered, without neces- 
sarily impeaching his honesty, when we consider that her alleged 
insanity was on religious subjects ; her husband a minister of good 
standing in his denomination, and the Superintendent sympathizing 
with him, in all probability, in religious doctrine and belief, sup- 
posed, of course, that she was insane. She was legally sent to him, 
by the authority of her husband, as insane ; and Mrs. Packard had 
taught doctrines similar to the Unitarians and Universalists and many 
radical preachers ; and which directly opposed the doctrine her hus- 
band taught, and the doctrine of the Church to which he and Mrs. 
Packard belonged ; the argument was, that of course the woman 
must be crazy ! ! And as she persisted in her liberal sentiments, the 
Superintendent persisted in considering that she was insane ! How- 
ever, whether moral blame should attach to the Superintendent and 
Trustees of the Insane Hospital, or not, in this transaction, other 
than prejudice, and learned ignorance ; it may now be seen, from 
recent public inquiries and suggestions, that it is quite certain, that 
the laws, perhaps in all the States in relation to the insane, and their 
confinement and treatment, have been much abused, by the artful 
and cunning, who have incarcerated their relatives for the purpose 
of getting hold of their property ; or for difference of opinion as to 
our state and condition in the future state of existence, or religious 

The undersigned would further state : That the published account 
of Mrs. Packard's trial on the question of her sanity, is no doubt 
perfectly reliable and correct. That the Judge before whom she was 
tried, is a man of learning, and ability, and high standing in the judi- 
cial circuit, in which he presides. That Mrs. Packard is a person 
of strict integrity and truthfulness, whose character is above reproach. 
That a history of her case after the trial, was published in the daily 
papers in Chicago, and in the newspapers generally, in the State ; 
arousing at the time, a public feeling of indignation against the author 
of her persecution, and sympathy for her ; that nothing has transpired 


since, to overthrow or set aside the verdict of popular opinion ; that 
it is highly probable that the proceedings in this case, so far as the 
officers of the State Hospital for the insane are concerned, will un- 
dergo a rigid investigation by the Legislature of the State. 

The undersigned understands that Mrs. Packard does not ask 
pecuniary charity, but that sympathy and paternal assistance which 
may aid her to obtain and make her own living, she having been left 
by her husband, without any means, or property whatever. 

All of which is most fraternally and confidently submitted to your 
kind consideration. WILLIAM A. BOARDMAN. 

WAUKEGAN, ILL., DEC. 3, 1864. 

" To a kind and sympathizing public : 

This is to certify that I am personally acquainted with Mrs. E. P. 
W. Packard, late an inmate of the Insane Asylum of the State of Illi- 
nois. That Mrs. Packard was a victim of a foul and cruel conspiracy 
I have not a single doubt, and that she is and ever has been as sane 
as any other person, I verily believe. But I do not feel called upon 
to assign reasons for my opinion, in the premises, as her case was 
fully investigated before an eminent Judge of our State, and after a 
full and careful examination, she was pronounced sane, and restored 
to liberty. 

Still I repeat, but for the cruel conspiracy against her, she could 
not have been incarcerated, as a lunatic, in an asylum. Whoever 
reads her full and fair report of her case, will be convinced of the 
terrible conspiracy that was practiced towards a truly thoughtful and 
accomplished lady. A conspiracy worthy of a demoniac spirit of ages 
long since passed, and such as we should be loth to believe could be 
practiced in this enlightened age, did not the records of our court 
verify its truth. 

To a kind and sympathizing public I commend her. The deep 
and cruel anguish she has had to suffer, at the hands of those who 
should have been her protectors, will, I doubt not, endear her to 
you, and you will extend to her your kindest sympathy and pro- 

Trusting through her much suffering the public will become more 
enlightened, and that our noble and benevolent institutions the 
asylums for the insane will never become perverted into institutions 


of cruelty and oppression, and that Mrs. Packard may be the last 
subject of such a conspiracy as is revealed in her books, that \i ,;1 
ever transpire in this our State of Illinois, or elsewhere. 

Very respectfully, S. S. JONES.*' 
ST. CHARLES, ILL., DEC. 2, 1864. 


" Assuming, as in view of all the facts it is our duty to do, the cor- 
rectness of the statements made by Mrs. Packard, two matters of vital 
importance demand consideration: 

1. What have *the rulers in the church' done about the persecu- 
tion ? They have not publicly denied the statements ; virtually (on 
the principle that under such extraordinary circumstances silence 
gives consent,) they concede their correctness. Is the wrong cov- 
ered up ? the guilty party allowed to go unchallenged lest " the 
cause" suffer by exposure? If they will explain the matter in a 
way to exculpate the accused, these columns shall be prompt to do 
the injured full and impartial justice. We are anxious to know 
what they have to say in the premises. If Mrs. Packard is insane 
because she rejects Calvinism, then we are insane, liable to arrest, 
and to be placed in an insane asylum! We have a personal interest 
in this matter. 

2. Read carefully Judge Boardman's statement as to the bearing 
of " common law " on Mrs. Packard's case. If a bad man, hating 
his wife and wishing to get rid of her, is base enough to fabricate a 
charge of insanity, and can find two physicians "in regular standing" 
foolish or wicked enough to give the legal certificate, the wife is help- 
less ! The " common law " places her wholly at the mercy of her 
brutal lord. Certainly the statute should interfere. Humanity, not 
to say Christianity, demands, that special enactments shall make im- 
possible, such atrocities as are alleged in the case of Mrs. Packard 
atrocities which, according to Judge Boardman, can be enacted in the 
name of " common law." We trust the case now presented will have 
at least the effect, to incite Legislative bodies to such enactments as 
will protect women from the possibility of outrages, which, we are led 
to fear, ecclesiastical bodies had rather cover up, than expose and 
rebuke to the prejudice of sectarian ends the ' sacred cause.' " 

As I have said, there was a successful effort made in the Massa- 
chusetts Legislature to change the laws in reference to the mode 


of commitment into Insane Asylums that winter, 1865, and as Hon. 
S. E. Sewall was my " friend and fellow laborer," as he styles him- 
self, in that movement, I made application to him this next winter, 
for such a recommend as I might use to aid me in bringing this sub- 
ject before the Illinois' Legislature this winter, for the purpose of 
getting a change in their laws also. But finding that the Illinois' Legis- 
lature do not meet this year, I have had no occasion to use it, as I 
intended. Having it thus on hand, I will add this to the foregoing. 


" I have been acquainted with Mrs. E. P. W. Packard for about a 
year, I believe. She is a person of great religious feeling, high 
moral principle, and warm philanthropy. She is a logical thinker, 
a persuasive speaker, and such an agitator, that she sometimes suc- 
ceeds where a man would fail. I think she will be very useful in 
the cause to which she has devoted herself, I mean procuring new 
laws to protect married women. 

I give Mrs. Packard these lines of recommendation, because she 
has asked for them. I do not think them at all necessary, for she can 
recommend herself, far better than I can. S. E. SEWALL." 

BOSTON, Nov. 27, 1865. 

After these testimonials, and the editorial remarks accompanying 
them had appeared in these Boston journals, Mr. Packard sent vari- 
ous articles to these journals in reply, designing to counteract their 
legitimate influence in defence of my course. Some of these articles 
were published, and many were refused, by the editors. The " Uni- 
versalist," and the " Daily Advertiser," published a part of his vo- 
luminous defence, which was made up almost entirely of certificates 
and credentials, but no denial of the truth of the general statement, 
The chief point in his defence which he seemed the most anxious t<v 
establish was, that my trial was not correctly reported and not a 
fair trial a mere mob triumph, instead of a triumph of justice. One 
of these papers, containing his impeachments of the court, was sent 
to Kankakee City, Illinois, where the court was held, and elicited 
many prompt and indignant replies. An article soon appeared in 
the Kankakee paper, on this subject, stating his defamations against 
the judge, lawyers, and jury, and then added, " Mr. Packard is both 
writing his wife into notoriety, and himself into infamy," by his pub- 
lishing such statements, as he would not dare to publish in Illinois ; 


and it was astonishing to them, how such a paper as the Boston 
" Daily Advertiser," should allow such scandals respecting the pro- 
ceedings of Illinois' courts to appear in its columns. I will here 
give entire only one of the many articles sent to the Boston papers 
in reply. This article was headed, 


" To the Editors of the Boston Daily Advertiser : 

In the supplement of the Boston Daily Advertiser of May 3d, ap- 
pears a collection of certificates, introduced by Rev. Theophilus Pack- 
ardj which requires a notice from me. These certificates are intro- 
duced for one or two purposes. First, either to prove that the report 
of the trial of Mrs. Elizabeth Packard, held before the Hon. C. R. 
Starr, Judge of the Second Judicial Circuit of the State of Illinois, 
on the question of her insanity, as published in the " Great Drama," 
is false ; or, secondly, to prove to the readers of the Advertiser that 
Mr. Packard is not so bad a man as those who read the trial would 
be likely to suppose him to be. 

In determining the truth of the statements of any number of per- 
sons relative to any given subject, it is always profitable to inquire 
who the persons that make the statements are, what is their relation 
to the subject-matter, and what their means of information. 

I entered upon the defence of Mrs. Packard without any expecta- 
tion of fee or reward, except such as arises from a consciousness of 
having discharged my duty toward a helpless and penniless woman, 
who was either indeed insane, or was most foully dealt with by him 
who had sworn to love, cherish and protect her. I was searching for 
the truth. I did then no more and no less than I should do for 
any person who claimed that their sacred rights were daily violated, 
and life made a burden most intolerable to be borne, by repeated 

The report was made from written notes of the testimony taken 
during the trial. And this is the first time I ever heard the correct- 
ness of the report called in question. It would be very unlikely that 
I should make an incorrect report of an important case, which I knew 
would be read by my friends and business acquaintances, and which 
(if incorrect) would work a personal injury. Policy and selfish mo- 
tives would prevent me from making an incorrect report, if I was 
2uided by nothing higher. 


