Mary Maber Height

SUMMARY: Mary Maber, age 20, died in Peekskill, New York on March 7, 1881, after lingering for a year with complications of an abortion perpetrated by her boyfriend, medical student Vincent Height, who married her on her deathbed.

On April 15, 1880, medical student Vincent Height perpetrated an abortion on 20-year-old Mary Maber, who was a servant in the Peekskill, New York boarding house where Height lived. Height was believed to have been the father of Mary’s baby.

The abortion was committed in New York City, but did not have the desired effect, so Height set Mary up in room rented at the home of Mrs. Gaillard in Peekskill on April 20. Height visited with Mary on the 21st, and then returned on the 22nd and spent about 15 minutes alone with her.

The next day, Mary took ill the next day, and continued to worsen over the weekend, taking to her bed on Monday, the 26th.

Height visited Mary daily, bringing a minister to Mary’s room on Thursday to marry the couple at Mary’s bed, where she remained ailing, attended by Height, who had called in Dr. Snowden and Dr. Mason to consult regarding Mary’s care.

Mary languished for nearly a year, finally dying on March 7, 1881.

Height was tried in April of 1881, but the case resulted in a hung jury after 20 hours of deliberation.


  • “Westchester County,” New York Times, April 30, 1881
  • “Court of the Sessions,” Peekskill (NY) Highland Democrat, May 12, 1881