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AN ELEVEN YEAR OLD BRIDE

New York, March 27, 1891. A little Italian girl, her face tear-stained and bruised, was found on Wednesday by Policeman Allen of the Park Department in Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn. She was unable to understand his questioning and he took her to the Bergen Street Police Station. There, through an interpreter, she told her story to agent Coschine of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

She said her name was Francesca Carbone and that she was 11 yours old. She did not know where she lived, but knew that it was outside the city. Her father had been in this country a year, and five months ago he sent to Italy for her. Her mother has been dead for some time. A friend of her father's took her to Brooklyn, where she found him married to Caterina Carrano. He told her he had selected a husband for her, and that she must prepare to marry him at once. When she objected he showed her a pistol and threatened to kill her if she did not do as she was told. She was afraid to refuse, and was married to Giovanni Larriglio. The ceremony was performed by father Pietro Saponara, who was told that she was 20 years old.

Within a very few hours after she had left her father, her husband beat her and abused her. He took a club and beat her so that she could not stand. She made up her mind to run away, but could not muster sufficient courage until Wednesday. On the previous day her husband tied her to a bed post, she said, so as to be sure she would not leave the house during his absence. She had been wandering aimlessly about for some hours when the policeman took care of her.

The girl's appearance corroborated many parts of her story. She did not appear to be more than a well developed child of 14. Her body and legs bore witness to brutal treatment. In the Adams Street Police Court yesterday morning she begged that she be protected from her husband. She tore her wedding ring from her finger and swore that she would never be Larriglio's slave again. Then she threw the ring on the floor and stamped on it. Afterward her fury and her strength expended, she cried bitterly until the interpreter assured her that she should be well cared for, Justice Walsh remanded her to the care of the S.P.C.C., who will endeavor to find her husband and father. If they are found they will be arrested and prosecuted.

Father Saponara is the pastor of the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, North Eight Street and Union Avenue, Williamsburg. He said last night: "I married Francesca Carbone to Giovanni Larriglio on Jan. 25. A man and a woman representing themselves as the parents of the bride assured me in writing that everything was all right. I refused to marry them unless they showed me a certificate proving that a civil marriage had been performed at the New York City Hall. Larriglio showed me such a certificate, but even then I was not satisfied. The girl told me she was 17 years old but she looked so childish that I could hardly believe her. I asked the man what pleasure he could find in marrying a baby, and he said that that was his business, the girl was of age and her parents had given their consent. He added that another man was after the girl. I am always extremely careful whom I marry, as I had a case once where, as in this one, I was informed that the girl was of age. I learned a few days later that she was only 13. In this recent case I was told a few days after the marriage that the girl was a minor. Larriglio is 20 years old. Francesca told me in private conversation that she was willing to marry Larriglio, as she had already gone through a ceremony with him in New York."

Source:

The Sun, March 27, 1891.