The first certificate presented is signed by Deacon A. II. Dole, 
and Sibyl T. Dole, who are the sister and brother-in-law of Mr. 
Packard, and, as the trial shows, his co-conspirators ; J. B. Smith, 
another of his deacons, who was a willing tool in the transaction ; 
and Miss Sarah Rumsey, another member of his Church, who went 
to live with Mr. Packard when Mrs. Packard was first kidnapped. 
Let Jeff. Davis be put on trial, and then take the certificates of Mrs. 
Surratt, Payne, Azteroth, Arnold, Dr. Mudd and George N. Saun- 
ders, and I am led to believe they would make out Jeff, to be a 
" Christian President," whom the barbarous North were trying to 
murder. Their further certificate "that the disorderly demonstra- 
tions by the furious populace, filling the Court House while we were 
present at the said trial, were well calculated to prevent a fair trial," 
is simply bosh, but is on a par with the whole certificate. It is a 
reflection upon the purity of our judicial system, and upon our Cir- 
cuit Court, that they would not make at home. And I can only ac- 
count for its being made on the supposition that it would not be read 
in Illinois. " The furious populace " consisted of about two hundred 
ladies of our city who visited the trial until it was completed, because 
they felt a sympathy for one of their own sex, whose treatment had 
become notorious in our city. The conspirators allege that Mrs. 
Packard is insane. They each swore to this on the trial, but a jury 
of twelve men after hearing the whole case, upon their oaths said in 
effect they did not believe these witnesses, for by their verdict they 
found her SANE. 

The second certificate is from Samuel Packard. It is a sufficient 
answer to this to say that he is the son of Mr. Packard, and entirely 
under his father's control, and that it is apparent upon the document 
that the boy never wrote a word of it. 

Then follows a certificate from Lizzie, who takes umbrage because 
I called her in the report the " little daughter " of Mrs. Packard, and 
is made to say pertly she was then fourteen. She then acted like a 
good daughter, who loved her mother dearly, and her size and age 
never entered into the consideration of the audience of ladies whose 
hearts were touched and feelings stirred, till the fountain of their 
tears was broken, by the kind and natural emotions which were 
then exhibited by the mother and daughter. When Mrs. Packard 
was put in the hospital Lizzie was about ten years old, and a think- 
ing public will determine what judgment she could then form about 
her mother's "religious notions" and her "insanity," "to the great 
sorrow of all our family." 


One word further upon the certificate of Thomas P. Bbnfield, and 
I will close. He says that the trial commenced very soon after the 
writ of habeas corpus was served on Mr. Packard, and therefore he 
could not obtain his evidence, and was prevented from obtaining the 
attendance of Dr. McFarland, Superintendent of the Insane Hospital 
of Illinois. Dr. McFarland was the only witness whose attendance 
Mr. Packard's counsel expressed a desire for that was not present. 
They had his certificate that Mrs. Packard was insane, which they 
used as evidence, and which went to the jury. The defence had no 
opportunity for cross-examination, while Mr. Packard thus got the 
benefit of McFarland's evidence that she was insane, with no possi- 
bility of a contradiction. What more could he have had if the wit- 
ness had been present ? 

The certificate further states that " a large portion of the commu- 
nity were more intent on giving Presbyterianism a blow than on in- 
vestigating, or leaving the law to investigate, the question of Mrs. 
Packard's insanity." Well, what did the " feelings " of the commu- 
nity have to do with the court and jury? You selected the jury. 
You said they were good men. If not good, you could have rejected 
them. The presiding judge is a member of the Congregational 
Church, which is nearly allied to the Presbyterian. Five of the 
twelve jurymen were regular attedants of the Presbyterian Church. 
No complaint was then made that you could not have a fair trial. If 
Packard believed* he could not, the statute of Illinois provides for a 
change of venue, which petition for a change of venue you had Mr. 
Packard sign, but which you concluded not to present, because you 
thought it would not be granted. If you thought it would not be 
granted, it was because you did not have a case that the venue could 
be changed, because when the proper affidavit is made for a change 
of venue, the Court has no power to refuse the application. The 
trial was conducted as all trials are conducted in Boston or in Illi- 
nois, and the verdict of the jury pronounced Mrs. Packard sane. 

The published report of the trial is made. It no doubt presents 
Mr. Packard and his confederates in a very unfavorable light, but it 
is just as they presented themselves. If they do not like the picture 
they should not have presented the original. 


KANKAKEE, ILL., MAT 16, 1865. 



In view of the above facts and principles on which this argument 
of " Self-defence from the charge of Insanity " is based, I feel sure 
that the array of sophisms which Mr. Packard may attempt to mar- 
shall against it, will only be like arguing the sun out of the heavens 
at noon-day. He is the only one who has ever dared to bring per- 
sonal evidence of insanity against me, so far as my knowledge ex- 
tends. Others believe me to be insane, but it is on the ground of his 
testimony, not from personal proof, by my own words and actions, 
independent of the coloring he has put upon them. 

For example, I find he has reported as proof of my insanity, " that 
I have punished the children for obeying him." Had this been the 
case, in the sense in which he meant it to be understood, it would 
look like an insane, or at least very improper, act. But it is not true 
that I ever punished a child for obeying their father ; but on the con- 
trary, have exacted implicit obedience to their father's wishes and 
commands, and have even enforced this, my own command, by pun- 
ishments, to compel them to respect their father's authority, by obey- 
ing his commands. 

But this I have also done. I have maintained the theory, by logic 
and practice both, that a mother had & right to enforce her own rea- 
sonable commands that her authority to do so was delegated to her 
by God himself, and not by her husband and that this right to com- 
mand being delegated to her by God himself, as the God given right 
identified with her maternity, the husband had no right to interfere 
or usurp this God bestowed right from the wife. But on the con- 
trary, it was the husband's duty, as the wife's God appointed pro- 
tector, to see that this right was defended to the wife by his authority 
over the children, requiring of them obedience to her commands, as 
one whose authority they must respect. Yes, I have trained my 
children to respect my authority as a God delegated authority, equal 
in power, in my sphere, to their father's God delegated authority. 
And farther, I have taught them, that I had no right to go out of my 
sphere and interfere with their father's authority in his sphere ; nei- 
ther had their father a right to trespass upon my sphere, and counter 
order my commands. I maintain, that the one who commands is the 
dnly rightful one to countermand. Therefore, the father has no right 
to countermand the mother's orders, except through her ; neither has 


the mother a right to countermand the father's order, except through 
him. Here is the principle of " equal rights," which our government 
is bound to respect. And it is because they do not respect it, that 
my husband lias usurped all my maternal rights, thus proving him- 
self traitor, not only to his own manliness, but traitor to the princi- 
ples of God's government. 

But as this is a volume of facts, rather than theories, I will add one 
fact in vindication of my assertion, that I uniformly taught my child- 
ren to respect their father's authority. When I was incarcerated in 
my prison, my oldest son, Theophilus, was in the post-office in Mt.. 
Pleasant, Iowa, as clerk, and had not seen me for two years. His 
regard for me was excessive. He had been uniformly filial, and very 
kind to me, and therefore when he learned that his loving mother was 
a prisoner in a lunatic asylum, he felt an unconquerable desire to see 
me, and judge for himself, whether I was really insane, or whether I 
was the victim of his father's despotism. His father, aware of this 
feeling, and fearing he might ascertain the truth respecting me, by 
some means, sent him a letter, commanding him not to write to his 
mother now in the asylum, and by no means visit her there, adding, 
if he did so, he should disinherit him. 

Theophilus was now eighteen years of age, and, as yet, had never 
known what it was to disobey either his father's or mother's express 
commands. But now his love for his mother led him to question ^the 
justice of this seemingly arbitrary command, and he, fearful of trust- 
ing to his own judgment in this matter, sought advice from those who 
had once been Mr. Packard's church members and deacons in Mt. 
Pleasant, and from all he got the same opinion strongly defended, 
that he had a right to disobey such a command. He therefore ven- 
tured to visit his mother in her lonely prison home in defiance of his 
father's edict. I was called from my ward to meet my darling first- 
born son in the reception room, when I had been in my prison about 
two months. After embracing me and kissing me with all the fond- 
ness of a most loving child, and while shedding our mutual tears ' 
of ectasy at being allowed once more to meet on earth, he remarked, 
" Mother, I don't know as I have done right in coming to see you as 
I have, for father has forbid my coming, and you have always taught 
me never to disobey my father." 

" Disobeyed your father ! " said I. " Yes, I have always taught 
you it was a sin to disobey him, and I do fear you have done wrong, 
if you have come to see me in defiance of your father's command. 


You know we can never claim God's blessing in doing wrong, and I 
fear our interview will not be a blessing to either of us, if it has been 
secured at the price of disobedience to your father's command." 

Here his tears began to flow anew, while he exclaimed, " I was 
afraid it would prove so ! I was afraid you would not approve of my 
coming ! But, mother, I could not bear to feel that you had become 
insane, and I could not believe it, and would not, until I had seen you 
myself; and now I see it is just as I expected, you are not insane, 
but are the same kind mother as ever. But I am sorry if I have 
done wrong by coming." 

I wept. He wept. I could not bear to blame my darling boy. 
And must I ? was the great question to be settled. " My son," said 
I, " let us ask God to settle this question for us," and down we both 
kneeled by the sofa, and with my arm around my darling boy, I asked 
God if I should blame him for coming to see me in defiance of his 
father's order. While asking for heavenly wisdom to guide us in the 
right way, the thought came to me, " go and ask Dr. McFarland." 

I accordingly went to the Doctor's parlor, where I found him alone, 
reading his paper. I said to him, "Doctor, I have a question of con- 
science to settle, and I have sought your help in settling it, namely, 
u has my son done wrong to visit me, when his father has forbid his 
coming, and has threatened to disinherit him if he did ? He has the 
letter with him showing this to be the case." 

After thinking a moment, the Doctor simply replied, " Your son 
had a right to visit his mother ! " 

O, the joy I felt at this announcement ! It seemed as if a moun- 
tain had been lifted from me, so relieved was I of my burden. With 
a light heart I sought my sobbing boy, and encircling my arms about 
his neck, exclaimed, " Cheer up ! my dear child, you had a right to 
visit your mother ! so says the Doctor." 

Why was this struggle with our consciences? Was it not that we 
had trained them to respect paternal authority? Can testimony, how- 
ever abundant, change this truth into a falsehood ? 

That principle of self-defence, which depends wholly on certificates 
and testimonials, instead of the principle of right, truth and justice, is 
not able to survive the shock which the revelation of truth brings 
against it. A lie, however strongly fortified by testimonials and cer- 
tificate-!, can never be transformed into a truth. Neither can the 
truth, however single, and isolated, and alone, be its condition, can 
never be transformed into a lie, nor crushed out of existence. No. 


