Thursday, September 15, 2011

Domestic Violence Against Women Debated in New York City - 1895

FULL TEXT: New York, Feb. 17. – Few propositions of a legislative nature have aroused more interest than the ones for which Commodore Elbridge T. Gerry, New York’s famous yachtsman, humanitarian and society leader, has just become sponsor, and which is nothing more nor less than the establishment of the whipping post in the Empire State. Wife beaters are the malefactors singled out in particular as the target for the statutory fusillade. The State Legislature in March begins a series of hearings accorded by special resolution to the advocates of the measure. There seems to be every prospect of its final passage. Governor Morton is understood to have no objections to the idea of an experiment.

Yet it should not be thought that this whipping post proposition is intended as a local measure simply. The Gerry society has long contemplated an agitation national in scope, the end of which is the extermination of the wife-beater. The stocks and pillory, after long relegation to the domain of obsolete things, promise again to become familiar objects. The Commodore has received unexpected support in this new crusade of his. From every State in the Union have come resolutions by humane societies expressing hearty sympathy with the object of the bill.

In spite of the experience of the little State of  Delaware, which has maintained a whipping post from Colonial days, the country knows nothing of the methods of our ancestors. Whipping in the colonies, according to our chroniclers, was a very familiar mode of penal correction. New England particularly favored it, the less heinous offences against society being visited by the lash with inflexibility rather than severity. The stocks, the pillory and the whipping post were things as commonplace as bread and butter. In Massachusetts whipping was daily practiced, but Commodore Gerry in support of this proposition of his. Whipping was the usual punishment for Quakers in New England without distinction of age or sex, and here again the Commodore makes a variation on the ancient plan, for only men will be placed in his pillory. Men and women were tied to the cat’s tail, in what Howard Pyle calls “those day,” and scourged from town to town. Now they will be scourged in prison. Nor will the new scourging be as drastic as that of former times was. For women were driven through seven settlements in the fin de siècle of the seventeen hundred years, receiving ten lashes at intervals on their bared backs, “though the weather was biting cold and the snow deep.” At one place two bystanders, expressing sympathy for the poor woman, was put into the stock to suppress their ardor. Nay, we read that at Cambridge, Mass., a woman 65 years of age was cast into jail without food and with nothing to lie upon. This was her preparation for the agony of the scourge. A friend brought her some milk, when he was fined and put into the same jail. The old woman was whipped through three towns. It seems she was a mother-in-law.

Now numerous are making to head off the Commodore’s crusade by circulating thrilling accounts of these horrors and by dwelling upon the austerities of the Prudential blue laws. But the numerous advocates of the whipping post are pointing out that all these needless atrocities will be eliminated from the new administration of the punishment. Much importance is attached by the humane societies throughout the country tyo the bill now before the Legislature of the Empire State. For efforts are being made to legalize the pillory in eight other States, and the fate of the Gerry bill will settle that of all the others with similar intent.

“The very point raised against the introduction of the whipping post,” said Commodore Gerry, when he was asked to give his views of the controversy, “is the one we deem most weighty in its favor. It is pointed out that whipping a human being is most inhuman and barbarous. It lends, we are told, to destroy all sentiments of humanity and to brutalize us by familiarity with  this degrading form of suffering. Exactly. Now wives are beaten daily by ruffianly husbands, and we find that no ordinary form of punishment avails to wipe out the evil. Here, then, we have the very condition against which the opponents of the whipping post complain. Clearly, then, it behooves us to end this as speedily as possible. It can be ended only, we think, by giving these malefactors a taste of their own medicine. We deny that the whipping post tends to degrade to brutalize any community. It is dread that the community will deteriorate in altruism as a result of the spectacles afforded by legalized chastisement. These arguments, which are advanced in the best faith and from the highest motives, I am sure, do not regard the brutalizing influence of that illegal beating now on the increase. That is the beating we must put an end to in the principle of fighting for peace when it is necessary.”

[“Whipping Posts In The East. - Commodore Gerry’s Society Is Advocating Them – Views Of  Humanitarians. -  Why They Think The Pillory And The Stocks Are Destined To Become Familiar Objects Throughout The Republic. – The Gerry Bill The Beginning Of A National Crusade. – Condign  Punishment.” (syndicated, Batchelor, Johnson & Batchelor), Salt Lake Tribune (Ut.), Mar. 3, 1895, p. 14]


• You have been told that before the rise of feminism in the 1960s that domestic violence against women was tolerated by society as acceptable behavior and was not taken seriously by police and the courts.

You have been lied to. The people who told you these lies were paid to tell them you. In most cases you paid your own money (taxes and tuition fees) to be lied to.

Here is one of countless pieces of evidence that demonstrate the truth.

• To see more eloquent, vivid evidence proving the lie and giving you the truth, see:

19th Century Intolerance Towards Domestic Violence

Treatment of Domestic Violence Against Women Before 1960this post collects cases classified by the form of punishment or sentencing (whether judicial or through community action)

No, the claim that laws created by males were for the benefit of males is false. Yes, the "Rule of Thumb" myth has been proven to be a marxist-feminist hoax, taking an ancient English common historical notation published in the 18th century and extrapolating it into unsupported claims that 18th and 20th century United States communities, courts and legislatures (laws on the books) were in agreement with the18th century historical notation (Blackstone).


“[O]nly since the 1970s has the criminal justice system begun to treat domestic violence as a serious crime, not as a private family matter.”

From the entry: “Domestic Violence” on

This claim has been proven to be false.


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