A most extraordinary case of bastardy was decided in the City Court, Baltimore, on Saturday last. The mother, who was only sixteen years of age when her illegitimate child was born, swore positively that her unfortunate condition was the result of a rape. She never varied in her story, and there were strong corroborative circumstances. The witnesses called on the part of the defence to prove her a prostitute perjured themselves so palpably that they were afraid to stay in court after delivering their testimony, and the counsel for the defence threw up his client’s case in horror and disgust. The fair character of the girl, whose name is Caroline Zinskey, was established, and the man Fick, against whom the charge of bastardy was preferred, was found guilty.

Immediately after the rendition of the verdict he was arrested on a charge of subornation of perjury.—N.Y. Sun [2]


Source: Richmond Semi-Weekly Examiner 20 October, 1849: 4. Library of Virginia Archives

Joe Essid, UR English Department, prepared this typescript.

[1] Archaic term; a more modern term would be “child born out of wedlock.”

[2] Though not set on the frontier, this piece sheds light on what is written, and not, in Southwestern humor about the courtroom, sexuality, and pregnancy.

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