The truth will stand alone, and unsupported. Its own weight, simply, 
gives it firmness to resist all shocks brought against it, to produce its 
overthrow. Like the house built upon a rock, it needs no props, no 
certificates, to sustain it. Storms of the bitterest persecution may 
beat piteously upon it, but they cannot overthrow it, for its foundation 
is the rock of eternal truth. But lies, are like the house built upon 
the sand. While it does stand, it needs props or certificates on all 
sides, to sustain it. And it cannot resist the storm even of a ventila- 
ting breeze upon it, for it must and will fall, with all its accumulated 
props, before one searching investigation ; and the more props it has 
so much the more devastation is caused by its overthrow. 

And here I wish to add, that it was not because Mr. Packard was 
a minister, that bigotry had power thus to triumph over his manliness, 
but because he was a man, liable to be led astray from the paths of 
rectitude as other human beings are. The ministerial office does not 
insure men against the commission of sins of the darkest hue, for the 
ministry is composed of men, who are subject to like frailties and 
passions as other men are ; and ministers, like all other men, must 
stand just where their own actions will place them, not where their 
position ought always to find them. They ought to be men whose 
characters should be unimpeached. But they are not all so. Neither 
are all other men what they should be in their position. It is as 
much the duty of the minister to be true to himself true to the in- 
stincts of his God-like nature, as it is other men. And any deviation 
from the path of rectitude which would not be tolerated in any other 
man, ought not to be tolerated in a minister. In short, ministers must 
stand on a common level with the rest of the human race in judgment. 
That is, they, like others, must stand just where their own conduct 
and actions place them. If their conduct entitles them to respect, we 
should respect them. But if their conduct makes them unworthy of 
our respect and confidence, it is a sin to bestow it upon them ; for this 
very respect which we give them ander such circumstances, only coun- 
tenances their sin:-, and encourages them in iniquity, and thus puts 
their own souls in jeopardy, as well as reflects guilt on those who thus 
helped them work out their own destruction, when they ought to have 
helped them work out their own repentance for evil doing. 



As my case now stands delineated by the foregoing narrative, all 
the States on this continent can see just where the common law places 
all married women. And no one can help saying, that any law that 
can be used in support of such a persecution, is a disgrace to any gov- 
ernment Christian or heathen. It is not only a disgrace, a blot on 
such a government, but it is a crime, against God and humanity, to let 
confiding, trusting woman, be so unprotected in law, from such outra- 
geous abuses. ^ 

Mr. Packard has never impeached my conduct hi a single instance, 
that I know of; neither has he ever charged me guilty of one insane 
act except that of teaching my children doctrines which I believed, 
and he did not I This is all he ever alleges against me. He himself 
confirms the testimony of all my friends, that I always did discharge 
my household duties in a very orderly, systematic, kind, and faith- 
ful manner. In short, they maintain that I, during all my married 
life, have been a very self-sacrificing wife and mother, as well as an 
active and exemplary co-worker with him in his ministerial duties. 

Now I have mentioned these facts, not for self-glorification, but for 
this reason, that it may be seen that good conduct, even the best and 
most praiseworthy, does not protect a married woman from the most 
flagrant wrongs, and wrongs, too, for which she has no redress in the 
present laws. If a mad had suffered a tithe of the wrongs which I 
have suffered, the laws stand ready to give him redress, and thus 
shield hun from a repetition of them. But not so with me. I must 
suffer not only this tithe, with no chance of redress, but ten times this 
amount, and no redress then. I even now stand exposed to a life- 
long imprisonment, so long as my husband lives, while I not only 
have never committed any crime, but on the contrary, have ever lived 
a life of self-sacrificing benevolence, ever toiling for the best interests 
of humanity. 

Think again. After this life of faithful service for others, I am 
thrown adrift, at fifty years of age, upon the cold world, with no place 
on earth I can call home, and not a penny to supply my wants with, 
except what my own exertion secures to me. Why is this ? Be- 
cause he who should have been my protector, has been my robber, 
and has stolen all my life-long earnings. And yet the law does not 
call this stealing, because the husband is legally authorized to steal 


from the wife without leave or license from her ! Now, I say it is a 
poor rule that dou't work both ways. Why can't the wife steal all 
the husband has. I am sure she can't support herself as well as he 
can, and the right of justice seems to be on our side, in our view. 

But this is not what we want ; we don't wish to rob our husbands, 
we only want they should be stopped from robbing us. We just ask 
for the reasonable right to use our own property as if it were our own, 
that is, just as we please, just according to the dictates of our own 
judgment. And when we insist upon this right, we dont want our 
husbands to have power to imprison us for so doing, as my husband 
did me. It was in this manner that I insisted upon my right to my 
property, with this fatal issue resulting from it 

While the discussions in our Bible-class were at the culminating 
point of interest, Mr. Packard came to my room one day and made 
me the following proposition : " Wife," said he, " how would you like 
to go to your brother's in Batavia, and make a visit ? " 

Said I, " I should like it very well, since my influenza has in some 
degree prostrated my strength, so that I need a season of rest ; and 
besides, I should like an excuse for retiring from this Bible-class ex- 
citement, since the burden of these discussions lies so heavily upon 
me, and if it is not running from my post of duty, I should like to 
throw off this mental burden also, and rest for a season at least." 

He replied, " You have not only a perfect right to go, but I think 
it is your duty to go and get recruited." 

" Very well," said I, " then I will go, and go, too, with the greatest 
pleasure. But how long do you think I had better make my visit ? " 

" Three months." 

" Three months ! " said I, " Can you get along without me three 
months ? and what will the children do for their summer clothes with- 
out me to make them ? " 

" I will see to that matter ; you must stay three months, or not 
go at all." 

" Well, I am sure I can stand it to rest that length of time, if you 
can stand it without my services. So I will go. But I must take iny 
baby and daughter with me, as they have not fully recovered from 
their influenzas, and I should not dare to trust them away from me." 

" Yes, you may take them." 

" I will then prepare myself and them to go just as soon as you 
see fit to send us. Another thing, husband," said I, " I shall want 
ten dollars of my patrimony money to take with me for spending 


money." (This patrimony was a present of $600.00 my father had 
recently sent me for my especial benefit, and I had put it into Mr. 
Packard's hands for safe keeping, taking his note on interest as my 
only security, except with this note he gave me a written agreement, 
that I should have not only the interest, but any part of the principal, 
by simply asking him for it whenever I wanted it. When he ab- 
sconded he took not only all this my money patrimony with him, but 
also stole all my notes and private papers likewise.) 

"This you can't have," said he. 

"Why not? I shall need as much as this, to be absent three 
months with two sick children. I may need to call a Doctor to them, 
and, besides, my brother is poor, and I am rich comparatively, and I 
might need some extra food, such as a beef-steak, or something of the 
kind, and I should not like to ask him for it. And besides, I have 
your written promise that I may have my own money whenever I 
want it, and I do want ten dollars of it now ; and I think it is no un- 
reasonable amount to take with me." 

" I don't think it is best to let you have it. I shan't trust you with 

" Shan't trust me with money ! Why not? Have I ever abused 
this ti*ust? Do not I always give you an exact account of every cent 
I spend ? And I will this time do so ; and besides, if you cannot trust 
it with me, I will put it into brother's hands as soon as I get there, 
and not spend a cent but by his permission." 

" No, I shall not consent to that." 

"One thing more I will suggest. You know Batavia people owe 
you twelve dollars for preaching one Sabbath, and you can't get your 
pay. \Now, supposing brother ' dun ' and get it, may I not use this 
money if I should chance to need it in an emergency ; and if I should 
not need any, I won't use a cent of it? Or, I will write home to you 
and a.-k permission of you before spending a dollar of it." 

" No. You shall neither have any money, nor have the control 
of any, for I can't trust you with any." 

" Well, husband, if I can't be trusted with ten dollars of my own 
mtney under the^e circumstances, and with all these provisions at- 
tached to it, I should not think I was capable of being trusted with 
two sick children three months away from home wholly dependent 
on a poor brother's charities. Indeed, I had rather stay at home and 
not go at all, rather than go under such circumstances." 


" You shall not go at all ; " replied he, in a most excited, angiy, 
tone or' voice. " You shall go into an Insane Asylum ! " 

" Why, husband ! " said I ; " I did not suspect such an alternative. 
I had rather go to him penniless, and clotheless even, than go into an 

"You have lost your last chance. You shall go into an Asylum ! " 

And so it proved. It was my last chance. In a few days I was 
kidnapped and locked up in my Asylum prison for life, so far as he 
was concerned. 

Now, I ask any developed man, who holds property which is right- 
fully his own, and no one's else, how he would like to exchange places 
with me, and be treated just as I was treated. Now, I say it is only 
fair that the law makers should be subject to their own laws. That 
is, they should not make laws for others, that they would not be will- 
ing to submit to themselves in exchange of circumstances. Just put 
the case to yourselves, and ask how would you like to be imprisoned 
without any sort of trial, or any chance at self-defence, and then be 
robbed of all your life earnings, by a law which women made for 
your good (?) as your God appointed protectors! O, my govern- 
ment the men of these United States do bear with me long enough 
to just make our case your own for one moment, and then let me 
kindly ask you this question. 

Won't you please stop this robbery of our inalienable right to our 
own property, by some law, dictated by some of your noble, manly 
hearts ? Do let us have a right to our own home a right to our own 
earnings a right to our own patrimony. A right, I mean, as part- 
ners in the family firm. We do not ask for a separate interest. We 
want an identification of interests, and then be allowed a legal right 
to this common fund as the junior partners of this company interest. 
We most cheerfully allow you the rights of a senior partner ; but we 
do not want you to be senior, junior, and all, leaving us no rights at 
all, in a common interest. 

