Susannah Lattin (1848-1868) died after childbirth at an illegal abortion and adoption clinic in Manhattan run by Henry Dyer Grindle (1826-1902). (b. January 07, 1848, Farmingdale, Nassau County, Long Island, New York, 11735, USA - d. August 27, 1868, 6 Amity Place, New York City, New York, USA)
- Mary E. Lattin (1833-1874) who married Charles Powell
- George Lattin (1835-1909) who married Emily (1833-1908)
- Julietta Lattin (1839-aft1850)
- William H. Lattin (1842-1871) who married Ella T. X
- Phebe Maria Lattin (1845-?)
- Smith Lattin (1849-?)
- Charles G. Lattin (1850-1869)
- Jarvis Andrew Lattin (1853-1941) who married Mary Jane Puckett (1854-1927)
- Deborah Jane Lattin (1858-1861)
Farmingdale to BrooklynEdit
Around 1867 Susannah moved from Farmingdale to Williamsburg, New York in Brooklyn, where she lived with her cousin Andrew Wood.
Susannah became pregnant by George C. Houghton (1845-?); he was a clerk at Whitehouse's boot and shoe store on Fulton Street, Brooklyn. He paid $50 to Dr. J.C. Harrison to perform an abortion, but Susannah did not go through with it. She was still hoping that Houghton would marry her. Houghton then quit his job and moved to Philadelphia to escape the situation. Susannah next went to George H. Powell (1830-?), an older cousin, who worked as a butcher at the Washington Market to help her. He pretended to be her husband and arranged for her, as "Mrs. Smith", to see Dr. Henry D. Grindle, who ran an unauthorized "lying-in" hospital that allowed pregnant woman to have their children and have them illegally adopted. The doctor wanted her to pay $150, but Susannah could only pay $100 and he accepted it.
Delivery, illegal adoption and deathEdit
Susannah checked into the lying-in hospital on August 5, 1868, then a few weeks later she delivered a healthy baby boy who was adopted anonymously without any record kept of the adoptive parents. Around August 18, 1868, Susannah developed a postpartum infection. The medical student who attended to her realized Susannah was in serious condition and was not likely to survive, and he persuaded her to tell him her real name so he could notify her family. The message got to her parents after she had died. She was buried in Powell Cemetery in Farmingdale.
From: 6 Amity Place, Manhattan. To: Mr. Henry Lattin. Dear Sir: You daughter is at No. 6 Amity Place, very sick with typhoid fever, and I do not expect her to live twenty-four hours. She inquires about her mother frequently, and wants her to come immediately. Yours truly, E. Daun. P.S. take the Fulton Street cars at the ferry and they will take you to the house. E. Daun.
Susannah Lattin came to death by metroperitonitis, the result of child-birth at D.H. Grindle's establishment at No. 6 Amity Place on the 27th of August 1868. We further censure Dr. Grindle for the irregular method of operating his business, relative to taking in women to confine, and also the method of adopting children so delivered. We further recommend the Legislature to so enact a law whereby all such establishments shall be under the supervision of the Metropolitan Board of Health, or any other recognized authority. We further condemn the practice of any regular medical college recognizing students connected with any such establishments.
- 1867, November; Susannah gets impregnated by George C. Houghton (1845-?)
- 1868, April; Susannah and George Houghton go to abortionist and pay $50
- 1868, August 6, 1868, Thursday; Susannah Lattin and George H. Powell go to the lying-in hospital and pay $100 of the $150 fee
- 1868, August 7, 1868, Friday; Susannah gives birth
- 1868, August 15, 1868; Dr. John H. Dorn, diagnoses "fever and loose bowels"
- 1868, August 18, 1868; Infection worsens
- 1868, August 27, 1868; Death of Susannah Lattin from infection
- 1868, August 29, 1868; Coroner inquest begins
- George C. Houghton (1845-?) The man who impregnated Susannah and fled to Philadelphia. He was a former clerk at Whitehouse's boot and shoe store on Fulton Street. He paid $50 for an abortion to Dr. J.C. Harrison, but Susannah did not go through with it and was hoping that Houghton would marry her.
