In early October of 1839, Dr. Henry Chauncey brought 21-year-old Eliza Sowers to a Pennsylvania boarding house and gave her an abortifacient that made her ill. Chauncey returned later, performing some sort of procedure upon Eliza with something "which shined and looked like a knitting needle," according to the owner of the boarding house. Eliza died from the ministrations of Dr. Chauncey.