Again, we true, natural women, want our own children too we 
can't live without them. We had rather die than have them torn 
from us as your laws allow them to be. Only consider for one mo- 
ment, what your laws are, in relation to our own flesh and blood. 
The husband has all the children of the married woman secured to 
himself, to do with them just as he pleases, regardless of her protests, 
or wishes, or entreaties to the contrary ; while the children of the sin- 
gle women are all given to her as her right by nature ! Here the 


maternal nature of the single woman is respected and protected, as it 
should be ; while the nature of the married woman is ignored and set 
at naught, and the holiest instinct of woman is trampled in the dust 
of an utter despotism. In other words, the legitimate offspring of the 
wife are not protected to her, but given to the husband, while the ille- 
gitimate offspring of the unmarried women are protected to her. So 
that the only way U> be sure of having our maternity respected, and 
our offspring legally protected to us, is to have our children in the sin- 
gle instead of the married state ! 

With shame I ask the question, does not our government here offer 
a premium on infidelity? And yet this is a Christian government! 
Why can't the inalienable rights of the lawful wife be as much re- 
spected as those of the open prostitute ? I say, why ? Is it because 
a woman has no individuality, after she is joined to a man ? Is her 
conscience, and her reason, and her thoughts, all lost in him ? So my 
case demonstrates the law to be, when practically tested. 

And does not this legalized despotism put our souls in jeopardy, as 
well as our bodies, and our children ? It verily does. It was to 
secure the interests of my immortal soul, that I have suffered all I 
have in testing these despotic laws. I would have succumbed long 
ago, and said I believed what I did not believe, had it not been that I 
cared more for the safety of my own soul, than I did the temporal wel- 
fare of my own dear offspring. 

I could not be true to God, and also true to the mandates of a will 
in opposition to God. And whose will was to be my guide, my hus- 
band's will, or God's will ? I deliberately chose to obey God rather 
than man, and in that choice I made shipwreck of all my earthly good 

And one good thing I sorely disliked to lose, was my fair, untarn- 
ished reputation and influence. This has been submerged under the 
insane elements of this cruel persecution. But my character is not 
lost, thank God I nor is it tarnished by this persecution. For my 
character stands above the reach of slander to harm. Nothing can 
harm this treasure but my own actions, and these are all guided and 
controlled by Him, for whose cause I have suffered so much. Yes, to 
God's grace alone, I can say it, that from the first to the last of all my 
persecutions, I have had the comforting consciousness of duty per- 
formed, and an humble confidence in the approval of Heaven. Strong 
only in the justice of my cause, and in faith in God, I have stood 
e, and defied the powers of darkness to cast me down to any de- 


etruction, which extended beyond this life. And this desperate trea- 
son against manliness which has sought to overwhelm me, may yet be 
the occasion of the speedier triumph of my spiritual freedom, and that 
also of my sisters in like bondage with myself. 

The laws of our government most significantly requires us, "to work 
out our own salvation with much fear and trembling," lest the iron 
will which would hold us in subjection, should take from us all our 
earthly enjoyments, if we dare to be true to the God principle within 
us. So bitter has been my cup of spiritual suffering, while passing 
through this crucible of married servitude, that it seems like a mira- 
cle almost, that I have not been driven into insanity, or at least misan- 
thropy by it. But a happy elasticity of temperament conspired with 
an inward consciousness of rectitude, and disinterestedness, has ena- 
bled me to despise these fiery darts of the adversary, as few women 

And I cherish such a reverence for my nature, as God has made 
it, that I cannot be transformed into a " man-hater." I thank God, I 
was made, and still continue to be, a " man- lover." Indeed, my native 
respect for the manhood almost approaches to the feeling of reverence, 
when I consider that man is God's representative to me that he is 
endowed with the very same attributes and feelings towards woman 
that God has a protector of the weak, not a subjector of them. It 
is the exceptions, not the masses of the man race, who have perverted 
or depraved their God-like natures into the subjectors of the depend- 
ent. The characteristic mark of this depraved class is a "woman- 
hater," instead of a " woman-lover," as God, by nature made him. 
This depraved class of men find their counterpart hi those women, 
who have perverted their natures from "men-lovers," into "men- 
haters." And man, with a man-hating wife, may need laws to protect 
his rights, as much as a woman, with a woman-hater for her husband. 
Jfiaws should take cognizance of improper actions, regardless of sex or 

All we ask of our government is, to let us stand just where our 
actions would place us, without giving us either the right or power to 
harm any one, not even our own husbands. At least, give us the 
power to defend ourselves, legally, against our husband's abuses, since 
you have licensed him with almost Almighty power to abuse us. And 
it will be taking from these women-haters no right to take from them 
the right to abuse us. It may, on the contrary, do them good, to be 
compelled to treat us with justice, just as you claim that it will do the 


slave-holder good, to compel him to treat his slave with justice. It is 
oppression and abuse alone we ask you to protect us against, and this 
we are confident you will do, as soon as you are convinced there is a 
need or necessity for so doing. And I will repeat, it is for this pur- 
pose that I have, hi this pamphlet, delineated a subjected wife's true, 
legal position, by thus presenting my own personal, individual, expe- 
rience for your consideration. 

In summing up this argument, based on this dark chapter of a mar- 
ried woman's bitter experience of the evils growing out of the law 
of married servitude, I would close with a Petition to the Legislatures 
of all the States bf this Union, that they would so revolutionize their 
statute laws, as to expunge them entirely from that most cruel and 
degrading kind of despotism, which identifies high, noble woman as its 
victim. Let the magnanimity of your holy, God-like natures, be re- 
flected from your statute books, in the women protective laws which 
emanate from them. And may God grant that in each and all of 
these codes may soon be found such laws as guarantee to married wo- 
man a right to her own home, and a right to be the mistress of her 
own household, and a right to the guardianship of her own minoi 

In other words, let her be the legally acknowledged mistress of hef 
own household, and a co-partner, at least, in the interests and destiny 
of her own offspring. Let the interests of the maternity be as much 
respected, at least, as those of the paternity; and thus surround the 
hallowed place of the wife's and mother's sphere of action, with a for- 
tress so strong and invincible, that the single will of a perverted man 
cannot overthrow it. For home is woman's proper sphere or orbit, 
where, in my opinion, God designed she should be the sovereign and 
supreme ; and also designed that man should see that this sphere of 
woman's sovereignty should be unmolested and shielded from any in- 
vasions, either foreign or internal. In other words, the husband is 
the God appointed agent to guard and protect woman in this her God, 
appointed orbit. Just as the moon is sovereign and supreme in her 
minor orbit, being guarded and protected there by the sovereign 
power of the sun, revolving in his mighty orbit. 

The appropriate sphere of woman being the home sphere, she 
should have a legal right here, secured to her by statute laws, so that 
in case the man who swore to protect his wife's rights here, perjures 
himself by an usurpation of her inalienable rights, she can have re- 


dress, and thus secure that protection in the law, which is denied her 
by her husband. 

In short, woman needs legal protection t*s a married woman. She 
has a right to be a married woman, therefore she has a right to be 
protected as a married woman. If she cannot have protection as a 
married woman, it is not safe for her to marry ; for my case demon- 
strates the fact, that the good conduct of the wife is no guarantee of pro- 
tection to her ; neither is the most promising developments of man- 
hood, proof against depravity of nature, approximating very near to 
the point of " total depravity," and then woe to that wife and mother, 
who has no protection except that of a totally depraved man ! 

But, some may argue, that woman is already recognized in several 
of the States as an individual property owner, and as one who can do 
business on a capital of her own, independent of her husband. Yes, 
we do most gratefully acknowledge this as the day star of hope to us, 
that the tide is even now set in the right direction. But allow me to 
say, this does not reach the main point we are aiming to establish, 
which is, that woman should be a legal partner in the family firm, not 
a mere appendage to it. This principle of separating the interests 
of the married pair is not wholesome nor salutary in its results. It 
tends towards an isolation of interests ; whereas it is an identification 
of interests, which the marriage contract should form and cement. 
We want an equality of rights, so, far as copartners are concerned. 
These property rights should be so identified as to command the mu- 
tual respect of partners, whose interests are one and the same. In 
short, the wife should be the junior partner, and law should recognize 
her as such, by protecting to her the rights of a junior partner, and 
her husband should be the legally constituted senior partner of the 
family firm. Then, and only till then, is she his companion on an equal- 
ity, in legal standing, with her husband, and sharing with him the 
protection of that government, which she has done so much to sustain ; 
which government is based on the great fundamental principle of God's 
government, namely, an equality of rights to all accountable moral 
agents. Our government can never echo this heavenly principle, 
until it defends " equal rights," independent of sex or color. 



"Tnis is to certify that the certificates which have appeared in 
public in relation to my daughter's sanity, were given upon the con- 
viction that Mr. Packard's representations respecting her condition 
were true, and were given wholly upon the authority of Mr. Pack- 
ard's own statements. I do therefore certify that it is now my opin- 
ion that Mr. Packard has had n cause for treating my daughter 
Elizabeth as an insane person. 


Attest, OLIVE WARE, 

AusTiri' WARE, 

The reader should be informed that the above certificate was given 
after I had been a member of my father's family for six months, thus 
affording him ample opportunity to judge of my real condition, by his 
own personal observation, since Mr. Packard, and his co-conspirator, 
Dr. McFarland, the Superintendent of the Asylum, both insist upon 
it, that I am now in just the same condition in reference to my sanity, 
that I was when I was kidnapped and forced into my prison. There- 
fore, when my own dear father's eyes were fully opened to see the 
deception that had been employed to secure his influence in support 
of this cruel conspiracy, he felt conscience bound to give the above 
certificate in vindication of the truth. Another evidence of my Fath- 
er's entire confidence in my sanity is found in the fact that about this 
time he re-wrote his will, and so changed it that, instead of now giv- 
ing me my patrimony "in trust" as before, he has bestowed it upon 
me, his only daughter, in precisely the same manner, and upon equal 
terms every way with my two only brothers. 



Thankful for the privilege granted me, I will simply state that I 
desire to explain my bill rather than defend it, since I am satisfied it 
needs no defense to secure its passage by this gallant body of gen- 

I desire to make this public statement of some of the facts of my 
personal experience, relative to my incarceration in Jacksonville 
Insane Asylum, that you, the law-makers of this State, may see from 
the standpoint of my own individual wrongs, the legal liabilities to 
which all married women and infants have been exposed for the last 
sixteen years, to false imprisonments in Jacksonville Insane Asylum, 
under the act passed in 1851, viz. : 

" Married women and infants who, in the judgment of the Medical 
Superintendent," (meaning the Superintendent of Illinois State Hos- 
pital for the Insane,) u are evidently insane or distracted, may be 
entered or detained in the hospital, on the request of the husband of 
the woman or the guardian of the infant, without the evidence of 
insanity required in other cases." 

