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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 9, page 202 [newspaper clipping], 1858

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Identifier: DX03501299

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 9, page 202 [newspaper clipping], 1858

Description: Newspaper clipping regarding the abduction and rape of a sixteen-year-old girl, Miss. W., by Francis Sexton.


ALLEGED ABDUCTION, SEDUCTION AND ABANDONMENT.—A few days ago charges of abduction, seduction and abandonment were made against one Francis C. Sexton, at the Essex Market Police Court, before Justice Steers, who promptly issued his warrant for the arrest of the accused. The process was placed in the hands of Officer Clark of the Fourteenth Precinct, who a day or two afterward apprehended Sexton and conveyed him to the Court. The prisoner was arraigned before Justice Steers and required to find bail in the sum of $2,000 to answer the complaints, but being unable to obtain a bondsman, he was lodged in the Tombs. An effort was made to keep the matter strictly private, and the Magistrate, for reasons best known to himself, refused to permit the reporters to see the papers.

The particulars of the case are as follows: Sexton some months ago formed the acquaintance of Miss W——— [C. Wood], an interesting girl of 16, who lived with her parents in Pike street, and was very attentive to her. His is about 25 years of age, of prepossessing appearance, lived at No. 548 Broome street, and is married to a beautiful young lady [Cornelia Jewell Sexton]. Recently he returned to New-York in the steam frigate Niagara, on board of which he is said to have been employed. On Tuesday afternoon last, a week ago yesterday, Sexton, while promenading Broadway, met Miss ———, and, after a short walk with her, induced her to accompany him to the Western Hotel in Courtland street, where he told her that he was stopping. They remained at the hotel a short time, when Sexton, as is alleged, induced her to cross the ferry, and, persuading her to enter the cars, they proceeded to Newark, and put up at a public house.

Late in the afternoon Sexton, as is stated, went to Miss W. and told her that the cars and steamboats had stopped running, and that there was no means of their going back to New-York that night. The young lady appeared in great fear, but he repeatedly assured her of his protection, and told her that they could obtain separate rooms at the hotel and remain during the night. Rooms were so engaged, but it is alleged that during the night Sexton arose, and by some means or other, entered the room occupied by Miss W. and succeeded in violating her person.

The following day they returned to the city and put up at the Western Hotel, where they remained two days, he having meantime succeeded in allaying her fears, and inducing her not to return to her parents. On Friday night last, they were both seen at Wallack's Theater, and on the following morning Miss W. insisted upon going home to see her parents, whom she believed would have great fears as to her absence. Sexton finally consented to her going home, and conducting her to within three or four blocks of her residence, obtained from her a diamond ring, cross and chain, bade her adieu, promising to call in the evening and escort her to someplace of amusement.

A painful scene ensued upon the arrival of the young lady and the curtain fell upon her full confession to her parents. Yesterday afternoon Offier Webb served a warrant upon Sexton in prison, the process setting forth that he had abandoned his wife Cornelia A. Sexton. Mrs. Sexton made complaint before Justice Connolly relative to the abandonment, not being aware at the time that her husband was then a prisoner in the same building.

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1858

Type(s): Diary


Subjects: Rape


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