Addie Hand

SUMMARY: On February 7, 1871, 20-year-old Addie Hand died in her San Francisco home after an abortion perpetrated by Dr. C. C. O’Donnell.

On February 11, 1871, Dr. C. C. O’Donnell was arrested for murder in the death of 20-year-old mother and homemaker. Addie C. Hand of Clemtina Street, San Francisco. Addie had died at her home on February 7.

“She was buried on a certificate that she had died of a congestive chill. The publicity given to startling rumors concerning her death led to the body being exhumed, when an examination disclosed the fact that an abortion had been preformed.”

An inquest found that she had visited O’Donnell twice before her death. Addie’s friend Jennie West testified that Addie had told her that O’Donnell had made two attempts to perform an abortion on her. Her sister-in-law also said that Addie had named O’Donnell as the abortionist. O’Donnell was arrested. However, there was insufficient evidence to hold him, and O’Donnell was released.

Addie’s husband, Joseph, was left to care for their little daughter, May, who had been born just the previous June.


  • “‘Dr.’ C. C. O’Donnell,” San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 3, 1878
  • “Death By Abortion,” San Francisco Bulletin, Feb. 11, 1871