This act was nominally repealed in 1865 ; but, practically, is still 
existing, in retaining. those who have been previously entered without 
evidence of insanity, and in receiving others, regardless of the law of 
*65, which demands a fair trial of all before commitment. In short, 
the present law is not in all cases enforced, but this unjust law is still 
in practical force in many instances. 

Therefore, your petitioners, men of the first legal character and 
standing in Chicago, in asking for the repeal of this unjust law, not 
only ask for the enforcement of the new law by a penalty, but also 
that a jury trial may be forthwith extended to the unfortunate victims 
of this unjust law, who are now confined in Jacksonville Insane 

In detailing the practical working of this law in my case, I must 
rely upon your good sense to pardon the egotistical character of the 
following statement. 


I am a native of Massachusetts, the only daughter of an orthodox 
clergyman of the Congregational denomination, and the wife of a 
Congregational clergyman, who was preaching to a Presbyterian 
Church in Manteno, Kankakee Co., 111., when this legal persecution 

I have been educated a Calvinist, after the strictest sect, but as 
my reasoning faculties have been developed by a thorough, scientific 
education, I have been led, by -the simple exercise of my own rea?on 
and common sense, to endorse theological views, in conflict with my 
educated belief and the creed of the church with which I am con- 
nected. In short, from my present standpoint, I cannot but believe 
that the doctrine of total depravity, (which is the great backbone of 
the Calvinistic system,) conflicts with the dictates of reason, common 
sense, and the Bible. 

And, gentlemen, the only crime I have committed is to dare to be 
true to these, my honest convictions, and to give utterance to these 
views in a Bible class in Manteno, at the special request of the teacher 
of that class, and with the full and free consent of my husband. 

But the popular endorsement of these new views by the class and 
the community generally, led my husband and his Calvinistic Church 
to fear, lest their Church creed would suffer serious detriment by this 
license of private judgment and free inquiry, and as these liberal 
views emanated from his own family, and he, (for reasons best known 
to himself,) declining to meet me on the open arena of argument and 
free discussion, chose, rather, to use this marital power which your 
laws license him to use, and as this unjust law permits, and got me 
imprisoned at Jacksonville Insane Asylum, without evidence of in- 
sanity, and without any trial, hoping, as he told me, that by this 
means he could destroy my moral influence, and thereby defend the 
cause of Christ, as he felt bound to do ! 

It was under these circumstances I was legally kidnapped, as your 
laws allow, and imprisoned three years at Jacksonville, simply for 
claiming a right to my own thoughts. The first intimation I had of 
this legal exposure, was by two men entering my room, on the 1 8th 
of June, 1860, and kidnapping me. Two of his Church-member.--, 
attended by Sheriff Burgess of Kankakee, took me up in their arms 
and carried me to the wagon, and thence to the cars, in spite of rcy 
lady-like protests, and regardless of all my entreaties for some sort 
of trial before imprisonment. 

My husband replied, " I am doing as the laws of Illinois allow me 
to do you have no protection in law but myself, and I am pro- 


teeting you now ; it is for your good I am doing this ; I want to save 
your soul; you don't believe in total depravity; I want to make you 

" Husband," said I, " have not I a right to my opinion ? " 

" Yes, you have a right to your opinions if you think right." 

" But does not the constitution defend the right of religious toler- 
ance to all American citizens ? " 

" Yes, to all citizens it does defend this right, but you are not a 
citizen ; while a married woman, you are a legal nonentity, without 
even a soul in law. In short, you are dead as to any legal exist- 
ence, while a married woman, and therefore have no legal protection 
as a married woman." 

Thus I learned my first lesson in that chapter of " common law," 
which denies to married women a legal right to their own individ- 
uality or identity. 

Here I was taken from my little family of six children, while my 
babe was only eighteen months old, while in the faithful discharge of 
all my duties as wife and mother, having done all my own work for 
twenty-one years, besides educating our own children, and nearly 
fitting our oldest son for college ; in perfect health and sound mind, 
and forced into an imprisonment of an indefinite length, without the 
mere form of a trial, and without any chance at self-defense. 

True, my husband did even more than this " unjust law " demands, 
for he did get the certificates of two orthodox physicians that I was 
insane like Henry Ward Beecher, and Horace Greeley, and Spur- 
geon, and three-fourths of the religious community ; and, besides, he 
obtained the names of forty others, mostly his own Church members, 
who thus co-conspired to sustain their minister in this mode of de- 
fending the' cause of Christ against the contagious influence of dan- 
gerous heresies aiwl fatal errors. 

The influence of the community outside of the Church was thrown 
into the opposite scale entirely ; but their influence was overpowered 
by the majesty of the law, added to the dignity of the pulpit. I was 
conveyed by Sheriff Burgess, Deacon Dole and Mr. Packard to your 
State Hospital, in defiance of the indignant community who had as- 
sembled at the depot in large crowds to defend me. Dr. Simming- 
ton, the Methodist minister at Manteno, remarked to me, "Mrs. 
Packard, you will not be there long," and plainly intimated that, in 
his opinion, no man was fit for his position who would retain such an 
inmate as myself. 


Dr. McFarland, of course, was obliged to receive me on this super- 
abundant testimony that I was an insane person, although he apolo- 
gized to me afterwards for receiving me at all, and for four months 
he treated me himself, and caused me to be treated, with all the 
respect of a hotel boarder. He even trusted me with the entire 
charge of a carriage load of insane patients, and the care of my own 
team, fourteen times ; sometimes I would be absent nearly a half * 
day on some pleasant excursion to the fair-grounds or cemetery, and 
he never expressed the least solicitude for our safe return. Indeed, 
he trusted me almost in every situation he would trust the matron. 

But, at the expiration of this time, with no change whatever in my 
deportment, I forfeited all his good-will and favors, by presenting 
him a written reproof for his abuse of his patients, which was after- 
wards printed, wherein I told him I should expose hirn when I got 
out, unless he treated his patients with more justice. 

He then removed me from the best ward to the worst, where were 
confined the most dangerous class of patients, and instructed his at- 
tendants to treat me just as they did the maniacs, and be sure to keep 
me a close prisoner, and on no account to allow me to leave the 
ward, and compel me to sleep in a dormitory with from three to six 
crazy patients, where my life was exposed, both night as well as day, 
with no room of my own to flee to for safety from their insane flights 
and dangerous attacks. 

I have been dragged around this ward by the hair of my head by 
the maniacs ; I have received blows from them that almost killed 
me. My seat at the table was by the side of Mrs. Triplet, the most 
dangerous and violent patient in the whole ward, who almost invar- 
iably threatened to kill me every time I went to the table. I liave 
had to dodge the knives and forks and tumblers and chairs which 
have been hurled in promiscuous profusion about my head, to avoid 
some fatal blow. I have begged and besought Dr. McFarland to 
remove me to some place of safety, where my life would not be so 
exposed, only to see him turn, speechless, away from me ! I have 
endured the scent and filth of a ward, from which my delicate, sensi- 
tive nature revolts in loathsome disgust, until I had had time to clean 
the whole ward with my own hands, before it could be a decent 
place for human beings to inhabit. 

From this eighth ward I was not removed until I was discharged, 
two years and eight months from the day I was consigned to it. I 
did not set my foot upon the ground in the mean time, although, for 
the last part of my imprisonment there, Dr. McFarland exchanged 


some of the noisiest and most boisterous patients for a more quiet 

1 have been threatened with the screen-room, and this threat has 
been accompanied with the flourish of a butcher knife over my head, 
for simply passing a piece of johnny-cake through a crack under my 
door to a hungry patient, who was locked in her room to Buffer star- 
vation as her discipline for her insanity. 

I have heard a fond and tender mother begging and pleading, for one 
whole night and part of a day, for one drink of cold water, but all in 
vain ! simply because she had annoyed her attendant, by crying to 
see her darling babe and dear little ones at home. I finally persuaded 
the matron, Mrs. Waldo, to interpose, and give her a drink of water. 

There was but one of all the employees at that Asylum whom the 
Dr. could influence to treat me, personally, like an insane person. 
This was Mrs. De La Hay. Besides threatening me with the 
screen-room, as I have stated, she threatened to jacket me for speak- 
ing at the table. 

One day, after ?he had been treating her patients with great injus- 
tice and cruelty, I addressed Mrs. McKonkey, who sat next to me at 
the table, and in an undertone remarked, " I am thankful there is a 
recording angel present, noting what is going on in these wards ; " 
when Mrs. De La Hay, overhearing my remark, exclaimed in a very 
angry tone, "Mrs. Packard, stop your voice! if you speak another 
word at the table I shall put a straight jacket on you ! " 

Mrs. Lovel, one of the patients, replied, " Mrs. De La Hay, did 
you ever have a straight jacket on yourself?" 

" No, my position protects me ! but I would as soon put one on 
Mrs. Packard as any other patient, ' recording angel ' or no ' record- 
ing angel,' and Dr. MeFarland will protect me in doing so, too ! " 

The indignant feeling of the house soon became so demonstrative, 
in view of the treatment I was receiving, that the Dr. seemed com- 
pelled to discharge Mrs. De La Hay to Defend his own character 
from the charge of abusing me, and Mrs. De La Hay soon after be- 
came insane, and a tenant of Jacksonville poor-house. 

He cut me off" from all written communication with the outside 
world, except under the strictest censorship, and made it a discharge- 
able offence of his employees to permit me to have any means of 
communication with the outside world, He has refused Mrs. Judge 
Thomas and other friends, whom ho knpw desired to comfort me 
with human sympathy and some choi viands, admission into my 
presence, and has put them off with the inquiry, " why do you wish 


to single out Mrs. Packard from the other patients, to administer to 
her comfort ? " and when asked by his guests, who often mistook me 
for the matron, ".why he kept so intelligent a lady in an Insane 
Asylum ? " he would reply, " you must not take any notice of what 
a patient says ! " And the reply he would make to my indignant 
friends at the hospital, who ventured sometimes to inquire " why are 
you treating Mrs. Packard in this manner?" has invariably been, 
" it is all tor her good ! " 

Time will not allow me to detail my sufferings and persecutions at 
that hospital ; I will only add, may the Lord forgive Dr. McFarland 
for the injustice I have suffered at his hands ! And God grant that 
the legislature of 1867 may have the moral courage to effectually 
remove the liabilities to a repetition of wrongs like my 'own ! 

