SUMMARY: On May 30, 1876, 25-year-old Mary J. Fuller died in Boston after an abortion perpetrated by Fanny B. Drake.
The day before the 1876 abortion death of Sarah E. Sullivan, authorities learned that 25-year-old Mary A. Fuller had died just the previous Wednesday, May 30, from peritonitis caused by an abortion perpetrated by the same abortionist: Fanny B. Drake, described by the Boston Post as “a doctress of somewhat doubtful repute.” The coroner’s jury concluded that Drake had used a combination of drugs and instruments. Mary had been several months pregnant.
Mary was a milliner at Boston’s South End. “She had been living as the wife of Lysander B. Dunham (or Denham), who has a wife and two children living.”
Dunham, who used the alias George Fuller, took the dead baby and put it in a sink while deciding what to do with it. Deciding to burn it, “He built a hot fire, and, placing the body into the centre of a bundle of wood, cast it into the flames. He then got down and cooly watched the cremation of his offspring.”
“Denham was not, however, the only witness to his horrible work,” said the Chicago Tribune. “Upon being confronted with a charge of burning the body, coolly confessed it. He says that, during the burning, the body did smell somewhat, but not very badly.”
Dunham’s employer was investigated but said that all he knew was that Dunham had asked for a loan of $18, purportedly to redeem a woman’s watch that had been pawned.
- “Depravity at the Hub,” The Chicago Tribune, June 7, 1876
- “Inquest,” Boston Post, June 14, 1876
- “Inquest,” Boston Post, June 10, 1876