Chicago Tribune, November 5, 1872. Here’s a serious study in paternal depravity. The religious angle is sort of horrifically fascinating: Corkery, a Catholic, seems to have been telling his daughter that it was okay to bear false witness in a secular court. Teach your children well, Mr. Corkery. It gets worse, much worse. “En ceinte” is a misspelling of enceinte–French for pregnant. It was one of the standard circumlocutions for “pregnant” at a time when the condition dared not speak its name in print. Which is a pretty messed-up standard of propriety, given all the other atrocities on display here. “Something must be done” meant an abortion, of course. I guess Charley Cooper was the local guy to see for that service. More typically it would have been a local midwife, but maybe none of them would play ball.
Give Farmer Corkery credit for persistence: he’s evil but not lazy. But take solace in the fact that he must have died in the expectation of going to one of the hotter precincts of Hell. Catholic doctrine didn’t offer any wiggle room to suicides.