Charles Freeman

In 1879, in Pocasset, Massachusetts, the same island where the Davis Family would latter be killed by Jane Toppen, there was the family of Charles Freeman. They, like many in the area were members of the Second Adventism religion.  Freeman, along with Alden Davis, were leaders in their church.  Those not involved in their church found the religion to be be full of fanatics with what they considered to be crazy and wild ideas. 

Adventism was started by a man name William Miller and called themselves Millerites. Miller believed that the second coming of Jesus would occur on October 22, 1844.  When this did not happen it became known as "The Great Disappointment."  Many followers began losing faith in Miller and by 1845 there were basically 4 branches of Adventism.  The Second Adventists were those who still believed in Miller.  Today we know this religion, or a form of it as, The 7th Day Adventists and they are considered be conservative protestant.  

Charles Freeman was considered by my some as a religious fanatic but many who shared his beliefs saw him as one of their most devout leaders.  Charles Freeman would recount that in 1879 he received a revelation that someone in his house must die so that God could bring the person back to life and prove to others that he still existed and worked through people.  Freeman claims that the original revelation did not tell him who that person would be. He was convinced that this was God speaking to him and as a leader of the church it was his duty to make a great sacrifice.  Freeman shared his revelation with his wife and for the next two weeks they prayed on it.  Freeman claims that during this time he prayed that the sacrifice would be him.  However he woke up one night and claims that it became clear who the victim was to be... his five year old daughter Edith. His wife begged him not to do it but he says he truly felt that God had spoken to him and would stop him as in "staying his hand" or raise Edith from the dead within three days.  He got out of his bed, went to Edith's room and plunged a knife into her heart.  He held her until she died and then laid with her for the rest of the night.  

The following day parishioners were brought to the home to see Edith in her bed.  None of the parishioners considered that a crime had been committed and like Charles, believed Edith would be rising soon.  By the time the three days had passed there was already talk about town and attitudes changed when Edith failed to come back to life.  It appeared that at least in some way Charles Freeman had done as much damage to his religion as William Miller had in 1844 with The Great Disappointment.  By the time they decided it was time to bury Edith, Charles had been taken into custody and when fellow church leader Alden Davis spoke at her funeral he was chastised and yelled at by those around.

Charles Freeman was found guilty of the crime but was remanded to the State Lunatic Hospital in Danvers Massachusetts.  

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