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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 9, page 83, March 5, 1858

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Identifier: DX03470412

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 9, page 83, March 5, 1858

Description: Regarding Mrs. Patten's unhappiness about her pregnancy.


that she [Mrs. Patten] had hoped, now, to have had some pleasure, time, &c; professing that she should never love her unborn offspring, and wishing to prevent its birth. Indeed she would have effected this if the doctor had not deceived her as to the time of her approaching delivery — so the child’s life was only saved by a trick. All this was spoken of openly among the women, for some months past. There was no repugnance to maternity on the grounds that the little helpless creature’s prospects in life might not be bright ones &mdash all originated in pure selfishness. It would be a trouble, and she would hate it. [Willis] Patten deferred a little to her now of the matter, wasn’t particular any way. Mrs [Catharine] Potter didn’t approve of abortion, but looked upon it not with the amount of horror which it should excite in a woman’s breast, for &mdash my informant told me &mdash there’d been a similar case in her own family. In fact, as I’ve long known, Americans are a nation of abortionists, and think nothing of tampering with the most sacred of relations &mdash maternity. In most cases, where ever I’ve been intimate enough to go behind the scenes in any family in American life, and had a chance to look deep enough I’ve discovered some such damnable affair. Only a week ago [Joseph] Woodward, in answer to my inquiry as to the number of his children, replying that he had but two, declared, also, that he didn’t believe in having more, pulling down and making a slave of a woman &c. I remember Will Waud’s telling how [William] Levison introducing his only daughter Ellen [Levison], said “It don’t follow we couldn’t have more if we chose.” His wife [Mary Levison] was present. Waud said he felt awkward at such an intimation. I believe, though, that Levison did wish for more children. But his wife &mdash&mdash&mdash. Often enough I’ve heard

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1858-03-05

Type(s): Diary

Maker/Creator: Gunn, Thomas Butler, 1826-1903

Subjects: Abortion


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