Saturday, December 14, 2019

More on a St. Louis Death from 1878

I checked an online newspaper archive for more details on the January 2, 1878 abortion death of 19-year-old Maggie Gibbons.

A St. Louis grand jury indicted Charles P. Emerich. He owned the laundry where Maggie work and was the father of Maggie's baby. When she told him she was pregnant in December of 1877, Emerich went to Dr. Thomas F. Smith, who provided abortifacient powders which failed to produce the desired effect. It is unclear whether Smith perpetrated the fatal abortion on Maggie or if he just provided the instruments. Smith made the dubious claim that while he had provided Emerich with the instruments, he hadn't know what Emerich planned to use them for. The abortion in question was performed on December 30.

Maggie took sick afterward and was relocated to her mother's house. Dr. W. D. Hinckley was called in to care for her. It was then that Maggie's mother learned about the abortion, though Maggie refused to name the father. Dr. Hinckley called in Dr. J. O'Reilly for a second opinion. Both doctors agreed that she was suffering from a servere case of peritonitis and that there was no hope for her.

Maggie languished, finally dying on January 2 of 1878. Emerich was found guilty of first-degree manslaughter in Maggie's death, and was sentenced to five years in prison.

Since I can't currently edit the Cemetery of Choice, I'm putting the new articles in this post.

Newly added sources:

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