*Note: I recognize that the sensitive subjects in this post might be difficult for some of my readers. It is perhaps wise to mention here that all of Heber obviously knew that Richard was born to an ostensibly single woman. But she wasn’t shunned or disrespected. In fact, Richard said that all the shops in town closed on the day of her funeral. Elisha was entrusted with civic and religious responsibilities. They both seem to have been upstanding, respected citizens. We need not fret over what may or may not have happened—there are many possible scenarios, ranging from an affair to rape to a secret marriage. It is unlikely that we’ll ever know their motivations; there’s no sense guessing or fretting about an occurrence that’s 145 years old.
For more about Elisha, see http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=30426419