Various attempts were made by my Manteno friends to rescue me, 
but all in vain. My legal non-existence rendered it difficult to ex- 
tend legal aid to a nonentity, except it come through the identity of 
my only legal protector, and so long as it was possible to cut me off 
from any direct application for deliverance, he could ward off the 
habeas corpus investigation they wished to institute, and as long as 
the Doctor claimed I was insane, so long this unjust law consigned 
me to leg il imprisonment. My relatives and other friends applied to 
lawyers, judges and the Governor in my behalf, but all in vain, as 
these officers were only authorized to administer existing laws ; they 
could neither repeal them nor act contrary to them. On the 18th of 
June, 18(53, I was finally removed from my asylum prison, by order 
of the Tru tees, as the result of a personal interview \vhich Dr. Mc-^ 
Farland kindly consented to grant me, and put again into the custody 
of my husband, who consigned me to a prison in my own house, 
claiming, as his excuse, that I was just as insane as when I was en- 
tered just three years previously, for I had neither recanted nor 
yielded my right to my identity : therefore, in the judgment of your 
superintendent, I am hopelessly insane, and am doomed, by his cer- 
tificates, to a life-long imprisonment in the Insane Asylum at North- 
ampton, Mass., and my husband was just on the point of starting 
with me for a consignment in that living tomb, when he was arrested 
by a writ of habeas corpus, issued by judge Starr, of Kankahee City, 
and used by my Manteno friends in defence of my personal liberty. 
I was now where I could make direct application, by passing a letter 
clandestinely through a crack in my window. 

The trial lasted five days, and resulted in a complete vindication 
of my sanity, although his witnesses swore that it was evidence of 


insanity for a person to wish to leave a Presbyterian church and 
join a Methodist ! A full account of this trial is found m uu.= - Tnree 
Years Imprisonment for Religious Belief." It was reported by one 
of my lawyers, and is an impartial record of the whole case. 

During the trial, Mr. Packard " fled his country" in the night, to 
avoid the danger of a mob retribution. He took with him all our i 
personal property, even my own wardrobe and children, and rented! 
our home, so that I found myself, at the close of court, homeless, 
penniless and childless. 

And this, gentlemen, is legal usurpation, also, on the slavish prin- 
ciple of common law the legal nonentity of the wife, the man and 
wife being one, and the one, the man! Gentlemen, we married 
women need emancipation ; and will ,you not be the pioneer State in 
our Union, in woman's emancipation ? and thus use my martyrdom 
for the identity of a married woman, to herald this most glorious of 
all reforms married woman's legal emancipation, from that of a slave 
in law, to that of a partner and companion of her husband, in law, 
as she now is in society? 

And, lest there be a misunderstanding on this subject, permit me 
here to explain what kind of slavery I refer to. This slavish posi- 
tion which the principles of common law assigns the married woman, 
is a relic of barbarism, which the progress of civilization will, doubt- 
less, ere long, annihilate. In the dark ages, married woman was a 
slave to her husband, both socially and legally ,but, as civilization has 
progressed, she has outgrown her social position that of a slave and 
is now regarded in society as the companion and partner of her hus- 
band. But the law has not progressed with civilization, so that mar- 
ried woman is still a slave, legally, while she is his companion, 

Man, we know, is woman's natural protector, and, in most instan- 
ces, is all the protection a married woman needs. Still, as the laws 
are made for the exceptional cases, where man is not a law unto him- 
self, what can be the harm in emancipating woman from this slavish 
position, so that she can receive governmental protection of her right 
to " life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," as well as the mar- 
ital protection? So, in case where the marital fails, she can have 
legal protection, while married as well as when single. Then when 
vour darling daughter is called to exchange the paternal protection 
for the marital, she will not be obliged to alienate her right to gov- 
ernmental protection by this exchange of her natural protectors, but 
she, the tenderest and the best, can then claim of her government, 


while a married woman, the same protection of her rights as a 
woman, wliich your sons now claim as men. 

The need of this radical change hi married woman's legal position 
is more fully elucidated in this book, which contains a detailed ac- 
count of my persecutions in Illinois, when your State hospital was 
used, in my case, as an inquisition. My object in bringing these facts 
to your notice is to secure legislative action, where these facts show 
the need of action. 

In conclusion, gentlemen of this Assembly, may I be allowed to 
read a few extracts from Dr. McFarland's published letters on this 
subject, showing, from his own words, his ground of self-defense. 

The Doctor says : u All Mrs. Packard's wrongs, persecutions and 
sufferings, of every description, tare utterly the creation of a diseased 

Now, I ask, is this so ? Can facts be transmuted into fiction by 
the simple assertion of one man ? And is it a mere creation of a 
diseased imagination that has torn me from my helpless babe and de- 
prived my darling children of a fond mother's tender care ? Is it 
the mere creation of a diseased imagination to find that good conduct, 
not even the best, is any guarantee of protection to a wife and moth- 
er under Illinois laws ? 

Neither Dr. McFarland nor Mr. Packard himself, has ever denied 
one of the facts in the statement I have made ; but as their only 
justification, they claim that I am insane and the only proof of in- 
sanity they have ever brought in support of this opinion is, "her 
views of things," as the Doctor expresses himself, or. my private, 
individual opinions. 

Now I wish to ask the gentlemen of this Assembly, if, for my 
using my right of opinion, or my right of private judgment, the 
public sentiment of this age is going to justify Illinois in keeping 
me a prisoner three years, under the subterfuge of insanity, based 
wholly upon my " views of things ?" 

Just consider, for one moment, the principle. Here my personal 
liberty, for life, hangs suspended wholly on the opinion of this one 
man, whom policy or interest might tempt to say I was insane when 
I was not ; for this law expressly states that the class I represent 
may be imprisoned without evidence of insanity, and without trial ! 

Just make the case your own, gentlemen : would it be easy for 
you to realize that it was a mere creation of your imagination to 
have two men take you by force from your business and family, with- 
out evidence of insanity and without trial, and your kidnappers claim 


as their only justification, that you are insane on some point in your 
religious belief, simply because Dr. McFarland says you are, and 
then lock you up for life, on his single testimony, without proof ? 

Now we, married women and infants, have had our personal liberty, 
for sixteen years, suspended on this one man's opinion ; and possibly he 
may be found to be a fallible man, and capable of corruption, if we 
may be allowed to judge of this great man from the standpoint of 
his own words and actions. 

Now, if the Doctor was required to prove his patients insane, from 
their own conduct, there would be a shadow of justice attached to 
his individual judgment ; but while this law allows him to call them 
insane, and treat them as insane, without evidence of insanity, where 
is the justice of such a decision ? 

You do not hang a person without proof from the accused's own 
actions that he is guilty of the charge which forfeits his life. So the 
personal liberty of married women should not be sacrificed without 
proof that they are insane, from their own conduct. 

When Dr. McFarland has brought forward one proof from my 
own conduct, by one insane act of my own, in support of his posi- 
tion, I will then say he has cause for calling me an insane person ; 
but until that time arrives, I claim he is begging the question en- 
tirely, in calling me an insane person, without one evidence to sus- 
tain his charge. 

Gentlemen, it is not merely for my own self-defence from this 
unpleasant charge, that I lay this, argument before you, but it is that 
you may see, from my standpoint, how exceedingly frail is the thread 
on which our reputation for sanity is suspended, and how very liable 
married women and infants are to be thus falsely imprisoned in Jack- 
sonville Insane Asylum. 

If my testimony might be allowed to add weight to this suspicion 
or presumption, I would state that, to my certain knowledge, there 
were married women there when I left, more than three years since, 
who were not insane then at all, and they are still retained there, as 
hopelessly insane patients, on the simple strength of the above 
ground of evidence ; and it is my womanly sympathy for this class 
of prisoners that has moved me to come, alone, from Massachusetts, 
in the depth of winter, to see if I could not possibly induce this leg- 
islature to compassionate their case : for it is under your laws, gen- 
tlemen, I have suffered, and they are still $unering, and it is to this 
legislature of 1867 that we apply for a legal remedy ; and we confi- 
dently trust you will vindicate the honor of your State in the action 


you take upon this subject. "We trust you will not only have the 
manliness aud moral courage to repeal this unjust law, forthwith, but 
also extend, promptly, a just trial to its wronged and injun-d victims. 

Again, Dr. McFarland writes: " Mr. Packard is suffering from a 
cause which only gather his church and the public about him, in the 
bonds of a generous sympathy." 

I reply to this assertion by stating a few simple fact?. Mr. Pack- 
ard's church and people in Manteno, Illinois withdrew from him their 
confidence and support, while I was incarcerated, instead of gather- 
ing about him, because public sentiment would not tolerate him, as a 
minister, with this stigma upon him ; and it was the fear of lynch law 
which drove him from this State during the court, to seek shelter and 
employment in Massachusetts, his native State. There he suc- 
ceeded in securing a place as stated supply, by ignoring the decision 
of your court, and by misrepresenting the west to be in such a i-emi- 
barbarous state that it was impossible to get a just decision at any 
legal tribunal in this uncivilized region, where, he tells them, " a 
large portion of community were more intent on giving Presbyterian- 
ism a blow, than in investigating the question of Mrs. Packard's 
insanity ! " 

He occupied his new field in Sunderland, Mass., fifteen months, 
when I returned to my father's house in Sunderland, on a visit, and 
the result was, my personal presence, together with the facts in the 
case, upset him, so that neither Sunderland nor any other society in 
New England can be induced to employ him in defiance of enlight- 
ened public sentiment. Indeed, the public sentiment of New Eng- 
land has so blighted and withered his ministerial influence, that the 
remark of a lawyer in Worcester, Mass., made a few months since, 
reflects his true social position there, at present. Said he, " there is 
not a man in New England, neither do I think there is one man in 
the United States, who would dare to stand the open defender of 
Mr. Packard in the course he has taken, and in view of the facts as 
they are now known to exist." 

Now I would like to ask Dr. McFarland, where are to be found 
these " bonds of generous sympathy " to which he refers ? in the 
region of the west, or in the east ? 