- Andrew Wood. Susannah's cousin whom she lived with in Brooklyn
- E. Daun aka Daune. Dr. Grindle's medical student who wrote and signed the note.
- Dr. John H. Dorn. The first to see Susannah when she became septic.
- George H. Powell (1829-1907) Susannah's cousin who helped her find the clinic. He was a butcher at the Washington Market in New York and pretended to be her husband when they went to the adoption clinic. He lived on the corner of Marcy Street in Brooklyn. In 1880 he was working as a poultry salesman in Brooklyn and living with his wife, Jane. George was the brother of Charles Powell who married Mary E. Lattin (1833-1874). Mary Lattin was Susannah's sister.
- Dr. Thomas C. Finnell. The doctor who urged Susannah to contact her family while she was dying.
- Dr. Henry D. Grindle (1826-1902). The doctor that ran the "lying-in" house at 6 Amity Place, but was not there when she died. He later wrote "An important treatise on the pathology and treatment of tuberculosis and pulmonary consumption: Also remarks upon the most effectual treatment of other obstinate chronic diseases" in 1885. He was born on November 19, 1826 and died on September 14, 1902, possibly in Stamford, Connecticut.
- Dr. J.C. Harrison. The doctor Susannah first went to in April of 1868 at 115 Bleeker Street.
- Dr. Rollins. The coroner.
- New York Times, August 29, 1868, page 08; A Mysterious Case. A Missing Daughter Found Dead In a Private Lying-In Hospital. The Case in the Hands of the Coroner. "A rather singular case of death occurred yesterday morning, in the private Lying-in Hospital of Dr. H.D. Grindle, at No. 6 Amity-Place, which is surrounded with considerable mystery and suspicion. It appears that Mr. Henry Lattin, aged about 50 years, and a resident of Farmingdale, L. I., had a daughter named Susannah, aged 21, who formerly resided with Andrew Wood, her cousin, in Williamsburg, where she worked. In the month of April last she left home to visit a brother at Glen Cove, where her father saw her on the 13th of that month. Another sister fell ill and dxcd at tho parem's residence, when Susannah was sent for, and discovered to be missing, as the brother at Glen Cove had not seen her for nearly three weeks, and supposed her to be home with her parents. One of Mr. Lattin's sons also resides in Brooklyn, near Fulton-street, and he received a visit from Susannah in the month of May, about a month where her father saw her on the 13th of that month. Another sister fell ill and died at the parent's residence, when Susannah was sent for, and discovered to be missing, as the brother at Glen Cove had not seen her for nearly three weeks, and supposed her to be home with her parents. One of Mr. Lattin's sons also resides in Brooklyn, near Fulton-street, and he received a visit from Susannah in the month of May, about a month after her disappearance from Glen Cove. His wife procured Susannah's clothing from her mother, expecting that the wayward girl would remain with them for some time. A few days after Susannah received her wardrobe she again disappeared, and was supposed to have come over to New York. No trace could be gained regarding the girl's residence or hiding place until Wednesday last, when Mr. Lattin received by express, in a roundabout way, the following brief and startling letter: Yours truly, E. Daun. From: 6 Amity Place, Manhattan. To: Mr. Henry Lattin. Dear Sir: You daughter is at No. 6 Amity Place, very sick with typhoid fever, and I do not expect her to live twenty-four hours. She inquires about her mother frequently, and wants her to come immediately. Yours truly, E. Daun. P.S. take the Fulton Street cars at the ferry and they will take you to the house. E. Daun. The sorrowing parents at once started for New York and arrived Dr. Gridle's house, only to find that their daughter was dead, and that they would be compelled to wait until a coroner's inquest had been held before they could obtain possession of the remains. ... Notice was ecntto Dr. Jomz Dawn. at his 1-(-S1. dance on Thursday niaht. than the deceased was in a dying and unconscious condition, so neither he or Coroner Rom.ms could obtain her unto-monom statement. - The coroner yesm-day prosoeded to make some Inquiries in the case, the nnllent havmg explrcd before he reached the houso,wln-n ho was in-' formed by Dmm, who it appears la a medical studenfunder Dr. Gnxxnma, that the deceased was which was born alive, and adopted out that same day to an unknown lady, who 1011 no cluo to her residence hnhind her. The mother, Sueauxuz LATtmt, progressed favorably umil some ten or memo days ago, when young Dnm and his ussocimo etudont became alarmed at nppaarance of what seem. ed to them typhmd lever aymptonue, and in the abscnce of Dr. Gnnmz.n,who iaintlpa West, they called in Dr. Dons, who has an in Blwcker'-street, near by. The physician athndod Miss Lnrm unul three days before dcmb, when no _summ0ncd Dr. FINRELL, 03 West Houston-st:-cot. Tue latterat once told the pahent 5110 had banter Inform her reluof her when-abouts and danger, which was done by DAUN in the letter given above. Neither Dr. Dorm npr Dr. Fmmznn appear to have asked depaused any queatlona regardlmz her tummem In the took the necessary steps to hafe her staflcment down by the Coroner. Such are the alleged tacts in Una case, as elicited from all the part1ea' conoerped, any! they only mud to throw additional mystery over the death of the deceased, rufhof than‘cxph_xin it. Aniuques: will be commenced to-day at the Fafuaemb Wan] tion, a Jury having been impanueled. and the Police are oudeavorina to obtain certain wztuesses deemed necesmuy and desirable by the Coroner."
