Elizabeth Packard had been imprisoned in her home by her husband, who considered her insane because she did not obey him and agree with his philosophy. (See 11/12/10 post). During her sanity trial, her husband sold their home and took their children out of state.
Elizabeth, an assertive and independent woman, wrote several books about her experiences. Modern Persecution or Married Woman’s Liabilities was published in 1873. In this work, she had the satisfaction of venting her anger about the injustices her husband had committed, while striking a blow for women’s helplessness under current laws.
Elizabeth became influential through her books and lectures, and was able to make an independent living. Her lobbying efforts for stricter commitment laws and rights for the insane were largely successful, though they were opposed by the psychiatric community.