Lovelorn

In June of 1902, Anthony Comstock had 11-year-old Charles O’Reilly arrested for writing objectionable letters to his teacher, Miss Jennie Corbett. Comstock characterized the letters as objectionable, written “in vicious tones,” and traced them to O’Reilly by gathering handwriting samples from every student in Miss Corbett’s class. However, another news account noted that there were only two letters, which followed the boy’s frequent gifts of candy and flowers. In one letter, he asked Miss Corbett to accompany him to the theater, and in a second he said he would take his own life if his love was not reciprocated. After the arraignment, Charles O’Reilly was taken into custody and bail was set at $300.

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