- Brooklyn Eagle, August 29, 1868; "Daughter of a resident of Farmingdale dies under suspicious circumstances. The body found in a lying-in hospital. Last Wednesday Mr. Henry Lattin, a resident of Farmingdale, Long Island received a letter of which the following is a copy: From: 6 Amity Place, Manhattan. To: Mr. Henry Lattin. Dear Sir: You daughter is at No. 6 Amity Place, very sick with typhoid fever, and I do not expect her to live twenty-four hours. She inquires about her mother frequently, and wants her to come immediately. Yours truly, E. Daun. P.S. take the Fulton Street cars at the ferry and they will take you to the house. E. Daun. Mr. and Mrs Lattin started at once for New York ..."
- New York Times, August 30, 1868, page 08; "The Amity Place mystery. Inquest over the remains of Susannah Lattin. How a private lying-in hospital is conducted. Coroner Rollins proceeded yesterday to hold an inquest, at the Mercer Street police station, over the remains of Susannah Lattin, the young woman who died at the private lying-in hospital of Dr. H.D. Grindle, at No. 6 Amity Place, under circumstances of considerable mystery, yet suggestive of malpractice."
- Brooklyn Eagle, August 31, 1868; "The Long Island Mystery. Investigation by coroner Rollins of [New] York, The Father, Mother, and Brother of the Deceased Girl on the Stand. Inside View of the Private Lying-in Hospital by a Medical Student. The [Brooklyn] Eagle of Saturday last contained an account of the death of the daughter of Mr. Lattin, of Farmingdale, Long Island, who died a few days previously at the alleged lying-in asylum of Dr. Grindle, No. 6 Amity Street, New York, under alleged suspicious circumstances. An inquiry into the cause, which resulted in the death of Susannah Lattin, was commenced in New York on Saturday afternoon by Coroner Rollins, when the father, mother and brother of the deceased girl were examined and testified in substance that after the disappearance of Susannah, they learned by letter in the early part of June, that she was keeping out of way in consequence of being in a delicate position, that the landlady of the boarding house in New York, where she was stopping, had threatened to turn her out into the street unless she paid two weeks board then owing. They were unable to say by whom her ruin had been effected, but supposed it had been done by a young man employed in a Brooklyn boot and shoe store, with whom she had been keeping company. His name, her brother thought, was George Hotten, clerk in Whitehouse's shoe store in Fulton Street, Brooklyn. The same person had also stated that his sister had refused to return home on account of the condition in which she was in, and also that the author of her ruin had endeavored to persuade her to take unnatural and illegal means to do away with the proofs of their misconduct. Edward Danne, the medical student who had informed Mr. Lattin of his daughter's whereabouts and the precarious condition of her health, after staying ..."
