Tuesday, September 06, 2011

More quick takes from LOC newspaper archives

I'm still going through a search of LOC's online newspaper archives. I'm putting snippets and links here, both so that you can follow the process, and because that's an easy way to have everything I need just a click away.

Let's start with a really weird one:

New "Love Cult" Tangle -- The Day Book March 26, 1915

Alliance, O., March 26.--Mysterious rites believed to have been performed at the "Brotherhood Home" of the Kingdom of God, a religious "new love" cult of 12 members, 7 of them women, are under investigation following the death of Amy G. Tanner, 23, a convert, under circumstances that indiate an illegal operation had been performed. "Apostle" P. A. George, leader of the cult, is in jail and other members are under surveillance.

George in his cell declared: "The voice of God speaks to me and tells me I am innocent of the charge. I do not believe in free love, but the laws of men are not the laws of God and every man has a real wife, though she may not the the one the law united him to."
As Bull would say, "Oh-KAY!"

News roundup page from February 26, 1913, notes that a midwife named Carolina Sunberg, and a man named Daniel Ringstrom, were held to the grand jury for the abortion death of Miss Elizabeth Spaulding. As a completely off-topic bit of "Huh?" -- the item immediately above notes that a woman was "arrested for selling imitation lace as real." Oh-KAY!

Here's one for you:

Doctors and Nurses Mixed Up In Race Suicide Deal? (The Day Book, August 25, 1913)

Philadelphia, Pa., Aug. 25.--It is alleged that a conspiracy exists here between three local physicians and two trained nurses to connive at race suicide. Estimates, only partially completed because of insufficient evidence, place the number of babies killed at 1,000.

One of the nurses is said to be a Miss Simmons, and it was asserted that she has made a partial confession. Her arrest followed the finding of the body of Miss Meredith Dukes, daughter of John L. Dukes, a prominent Maryland farmer, in an Arch street house. Investigation showed the girl died after an illegal operation.
This one goes back to the Pittsburgh abortion ring I'll have to dig into later. Here is another one. Ya know, if people had given women women real help, instead of just referring them to an abortion ring, that would have been a significant improvement. Instead, they just legalized the abortion rings. Sigh.

I'm confused about this page, from August 9, 1913. It notes that Dr. Jack J. Moses and Dr. Paul Ackerman, along with Spiros Gianbadakis, were held by the grand jury in connection with the abortion death of Mrs Catherine Madelopodo. I have the victim's name as Catherine Sartelopoulos, with Dr. Moses identified as "Jacques" Moses. I'll have to sort that out. I'm going to guess that one source has the woman's name wrong, rather than think that these three characters were going around killing Greek woman named Catherine by botching their abortions.

This page from April 28, 1914, notes the self-induced abortion death of "Mrs. G. W. Williams." It'd be nice if they treated the woman as if she still had her given name. It just adds insult to injury, the way the papers act as if the woman is no longer Alice or Harriet or Matilda, but is just Mrs. G. W.

Another woman is denied her name in death. According to the August 7, 1913 The Day Book, Mrs Robert S. Lucas died in Chicago, and Dr. A. E. Ludwig was held on $10,000 bond under allegations that he performed a fatal abortion on her. "In a statement purporting to be signed by Mrs. Lucas, and witnessed by Dr. Edward L. Webb and Dr. Irving H. Eddy," Mrs. Lucas named Ludwig as the guilty abortionist. Ludwig said he was the victim of spite, having had trouble with one of the doctors. He said he'd never seen Mrs. Lucas nor been to her home.

Of passing interest -- Dr. Eva Shaver was released on $30,000 bond awaiting trial for the murder of Anna Johnson. (July 1, 1915) More on the Johnson case here. While we're on the topic of Dr. Shaver, this page has an opinion piece, by Dwight McKay, Assistant State's Attorney, about the death of Lillian "Lillie" Gevenco, providing more information than I'd had available:

Lillian Gevenco ... was a young girl ... who had shortly before been married to a young man employed as a peddler or coal teamster. Her husband appeared in court in the clothes which he wears when occupied in earning a living. He testified under oath of the facts and circumstances concerning the death of his wife from an illegal operation.

Lillian Gevenco, before her death, made a dying statement, and in this statement stated the circumstances and cause of her death .... This statement was signed and witnessed upon her deathbed.

Numerous witnesses testified with regard to the condition of the patient prior and up to the time of her death.

[The writer notes that Shaver, "notwithstanding so serious a charge," did not take the stand in her own defense, and add that "the evidence of the young husband was so serious, clear, concise and truthful that numerous lawyers representing the defendant only asked a few questions of him and refused to further cross-examine him." He notes that Shaver was found guilty of manslaughter, carrying a 1 year to life sentence, and castigate a woman who had written an opinion letter sympathetic to Dr. Shaver. ]

Here we have midwife Mrs. K. Marchewazuk being arrested for performing an abortion on Mrs. Bertha Ziemba, who is reported as "dying."

The July 3, 1915 issue notes that an unnamed physician was exonerated in the abortion death of 32-year-old Mrs. Anna Vovy.

This is all just creepy and I'll have to look into it later.

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