Here, where the Doctor's assertion is found to be plainly contra- 
dicted by facts, can his simple assertions be relied upon as infallible 
testimony and infallible authority ? 

Again, another extract, and I am done. 

Dr. McFarland writes, " I have no question but that Mrs. Pack- 


ard's committal here was as justifiable as in the majority of those 
now here." 

Now if this statement of your superintendent is true, viz.: that I 
am a fair specimen of the majority of his patients, then the Doctor 
himself must admit that the majority of inmates there are capable of 
assuming a self-reliant position, and, instead of being supported there 
as State paupers, as I was during my imprisonment of three years, 
ought they not to be liberated, and supporting themselves and their 
families as I am now doing ? 

Mr. Packard has become an object of charity since he cast me 
penniless upon the world, while I have, without charity, not only 
supported myself, but have already become voluntarily responsible 
for his support, and the support and education of my children, from 
the avails of my own hard labor, since my discharge from my prison ; 
while at the same time, he will not allow me to live in the house with 
my dear children, lest my heresies contaminate them ! 

Now, Gentlemen, is it not better that I be thus employed, selling 
my books for their support, rather than be held as your State's pris- 
oner and State's pauper simply because my " views of things" do not 
happen to coincide with your Superintendent's views of things ? 

It is true, and, gentlemen, your Superintendent's own statement 
verifies it, that I am not the only one who has been so unjustly im- 
prisoned there, and in the name and behalf of those now there, I beg 
of this body that you extend to such a fair trial or a discharge. 
Really, the claims of humanity and the honor of your State both 
demand that my case stimulate the Illinois legislature of 1867 to pro- 
vide legal safeguards against false commitments like my own. 

Permit me here to add, that although I have come from Massa- 
chusetts to Illinois at my own expense, without money and without 
price, for the express purpose of bringing these claims of oppressed 
humanity to your notice, I do not demand nor ask for any remunera- 
tion for my false imprisonment in your State institution, nor for any 
personal redress of those legal wrongs which have deprived me of 
my reputation, my home, my property, my children, my liberty ; but 
I do ask that the legal liabilities to such like outrages may be effect- 
ually removed by this legislature, and that the justice of a trial by 
jury may be forthwith extended to those now in that asylum, who 
have been consigned to an indefinite term of imprisonment, without 
any trial. 

Gentlemen of this assembly, in view of the facts now before you, 
please allow me the additional privilege or adding a few suggestions. 


You see it has become a demonstrated fact that I, a minister's wife, 
of Illinois, have been three years imprisoned in your State, by your 
laws, simply because I could not tell a lie that is, I could not be 
false to my own honest convictions ; and since I simply claim the 
right to be an individual instead of a parasite, or an echo of others' 
views, I am branded by your laws as hopelessly insane ! 

Is it not time for you to legislate on this subject, by enacting laws 
which shall make it a crime to treat an Illinois citizen as an insane 
person simply for the utterance of opinions, no matter how absurd 
those opinions may be to others ? Opinions cannot harm the truth, 
nor the individual, especially if they are absurd or insane opinions. 

But for irregularities of conduct, such as my persecutors have been 
guilty of, the law ought to be made to investigate. Imprisonment 
for religious belief ! What is it but treason against the vital princi- 
ple of this American Government, viz. : religious toleration ? 

Would that I could have claimed protection under the banner of 
my country's flag, while a citizen of Illinois. But no ; this unju^ t 
statute law has consigned me to the reign of despotism. And so are 
all my married sisters in Illinois liable to this consignment, so long 
as this barbarous law is in force. 

And O ! the horrors of such a consignment ! Only think of put- 
ting your own delicate, sensitive daughter through the scenes I have 
been put through. Do you think she would have come out unharmed? 
God only knows. But this I do know : that it is one principle of 
ethics, that a person is very apt to become what they are taken to 
be. You may take the sanest person in the world, and tell them 
they are insane, and treat them as your Superintendent treats them 
there it is the most trying ordeal a person can pass through and 
not really become insane. 

And most reverently does Mrs. Packard attribute it to God's grace 
alone, for carrying her safely through this most awful ordeal, un- 
harmed, and I am almost tempted to add God himself could not 
have done this thing without the strictest conformity on my part, to 
His own laws of nature, in connection with a well-balanced organiza- 
tion. As it is, to God's grace alone. I spy it, I am a monument for 
the age a standing miracle, almost, of the power of faith to shield 
one from insanity, by having come out unharmed, through a series 
of trials, such as would crush into a level with the beasts, I may say, 
any one, who did not freely use this antidote. 

Here let me make one practical suggestion. Is that kind of treat- 
ment which causes insanity the best adapted to cure insanity ? 


O . my brothers ! my gallant brothers ! will you not protect U3 
from such liabilities ? Will you not have the manliness to grant to 
us, married women, the legal right to stand just where our own ao 
tions will place us, regardless of our views of things, or our private 
opinions ? that is, may we not have the privilege of being legally pro- 
tected, as you are, in our rights of opinion and conscience, so long 
as our good conduct deserves such protection ? 

"We have an individuality of our own, which is sacred to ourselves ; 
will you not protect our personal liberty, while in the lawful, lady- 
like exercise of it? for personal liberty is a boon of inestimable val- 
ue to ourselves as well as you, and by guarding our liberty against false 
commitment there, you may have fortified the personal liberty of 
some of Illinois' best and sanest class of citizens, whose interests are 
now vitally imperiled by this unjust law. 

Yes, gentlemen, I, their representative, now stand legally exposed 
to be kidnapped again, and hid for life in some lunatic Asylum ; and 
since no laws defend me, this may yet be done. Should public sen- 
timent the only law of self-defence I have endorse the statements 
of this terrible conspiracy against the personal liberty and stainless 
character of an innocent woman, I may yet again be entombed, to 
die a martyr for the Christian principle of the identity of a married 
woman. Three long years of false imprisonment does not satisfy this 
lust for power to oppress the helpless. No ; nothing but a life-long 
entombment can satisfy the selfhood of my only legal protector. 

O ! I do want laws to protect me, and, as an American citizen, I 
not only ask, but I demand that my personal liberty shall depend 
upon the decision of a jury not upon the verdict of public senti- 
ment, or forged certificates, either. 

My gallant brothers, be true to my cause, if false to me. Be true 
to woman ! defend her as your weak, confiding sister, and Heaven 
shall reward you ; for God is on her side, " and he always wins who 
sides with God." 

Fear not ; fear nothing so much as the sin of simply not doing 
your duty. Maintain your death grapple in defence of the heaven- 
born principles of liberty and justice to all human kind, especially to 
woman. Emancipate her ! for above this cross hangs suspended a 
crown, of which even our martyred Lincoln's crown of negro eman- 
cipation, is but a mere type and shadow in brilliancy. And God 
grant that this immortal crown of unfading honor may be the right- 
ful heritage the well-earne/l reward of Illinois' gallant sons, as em- 
bodied in their legislators. 


And all we have to ask for Dr. McFarland is, that you not only 
allow, but require thin great man to stand just where his own actions 
will place him, regardless of his position, or the opinion of his ene- 
mies or his friends. 

Gentlemen, permit me also to say, that when you have once lib- 
erated the sane inmates of that hospital, and effectually fortified the 
rights of the sane citizens of Illinois against false commitments there, 
you will have taken the first progressive step in the right direction, 
in relation to this great humanitarian reform. And here I will say, 
that from what I do know of the practical workings of the internal 
machinery of that institution, as seen from behind the curtain, from 
the standpoint of a patient, and from what I know of the personal 
and private character of Illinois Statesmen, I predict it will not be 
the last. . 

And, notwithstanding the temporary disfigurement of Illinois' proud 
escutcheon by this foul stain of religious persecution, which, I regret 
to say, it now has upon it, may God grant that the present statesmen 
of Illinois may yet so fully vindicate its honor, as that the van of 
this great humanitarian reform may yet be heralded to the world in 
the action of Illinois representatives, as embodied in this legislature 
of 1867. 

I hold myself in readiness, gentlemen, to answer any questions, or 
perform any service in behalf of this cause you may desire of me ; 
and, as an incentive to your acting efficiently in this matter, I will 
state that several legislatures in New England are watching eagerly 
the result of my application to you, this winter, and they have en- 
gaged me to report to them the result. 

I desire, therefore, an opportunity to vindicate your character be- 
before these legislatures, on the basis of your own actions, for, after 
you know of the existence of this barbarous law, and its direct ap- 
plication to me, one of its wronged and injured victims, as you now 
do, I shall no longer be able to plead your ignorance of the existence 
.of such a law, as your vindication from the charge of barbarism, and 
you must know that the intelligence of the whole civilized world 
cannot but call a State barbarous in its legislation, so long as this 
black and cruel law has an existence, even in continuing to hold its 
\victims in its despotic grasp. 

I know, gentlemen, that since 1 865, I can plead that you have 
nominally repealed it, but so long as this law of 'Go is without a 
penalty to enforce it, it is only a half law, or in other words, it is 
merely legislative advice it is not a statute law, and so long as you 


do retain its injured victims in their false imprisonment, you have rot 
rep-uled it. 

Now, gentlemen, much as I would like to gratify the wishes of a 
member of your House, in erasing the recoid of this laAv from my 
bo 3k, o.i th .3 ground of its having been already repealed, I cannot 
conscientiously do it so long as that institution continues to receive 
inmates without a;iy trial by jury, or retains those who have never 
had any such trial. 

No, gentlemen ; this law and its application to .me, cannot be ob- 
literated, for it has already become a page of Illinois' history, which 
must stand to all coming time, as a living witness against the legisla- 
tion of Illinois in the nineteenth century. There is one way, and 
only one, by which you can redeem your State from this foul blct of 
religious persecution which now desecrates your nationality in the es 
timation of the whole civilized world, and that is by such practical 
repentance as this bill demands. This done, I can then, and only 
till then, vindicate the character of Illinois statesmen, on the ground 
of their own ho lorable a j ,:ts. 

