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Elizabeth Parsons Ware Packard - 1860s


Excerpted from "Retail Therapy" - Voiced by Becca Cruger


It was in a Bible-class in Manteno, Illinois that I defended some religious opinions which conflicted with the Creed of the Presbyterian Church in that place, which brought upon me the charge of insanity. It was at the invitation of Deacon Dole, the teacher off that Bible-class, that I consented to become his pupil, and it was at his special request that I brought forward my views to the consideration of the class. I had not the least suspicion of danger or harm arising in any way, either regarded the principle of religious tolerance as the vital principle on which our government was based, and I in my ignorance supposed this right was protected to all American citizens, even to the wives of clergymen. But, alas, my own sad experience has taught me the danger of believing a lie on so vital a question. The result was that I was legally kidnapped and imprisoned three years simply for uttering these opinions under these circumstances.

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