Bluestocking Journal

Real history, through the eyes of a fictional person

Tag: abortion

Wednesday, September 25, 1912

Gordon Pettigrew has been absolved of blame in the case of the death of Edna Vice. Today a coroner’s inquest resulted in a verdict that she died by blood poisoning caused by a criminal operation performed by an unknown person. The statement implicating Pettigrew, signed by Miss Vice on her deathbed, was apparently dictated by the nurse. The poor dying girl may not even have read it.

The New York sculptor Jacob Epstein rushed from London to Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris to rip away a veil covering the Oscar Wilde monument, which he designed. The cemetery director insisted that the monument “violated the sanctity of the dead.” It is a representation of Wilde’s story “De Profundis.” “Its advanced type of art lays it open to the criticism of those of the stereotyped school of monumental art.” I wonder what it looks like?

A healthy baby girl with a transparent back was born in Pennsylvania. “Through the thin skin covering the back the internal organs may be seen.” That is disturbing, but here is something more alarming still: “Alarmed by the increase in the past year of the number of imbeciles in Ohio, President Allen W. Thurman of the state board of administration, declares that if a law of sterilization is not passed within a decade the state will be bankrupted in its care for the weak minded.”


Saturday, September 21, 1912

A dairyman fell asleep in his wagon and was struck by an Oregon street car last night at California and Broad streets. Neighbors arriving on the scene found the wagon quite damaged and the team down, but “Bud” Smith was still snoozing on the seat. He said over and over, “Them ___ ____ fellers run too fast.” Worried that his arm was “busted,” he asked bystanders to “feel that lump.” The “lump” was his elbow. The motorman and conductor of the car stated in their official report that Smith was very much intoxicated.

Gordon Pettigrew, who is charged with implication in the death of Edna Vice as the result of an effort to produce an abortion, was brought up from Albion by Sheriff Davis last night. He only learned this morning that the girl was dead. Pettigrew, an eighteen-year-old member of a well-to-do family in Southern Illinois, would only say, “I’ve only been with that girl three times.” Before her death, Miss Vice confided to relatives that a Champaign physician, to whom Pettigrew had taken her a week ago, had performed a criminal operation on her.

The Bull Moose crowd in Urbana are very excited because Teddy Roosevelt may be here Monday. Roosevelt is to make a trip of three days on a special car through Illinois towns. An itinerary is given in the article.

Eugene V. Debs, the presidential nominee of the Socialist party, invited President Taft to enter into debate, but the president declined.

Friday, September 20, 1912

Seventeen-year-old Edna Vice of Tolono died this morning. The warrant sworn out by her foster father charges that Gordon Pettigrew, a farm hand who wronged the girl, gave her a drug to produce an abortion. The sheriff has gone to make Pettigrew his prisoner.

Dr. Joseph Scheurich of Philo figures three years of paying alimony is plenty and is petitioning the court for custody of his children. Mrs. Scheurich and a Philo man recently were arrested for living together illegally.

The Twin City Equal Suffrage association will hold a very important meeting at the home of Mrs. Milton Parks, 810 West Green street, Urbana, at three o’clock Saturday.

William Humble, who shot at the marshal of Homer, is holding the highway near his home in Newcomb township. “Heavily armed and evidently insane, Humble is stationed in front of the Oak Grove church and threatens to kill anyone who comes in range of his guns.”

A woman in Providence, Rhode Island, held police officers at bay by running into her room and disrobing. She refused to put on any clothing for several hours, until a friend persuaded her to dress. She was charged with the theft of a diamond ring.

In Nicaragua, “a large number of college girls are still at the mercy of the bandit soldiery of the revolution.” The headline is “CO-EDS ARE IN PERIL,” and three companies of American marines are rushing to their aid.