In an appendix to this book, you will then find not only Mrs. 
Packard's appeal to Illinois' legislature of 1867, but also the noble 
manly response of its legislators, as echoed by their own honorable 
acts. Bat, should you, for any reason, choose to turn a deaf ear to 
this appeal in defence of your injured citizens, I shall not rest until 
I have made this same appeal to the people of this State, and asked 
from them the justice I am denied from their representatives. And 
should I be denied there, I shall go to work single-handed and alone, 
in liberating this oppressed class, by the habeas corpus act, before I 
shall feel that my skirts are washed from the guilt of hiding these 
public sins against humanity, which I know to have existence in the 
State of Illinois, 

And can you blame me for this manifestation of my heart sympa- 
thy for my imprisoned sisters ? Can a sensitive woman feel a less 
degree of sympathy for her own sex, when she knows, as I do from 
my own bitter experience, the injustice they are daily and hourly now 
receiving in that dismal prison ? 

And ! if you or your darling daughter were in their places, 
would you feel like reproaching me as a fanatic, for thus volunteering 
in your defence ? No ; you would not. But I should reproach my- 
self,, and so must a just God reproach me, should I dare to do le.s ; 
for there is a vow recorded in the archives of high Heaven, that Mrs. 
Packard will do all in her power to do, for the deliverance of these 


victims of injustice, if God will but grant her deliverance. I am de- 
livered ! my vow stands recorded there ! Shall this vow be a witness 
against me, or shall it not ? 

Gentlemen of this Assembly, I shall try to redeem that pledge, 
and so far as you are concerned, my work is now done. Yours re- 
mains to be done. God grant you may dare to do right ! that you 
may have the moral courage to dare to settle this great question, 
just upon its own intrinsic merits, independent of the sanity or the 
insanity of its defender. 

Very respectfully submitted to the General Assembly of Illinois, 

now in Session, by 


SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, February 12th, 1867. 

The result of this appeal was the passage of the "Personal 
Liberty Bill," entitled "An Act for the Protection of Personal 


AN ACT in relation to Insane persons and the Illinois State Hos- 
pital for the Insane. 

SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, 
represented in the General Assembly : That the circuit judges of this 
Satte are hereby vested with power to act under and execute the 
provisions of the act passed on the 12th of February, 18.~j3, entitled 
" An act to amend an act entitled ' an act to establish the Illinois 
State Hospital for the Insane,'" in force March 1st, 1847, in so far 
as those provisions confer power upon judges of county courts ; and 
no trial shall be had of the question of sanity or insanity before any 
judge or court, without the presence or in the absence of the person 
alleged to be insane. And jurors shall be freeholders and heads of 

SEC. 2. Whenever application is made to a circuit or county 
judge, under the provisions of this act and the act to which this is an 
amendment, for proceedings to inquire into and ascertain the insanity 
or sanity of any person alleged to be insane, the judge shall order 
the clerk of the court of which he is judge to issue a writ, requiring 
the person alleged to be insane to be brought before him, at the time 
and place appointed for the hearing of the matter, which writ may be 
directed to the sr eriff or any constable of the county, or the person 
having the custody or charge of the person alleged to be insane, and 
shall be executed and returned, and the person alleged to be insane 
brought before the said judge before any jury is sworn to inquire into 
the truth of the matters alleged in the petition on which said writ 
was issued. 

SEC. 3. Persons with reference to whom proceedings may be 
instituted for the purpose of deciding the question of sanity or insan- 
ity, shall have the right to process for witnesses, and to have wit- 
nesses examined before the jury ; they shall also have the right to 
employ counsel or any friend to appear in their behalf, so that a fair 
trial may be had in the premises ; anl no resident of the State shall 
hereafter be admitted into the hospital for the insane, excfpt upon 
the order of a court or judge, or of the production of a warrant issued 



according to the provisions of the act to which this is an amend- 

SEC. 4. The accounts of said institution shall be so kept and re- 
ported to the general assembly, as to show the kind, quantity and 
cost of any articles purchased for use ; and upon quarterly settle- 
ments with the auditor, a list of the accounts paid shall be filed, and 
also the original vouchers, as now required. 

SEC. 5. All former laws conflicting with the provisions of this act 
are hereby repealed, and this act shall take effect on its passage. 

Approved February 16, 1865. 

Two years practice under this law developed its inability to re- 
move the evils it was designed to remedy. This law, having no 
penalty to enforce it, was found to be violated in many instances, as 
it was ascertained to be a fact that Dr. McFarland was constantly 
receiving patients under the old law of 1851, which this law had 
nominally repealed. Therefore, a petition was sent to the legislature 
of 1867, signed by I. N. Arnold, J. Young Scammon, and thirty-six 
other men of the first legal standing in Chicago, asking for the prac- 
tical repeal of the old law of 1851, by the enforcement of the new 
law of 1865. 

The old law of 1851 is as follows, viz. : " Married women and 
infants who, in the judgment of the medical superintendent, (meaning 
the Superintendent of the Illinois State Hospital for the Insane,) are 
evidently insane or distracted, may be entered or detained in the 
hospital on the request of the husband- of the woman, or the guardian 
of the infant, without the evidence of insanity required in other 

The legislature was led to see that by the practical enforcement 
of this unjust law, the personal liberty of married women and infants 
was still imperiled, and also that the law of 1865 did not relieve the 
wronged and injured victims of this unjust law, now imprisoned at 
Jacksonville Insane Asylum. Therefore, the legislature of 1867 
passed the following " Act for the protection of Personal Liberty." 

AN ACT for the Protection of Personal Liberty. 

SECTION 1- Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, 
represented in the General Assembly: That no superintendent, medi- 
cal director, agent or other person, having the management, super- 
vision or control of the Insane Hospital at Jacksonville, or of any 


hospital or asylum for insane and distracted persons in this State, 
fhull receive, detain or keep in custody at such asylum or hospital 
any person who has not been declared insane or distracted by a ver- 
dict of a jury and the order of a court, as provided by an act of the 
general as-embly of this State, approved February 16, 1865. 

SEO. 2. Any person having charge of, or the management or con-' 
trol of any hospital for the insane, or of any asylum for the insane in 
this State, who shall receive, keep or detain any person in such 
asylum or hospital, against the wishes of such person, without the 
record or proper certificate of the trial required by the said act of 
1865, shall be deemed guilty of a high misdemeanor, and liable to in- 
dictment, and on conviction be fined not more than one thousand 
dollars, nor less than five hundred dollars, or imprisoned not exceed- 
ing one year, nor less than three month 5 *, or both, in the discretion 
of the court before which such conviction is had : provided, that one 
half of such fine shall be paid to the informant, and the balance shall 
go to the benefit of the hospital or asylum in which said person was 

SEC. 3. Any person now confined in any insane hospital or 
asylum, and all persons now confined in the hospital for tne insane 
at Jacksonville, who have not been tried and found insane or dis- 
tracted by the verdict of a jury, as provided in and contemplated by 
said act of the general assembly of 1865, shall be permitted to have 
such trial. All such persons shall be informed by the trustees of 
said hospital or a'ylum, in their discretion, of the provisions of this 
act and of the said>act of 1865, and on their request, such persons 
shall be entitled to such trial within a reasonable time thereafter : 
provided, that such trial may be had in the county where such per- 
son is confined or detained, unless such person, his or her friends, 
shall, within thirty days after any such person may demand a trial 
under the provisions of said act of 1865, provide for the transporta- 
tion of such person to, and demand trial in the county where such 
insane person resided previous to said detention, in which case such 
trial shall take place in said last mentioned county. 

SEC. 4. All persons confined as aforesaid, if not found insane or 
distracted by a trial and the verdict of a jury as above, and in the 
said act of 186") provided, within two months after the passage of 
this act, shall be set at liberty and discharged. 

SEC. 5. It shall be the duty of the State's attorneys for the seve- 
ral counties to prosecute any suit arising under the provisions of 
this act. 


SEC. 6. This act shall be deemed a public act, and take effect and 
be in force from and after its passage. 
Approved March 5th, 1867. 

The public will see that, under the humane provisions of this act, 
all the inmates of 6very insane asylum in the State of Illinois, whe- 
ther public or private, who have been incarcerated without the ver- 
dict of a jury that they are insane, are now entitled to a jury trial, 
and unless this trial is granted them within sixty days from the 5th 
of March, 1867, they are discharged, and can never be incarcerated 
again without the verdict of a jury that they are insane. No person 
can be detained there after sixty days, who has not been declared 
insane by a jury. 

It is thus that the barbarities of the law of 1851 are wiped out by 
this act of legislative justice. Now, all married women and infants 
who have been imprisoned " without evidence of insanity," as this 
unjust law allows, and who are still living victims of this cruel law, 
will now be liberated from their false imprisonment, unless they have 
become insane by the inhumanity of their confinement. And if it is 
found by the testimony that they were sane when they were im- 
prisoned, and that they have become insane by being kept there, is it 
humane to perpetuate the cause of their insanity, under the pretext 
that their cure demands it ? Or, in other words, is that kind of 
treatment which caused their insanity the best adapted to cure their 
insanity ? 

This great question, \ho shall be retained as fit subjects for the 
insane asylum, is now to depend, in all cases, upon the decision of a 
jury ; and each case must be legally investigated, as the law of 1865 



Resolved, the Senate concurring, That a joint committee of three 
from this House and two from the Senate be appointed to visit the 
hospital for the insane, after the adjournment of the legislature, at 
such times as they may deem necessary, with power to send for per- 
sons and papers, and to examine witnesses on oath ; that said com- 
mittee be instructed thoroughly to examine and inquire into the finan- 
cial and sanitary management of said institution ; to ascertain whether 


any of the inmates are improperly detained in the hospital, or un- 
justly placed there, and whether the inmates are humanely and kindly 
treated, and to confer with the trustees of said hospital in regard to 
the speedy correction of any abuses found to exist, and to report to 
the Governor, from time to time, at their discretion. 

And be it further resolved, That said committee be instructed to 
examine the financial and general management of the other State 

Adopted by the House of Kepresentatives, 

F. CORWIN, Speaker. 

Concurred in by the Senate,- 

WM. BROSS, Speaker. 

The following gentlemen compose the committee : Hon. E. Bald- 
win, Farm Ridge, LaSalle county ; Hon. T. B. "Wakeman, Howard, 
McHenry county; Hon. John B. Ricks, Taylorville, Christian 
county, on the part of the House of Representatives. Hon. Allen C. 
Fuller, Belvidere, Boone county ; Hon. A. J. Hunter, Paris, Edgar 
county, on the part of the Senate.