Emily Thompson
Abused in 1871

Though it is believed that Mary Ellen Wilson was the first case of child abuse that resulted in the removal of a child from the home, Henry Bergh was involved in a case before Mary Ellen's.  The case was of a young girl named Emily Thompson, in June of 1871 who was in the care of Mary Ann Larkin who beat her almost daily in the back yard and was reported by neighbors. Mary Ann Larkin claimed Emily's parents and grandparents were deceased. Emily was only eight years old at the time of her abuse.

Emily was removed from the home and taken to the courts who agreed that she had been abused after seeing her bruised and battered body.  The court had no choice but to return her to her abuser since there were no living relatives and for some reason, Emily denied being beaten, stating that she wanted to return to live with Mary Ann Larkin.

Though Mary Ann was found guilty, Emily was returned to live with her.  Within that same week, a woman named Violet Bickom showed up on Henry Berg's doorstep.  Violet lived in New Jersey and had read about Mary Ellen's case in the newspaper.  Surprisingly enough, Violet was Emily's "dead" grandmother.

When Emily's parents died, her Grandmother had felt she was to old to raise a child and turned her care over to Mary Ann under the condition that she be raised and treated as one of her own.  Mary Ann took the child in and a short time later told Violet that Emily had died and also told Emily that Violet had died. Emily went to live with her Grandmother after this was discovered.

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