Elopement of a Wife


A Husband Redressing his Wrongs

Some three months ago a man, whose name we refrain from publishing, residing in Kentucky, some five or six miles south of Newport, had occasion to leave home on business, and returning after a fortnight, found his house deserted by his wife; and upon inquiry, learned that she had eloped with a neighbor, a fellow whom the husband had previously suspected of designs to invade his domestic peace.  The abandoned Benedick immediately traveled in the direction he supposed his wife to have taken, and finally found her in Louisville, living with her mother, without her lover, who, learning the husband was in pursuit, had placed himself beyond his reach.  The husband wished his erring spouse to return to her own hearth-stone, which she refused positively to do.  So matters remained until a few days past, when her husband, learning that his wife was once more in Newport, with her lover, determined to seek him out, and made various efforts to do so.  On Saturday morning, had heard that the betrayer of his own and his wife’s honor would cross the river at a certain hour, and so stationing himself near the ferry-boat landing, the husband attacked the fellow as soon as he passed (in company with the eloped Madame,) knocked him down and beat him severely with a bowlder.  Persons standing by were about to intervene, but when the assailant told them the man had ruined his wife, they permitted him to continue the attack.  His appetite for vengeance seemed satisfied when he had reduced the man to a condition of unconsciousness, and he left him bleeding on the ground; no one attempting to arrest him.  The wounded man, though seriously injured, will probably recover.

 The most singular feature of this affair was, that the faithless wife looked on during the attack upon her lover, without manifesting the least emotion; and when the strife was over, took her husband’s arm, and walked away as unconcerned as if nothing had happened.  Women are queer creatures, and sometimes as much of an enigma to men as they are always to themselves.


Reprinted from the New York Times of October 10, 1857.  The Times acknowledge that it had reprinted the item - a common practice of the era - from an issue of the Cincinnati Gazette.