62 pages 2 hours read

Kate Moore

The Woman They Could Not Silence: One Woman, Her Incredible Fight for Freedom, and the Men Who Tried to Make Her Disappear

Nonfiction | Biography | Adult | Published in 2021

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Part 3, Chapters 22-30Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 3: “My Pen Shall Rage”

Part 3, Chapters 22-25 Summary

In April 1862, after one year and 10 months at Jacksonville, Elizabeth, who refused to meet with Theophilus when he came to visit, learned that her husband had assigned all of Elizabeth’s domestic responsibilities to her daughter Libby, who was only 11 years old. Regularly encouraged to promise to amend her behavior in exchange for returning home, Elizabeth found it ironic that she might be considered “sane” if she did so, for in her estimations, returning to an abusive situation “would be an insane act in me.” She also learned that her children still loved her deeply and that Theophilus was having trouble “weaning” them of their attachments to her (168). She was given hope with the news that her friends at home in Manteo continued to plead her case in legal realms and public opinion. With a new appreciation for the extent to which patient correspondence was being censored, Elizabeth organized an “Underground Express,” through which letters from patients were smuggled outside the hospital walls. The more McFarland tried to punish or censor Elizabeth, the more sympathy and support she gleaned from the staff, including McFarland’s wife, who had taken on the role of “asylum” matron and had helped Elizabeth secure many of the personal comforts she had been used to on Seventh Ward, including a private room.

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