Chicago Tribune, November 10, 1867. Interesting thing here is the assertion that wife-beating “seldom attracts the special attention of the public.” As we’ve seen, the newspapers and especially judges were all over this issue and competing to be out in front as hardliners against wife-beaters. So too, as we’ll see, were politicians and clergymen.
Another interesting point: just a few years later, the Trib would alter its editorial line on the appropriate punishment for wife-beaters and start calling for a return of the whipping post. In fact, papers across the nation flogged that theme to death past the turn of the century. A couple of states, Delaware and Maryland, actually did impose impose such penalties as late as the 1950s.