- Brooklyn Eagle, September 1, 1868; "Long Island Mystery: arrest of a butcher on suspicion of murder. At eight o'clock last night Officer O.H. Smith, of the Forty-fourth Precinct, arrested George H. Powell, a butcher doing business in Washington Market and residing in Marcy, near Myrtle Avenue, who is charged with being an accomplice in the death of Susannah Lattin, of Farmingdale, Long Island, who decease[d] at the alleged private lying-in asylum of Dr. Grindle, No. 6 Amity Street, New York, has already been noticed in the [Brooklyn] Eagle. It is alleged that a few months since Powell hired some furnished rooms on Myrtle Avenue, near Ryerson Street, to which place it is stated he took Miss Lattin and introduced her as his wife. It is also alleged that after living with her there as his wife, he afterwards took her to No. 6 Amity Street for treatment, and introduced her there also as his wife. It will be remembered that Daune, Dr. Grindle's student, who testified at the inquest commenced by Coroner Rollins on Saturday, recognized Powell as the man who had called on the deceased several times before her death, and from whom at her desire, he obtained the necessary instructions for forwarding a letter to her parents, when Dr. Finell of West Houston Street informed her of the precarious state she was placed in. Powell is 38 years of age a butcher by trade, and is married. He was sent last night to the Fifteenth Precinct Station House in New York to await the action of Coroner Rollins, who will resume the investigation relative to the cause of Miss Lattin's death on Thursday next."
- Brooklyn Eagle, September 2, 1868; "Long Island Mystery: another arrest. Yesterday Detective William H. Folk, of the Central Office, in this city, arrested in Philadelphia a young man twenty-three years of age, named George C. Houghton, on a charge of having been in some manner instrumental in taking Susannah Lattin to the alleged lying-in asylum, No. 6 Amity Street. The accused was formerly employed as a clerk in a boot and shoe store in this city, and during the Coroner's investigation last Saturday, the brother of the deceased girl testified that his sister had been keeping company with a young man formerly employed in Whitehouse's boot and shoe store, on Fulton Street. The accused denies his guilt, but was taken to the Fifteenth Precinct station-house, in New York, where he will await the action of Coroner Rollins."
- Brooklyn Eagle, September 4, 1868, page 02; "The Long Island Mystery. Continuation of Coroner's Inquest. The Friends of the Deceased Girl on the Stand. The investigation into the circumstances attending the death of Susannah Lattin, the daughter of a citizen of Farmingdale, Long Island, who died on the 28th ultima at the alleged private lying-in asylum. No. 6 Amity Street, New York, was continued by Coroner Rollins yesterday. George A. Lockwood, a student employed by Dr. Grindle, corroborated the testimony given by Edward Daun, a fellow student, at the last investigation; in his opinion, death was the result of typhoid fever; he denied that the woman went to the asylum for the purpose of procuring an abortion; a return of the births were regularly made to the Board of Health; the children were usually adopted out. William Tate of 560 Myrtle Avenue testified that about the middle of last July a man and a woman lived in apartments over his store, they gave their names as Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and appeared to live together as man and wife. They lived there about three weeks, and on the 28th of August the man went to Mr. Tate and told him thet Mrs. Smith had died the previous day, he did not say where or how. Mr. Tate recognized George Powell, who was present in the room, as the man who gave the name of Smith. ..."
- New York Times, September 4, 1868, page 02; "The Amity Place mystery: Continuation of the inquest by coroner Rollins. Letter of the deceased. Extraordinary developments. Rollins yesterday resumed his investigation into the case of Miss Susannah Lattin, who died on the 28th at Dr. D.H. Grindle's private lying-in hospital, No. 6 Amity-Place."
- Brooklyn Eagle, September 9, 1868, page 3; "The Long Island Mystery. Doctors Harrison and Grindle on the Stand. Conclusion of the Inquest. The Verdict."
- New York Times, September 11, 1868; "The University Medical College. To the Editor of the New-York Times: I have observed with regret your strictures on the University Medical College, in your comments in "Minor Topics" on the Coroner's inquest, head at the house of Dr. Grindle, A graduate of the University. Suspected on being concerned in producing abortions. It is true that H.D. Grindle graduated at the University, but in 1867, ..."
- Susannah Lattin (1848-1868) at Findagrave
- Susannah Lattin (1848-1868) at Wikipedia
- Susannah Lattin (1848-1868) at Wikimedia Commons
- Researched and written by Richard Arthur Norton (1958- )
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