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Martha Curnutt

Also Known As: "Martha Casto", "Martha Mary"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Tennessee, United States
Death: April 04, 1887 (71-79)
Crawford County, Missouri, United States
Place of Burial: Leasburg, Crawford County, Missouri, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of John William Curnutt and Hetty Curnutt
Wife of Noah B. Casto
Partner of Unk partner
Mother of Mary Martha Nixon; Noah S. Carnutt and Sarah Curnutt
Sister of David D. Curnutt; John M Curnutt; Jane Farmer; George M Curnutt; Sarah Curnutt and 2 others

Managed by: Geoffrey David Trowbridge
Last Updated:

About Martha Curnutt

Date of marriage to Noah Casto has also been (erroneously?) reported to be August 15, 1839.

Martha was imprisoned in the Missouri State Penitentiary for killing her husband Noah Casto. (He had threatened to kill her on the day that she killed him; presumably she did so in fear of her life.)

From "Limestone Legacy" by Elliot Knernschield (2011):

"The next woman who came to the Missouri State Penitentiary was Martha Casto. Because there was no place to keep female inmates, Martha served her time with two families who were leasing the prison. This did not work and Martha, who had become pregnant, was forced to live within the prison. She was placed in solitary confinement to keep her away from the men in the prison. After her baby was born, she and her baby were freed on December 6, 1844. Governor John Edwards was worried that her baby would freeze and suffer during the cold winter weather."

George Thompson, a fellow inmate at the penitentiary, wrote the book Prison Life and Reflections; or, a Narrative of the Arrest, Trial, Conviction, Imprisonment, Treatment, Observations, Reflections, and Deliverance of Work, Burr, and Thompson, Who Suffered an Unjust and Cruel Imprisonment in Missouri Penitentiary, for Attempting to Aid Some Slaves to Liberty (see links below); he mentioned Martha in that book.

Numerous prominent Missourans (including former Missouri Governor Lilburn Boggs) petitioned for her early pardon; Missouri Governor John Cummins Edwards granted her pardon (late 1844 or early 1845).

Prison Life and Reflections; or, a Narrative of the Arrest, Trial, Conviction, Imprisonment, Treatment, Observations, Reflections, and Deliverance of Work, Burr, and Thompson, Who Suffered an Unjust and Cruel Imprisonment in Missouri Penitentiary, for Attempting to Aid Some Slaves to Liberty

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Martha Curnutt's Timeline

1812
1812
Tennessee, United States
1835
May 7, 1835
Age 23
MO, United States
1843
1843
Age 31
Barry County, Missouri, United States
1844
November 1844
Age 32
Jefferson City, Cole, Missouri, United States