Chicago: Published by the Author. Chicago: A.B. Case, 1868. First edition, both books as issued, bound together. 8vo; 346pp; and 140pp; + 1p. ads of other titles by Mrs. Packard. Bound: original brown blind and gilt-stamped cloth with title on spine, corners bumped and edges rubbed but still a very good solid copy with the pages clean and bright and the binding sound. A rather scarce title in the 1868 edition, OCLC listing 26 copies, with at least 12 reprints during the author's lifetime. It was reprinted in the 1970's and microfilmed.
Elizabeth Parsons Ware Packard (1816-1897) was a reformer whose confinement in a mental hospital by her husband led to her career as advocate of married women's rights and protective legislation for the insane. Born in Ware, MA, the daughter of a Congregational minister, she received a superior education and was the principal teacher at a girls' school by age 19. There was a family history of mental illness, and Elizabeth was hospitalized at age 20, recovering within two months. Her marriage at age 23 to Theophilus Packard, a Presbyterian clergyman, led to a move to Illinois. After several changes of congregations -- due to Mrs. Packard's openly disputing her husband's theology with the congregations -- her husband had her committed to the state hospital in Jacksonville, Illinois (1860-3), under a law which gave a man commitment power over his wife provided the superintendent agreed. Fearing her husband would re-commit her in Massachusetts in 1864, she obtained a jury trial, with the support of friends and neighbors, and was vindicated as sane. According to NAW, she saw herself as another Harriet Beecher Stowe and started writing, advocating married women's rights, trying to support herself as well. At the same time, she was actively lobbying in state legislatures to change methods for committing the insane. This book was republished in 1871 and reissued in 1873 as MODERN PERSECUTION. Although Mrs. Packard's campaign to require jury trials before commitment was viewed as retrogressive, through her lobbying, Mrs. Packard was responsible for securing the passage of laws in four states, Massachusetts, Illinois, Iowa and Maine dealing with the legal rights of married women and mental patients. NAW III, 1-2. Item #10472