Thursday, September 15, 2011

Domestic Violence & the Whipping Post: James H. Kingsmore, Baltimore - 1926

PHOTO CAPTION: James H. Kingsmore, convicted of wife beating, was publicly whipped in the Baltimore(Md.), jail. Five lashes by Sheriff Potee brought welts to his back.

[“Wife Beater Gets Beating – Maryland Man, Convicted of Wife Abuse, Publicly Lashed In Jail At Baltimore,” Iowa City Press-Citizen (Io.), May 6, 1926, p. 7]


FULL TEXT: Baltimore, April 30— Swish! Swish! Swish’! Swish! Swish! Five times an ugly-looking cat-o’-nine tails was laid with vigor today across the broad back of James H. Kingsmore, in Baltimore’s prison yard. He was paying the penalty for wife-beating.

With every blow, Kingsmore cringed but from his clenched teeth came no sound.

Angry red welts appeared as if by magic in the wake of every swish of the black whip, with its fan-like thongs of cutting rawhide.

It was the first time in four years that Baltimore authorities have resorted to the ancient whipping post as a cure for wife beating. In 1921 Sheriff McNautly had to whip a prisoner. The lash was applied gently and the sheriff wept softly while his arm rose and fell almost imperceptibly.

Today, however, was another” day. Spread-eagled to the whipping post, a black post with a cross-bar Kingsmore took what a small audience of newspaper men and invited witnesses called ‘‘a good one.”

Sheriff John E. Potae wielded the whip, and it was no pink tea, and there were no tears. It was brief, forceful, and extremely business like.

Kingsmore, 38, a brawny ironworker, nearly 6 feet tall and weighing about 180 pounds was brought from a cell in the jail to the small open courtyard where the sinister looking post is located. His head was up and his face was expressionless.

It took, but a moment to manacle his outstretched arms to the end of the T cross bar, and his ankles to the foot of the post. His shirt was stripped down, exposing his bare back. The sheriff stood by with his cat.

“Ready,” spoke the sheriff. No one spoke.


A livid red welt ran across the white skin.

The prison physician stepped forward and examined it. Then he stepped back and nodded.


Another welt chased lightning-like across the clear texture of the skin.

Again the doctor stepped forward and examined it. Again he nodded.


The man was cringing at every  swish. But he would not yell.

Finally it was over. The manacles were removed, and Kingsmore taken back to his cell to continue serving out a jail sentence that runs until May 15.

Not once until the ordeal was over did he speak but as he was being led back to his cell he said:

“A man can’t live down anything like this, unless he has lots of money. As soon as I get out of this, I am going to leave town. The only regret have is over my two little girls. I will never see my wife again.

[“Five Slashes For Wife-Beater - Cat-O’Nine Tails Used to Good Effect on Baltimore Man’s Back.” Syndicated (INS), Apr. 30, 1926, p. 1]


• 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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