The Queen Versus Howard –Abduction with an OJ Defense?



Unmarried or widowed single women, such as a sister of the father or mother, sometimes lived with the family like The Insane Spinster Ghost of Appleton I wrote about. Often grandparents lived with their son or daughter’s family. Sometimes the only way poor families could fend off starvation was for the children to either work or be sent off to another family. Such is the case of young Margaret Moore. If this had happened today Mr. Howard would not have gotten off lightly.


Photo from Pakenham Ontario Pictures

The Queen Versus Howard –Abduction

Perth Courier, March 29, 1872

The prisoner was indicted for the abduction of Margaret Moore, a girl under 14.  The girl some three or four years ago had been placed by her mother in charge of Mr. Howard’s mother to bring up.  The latter died a short time ago and the girl’s sister, who resides in Pakenham, wished to take her sister with her to the States and the girl was given up by Howard to one James McKeon who proposed sending her to her sister.


Howard afterwards went to McKeon’s and got passes of the girl on the plea that he would take her to her sister’s in Pakenham.  Instead of doing so, however, he took her home and refused to give her up.  The judge thought the girl old enough to decide for herself and she was called to take the stand and asked whether she would go back with Howard or go with her sister.  She decided to go with her sister and they settled the case and the prisoner was discharged.

Howard was let off because of complaints of low water in the Mississippi. At Pakenham the factory had been “shut down,’’ and there were whispers of contaminated water. His representatives said he had drank some bad water and it had affected his mind. Was this an OJ Simpson type defense before its time?


Amazing Photos of Pakenham

Information about Pakenham etc. can be found on Bytown or Bust site ot

Bytown or Bust Facebook page

You can read the Perth Courier at Archives Lanark

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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