Faith on Trial: Mary Baker Eddy, Christian Science and the First Amendment
Wallner, Peter A. Faith on Trial: Mary Baker Eddy, Christian Science and the First Amendment. Concord, NH: Plaidswede Publishing, 2014.
One of the biggest national news items in 1907 was a lawsuit by the relatives (in some cases distant relatives) of one of the most famous women in America, Mary Baker Eddy. This suit, called the ‘Next Friends’ suit, was ostensibly to protect the interests of Eddy (and of course the extensive inheritance that might come their way) by arguing that Eddy was the helpless dupe of her male employees. The suit was eventually won by Eddy after she submitted to an interview with Court-appointed Masters and was deemed competent to control her financial affairs, but that was only after several months and extremely high legal fees. This major history of the suit was written by Peter Wallner, a well-known biographer of president Franklin Pierce and onetime library director of the New Hampshire Historical Society. It is well researched and written and on the whole quite balanced. It draws on new sources from the Historical Society, such as the diary of Concord mayor Charles Corning, and of course the massive holdings of the William E. Chandler papers, who was the attorney representing the family members who sought to declare Eddy incompetent. It is the definitive history of the suit for the foreseeable future.
ISBN-13 (Hardcover): 978-0988917682
Annotations related by category:
- Availability: Library or Purchase
- Controversy: Lawsuits
- Controversy: Next Friends Suit
- Official Christian Science Publication: No
- People: Eddy, Mary Baker
- Publication Date: 2011-2020
- Resource Types: Book
- Subjects: Biographies and Chronologies
- Subjects: Legal and Constitutional Issues
- Subjects: Polemic Literature and Responses