A 1857 Shotgun Wedding in Newport


Seduction and Marriage

A most singular case of seduction and marriage occurred at Newport, Ky., on Thursday night.  It seems that a young man, highly connected in Kentucky, and doing business in this city, seduced a young lady, of about 16 summers, some time ago.  The father of the young lady was not aware of it until within the last week, and, on being acquainted with the painful fact, he tried all the stratagem he could to get the young man into his house.  He finally succeeded on Thursday evening.  While the young man was seated in the front parlor, the young lady’s father dispatched a messenger for a clergyman, at the same time sending him word that he had a good job on hand for his Reverence. 

The divine functionary made no delay, but hastened with all the speed he could to the place of destination.  When he came he was ushered into a dark room without the young man’s knowledge.  When all things were square, the old gentleman walked into the parlor, where the young lovers were conversing together, and presented a pistol at the young man’s heart.  Seeing the deadly weapon aimed at his breast, he fell on his knees and clasped his hands, saying, “For God’s sake don’t shoot me.  I will do anything and everything you may require of me if you will only spare my life.” Those who were looking on at the time said he looked more pious and sanctified than any Methodist preacher they had ever seen. “Well,” shouted the enraged father, “marry my daughter forthwith, or I will shoot you on the spot.”  “Oh, for God’s sake,” cried the young man, “send some person for a clergyman immediately, or I will be a dead man.”  No sooner was the word spoken that out came the clergyman, and in less time than we take in writing this article the two were transubstantiated into one.  We wish them both luck.


From the New York Times, October 9, 1857.  The Times noted that the article was reprinted from the “Cincinnati Inquirer.”