Packard v. Packard (Great American Court Cases)
Legal Citation: 27 FAM LQ 515 (1864)
Reverend Theophilus Packard, Jr.
Elizabeth Parsons Ware Packard
That his wife was insane and that he was therefore entitled to confine her at home.
Chief Lawyer for Plaintiff
No record extant
Chief Defense Lawyers
John W. Orr, Stephen Moore
Circuit Court Judge Charles R. Starr
Date of Decision
18 January 1864
Elizabeth Packard was declared sane and her liberty was restored.
In 1864, Illinois law permitted a man to institutionalize his wife "without the evidence of insanity required in other cases." After her own court-ordered release, Elizabeth Packard campaigned to change the law in Illinois and similar laws in 30 other states. During her lifetime, four states revised their laws.
Near the end of 1863, the Reverend Theophilus Packard locked his wife Elizabeth in the nursery of their home and nailed the windows shut. He had earlier had her committed for three years...
(The entire section is 1510 words.)
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