This caricature depicts Elizabeth Tilton who was known as a pious and passionate
woman. In 1872 she confessed to her husband Theodore that
she had an adulterous relationship with famed clergyman
Henry Ward Beecher
Her confession created a highly-publicized scandal and in 1875, her husband
sued Beecher. The jury was unable to reach a verdict. Beecher and her husband
pressured her to recant her story, which she did.
Two years later, Elizabeth Tilton once again confessed to the affair and
she was excommunicated by the church.
"Marguerite" is a reference to Marguerite Gautier, a tragic character in
the play Camille (La Dame aux Camélias) by Alexandre Dumas, fils.
Dumas based the character on Marie Duplessis, a French courtesan and mistress
to a number of wealthy men.