Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Abortionist during the Civil War



Publication: WEEKLY VINCENNES GAZETTE
Date: September 2, 1865


SHARP PRACTICE.—Justices Ryan and Potts held an inquest, Wednesday, on the dead body of a woman named Benedict, a few miles west of this place. The jury lectured a verdict to the effect that the woman came to her death from the effects of medicine administered by Dr. Skinner, of Vincennes, for the purpose of producing an abortion. A warrant was issued for the arrest of the Doctor, which was placed in the hands of an officer, with instructions to capture him as soon as found on this side the Wabash. The officer, learning that Skinner had another patient in this county, called at his house and prevailed upon him to send for the doctor, which he did. The officer now laid low, and the doctor soon made his appearance, and was at once nabbed, and brought to this town yesterday afternoon. He will have a hearing to-day. O, Skinner, Skinner, you old sinner!— Lawrenceville (Ill.) Globe .

We understand this beautiful son of Escalpius* on a hearing of the case, was held to bail in the sum of $1000 to answer at the next term of the Court. If the reports which have been afloat for a long time have any foundation in truth, Dr. Skinner has been engaged for years past in the infamous practice of a professional abortionist. In a moral point of view we can see no difference between the character of a hired assassin, and a professional abortionist, unless it is that the latter is the more infamous. No wonder the Dr. is a Copperhead in politics, and that fact no doubt accounts for the Omission.

( Note:  J King has been researching Lawrence County's connection to Copperhead activity during the Civil war after Rick Kelsheimer's presentation at the last Society meeting.  A full week of his research will be posted on this blog after the holidays, for all of you Civil War readers.)

(* Escalpius is the same as Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine. )