The Trial and Conviction of Charles S. Smith, of Otego,... 1874.
"Criminal Intercourse" in Otego, NY [Trial]. Smith, Charles S., Defendant. The Trial and Conviction of Charles S. Smith, Of Otego, N.Y., Elder of the Presbyterian Church, Superintendent of the Sunday School, And Trustee of the School District, For Bastardy, With Sketch of Lucy Edith Wilson, His Victim, A Girl Eleven Years and Five Months Old, And One of His Sunday School Scholars. Otego, NY: Otego Job Printing Office, 1874. 60 pp. Octavo (9" x 5-3/4"). Stab-stitched pamphlet in printed wrappers, portrait of Charles S. Smith to front wrapper and title page. Light soiling to wrappers, some chipping to extremities with loss to lower right front corner, small tear to back wrapper near spine. Light toning to interior, occasional light foxing, some small folds to corners. $650. * Only edition. Smith, a married Presbyterian elder, was put on trial in December 1873 for repeatedly raping and ultimately impregnating Edith Wilson, an eleven-year-old girl. Although the account is highly sympathetic to the victim, the assault, described as "criminal intercourse," was apparently less at issue than the bastardy. Edith swore an affidavit in November 1873 that she was pregnant by Charles Smith, "without means of support," and "likely to become a charge upon the town." Still pregnant, she testified against Smith in open court, a remarkable act of bravery and self-possession. The scandal rocked the small upstate New York town. Despite gossip that Edith's father had been involved and a certain degree of scapegoating by other witnesses, Smith was convicted of criminal bastardy on the strength of her testimony. Nothing is known about the aftermath of this remarkable trial. OCLC locates 8 copies, 3 in law libraries (Harvard, Social Law, University of Missouri).
Book number 72623