The Second District Court house (and jail) in 1892 Fall River where Lizzie’s Inquest was held.
There have been many renditions of Miss Borden's Inquest Testimony, mostly taken from already digitized copies previously posted on the Internet. But long time friend and Borden scholar, Eric Stedman, was one of the first to type it in WORD from source documents. He, along with myself and now deceased Harry Widdoes, were among the very first to do so. (I've also transcribed into WORD the entire Trial and Preliminary Hearing, which Mr. Widdoes later also endeavored).
What I like about Mr. Stedman's version is his red print annotations embedded in the document itself. This is a good introductory version for people just getting serious about learning of the infamous unsolved murders and need a little explanation along the way.
This one begins in early 1892 through the end of the day of August 5th, the day after the murders, in 1892. The “Key” to the sources remain the same as in the previous post.
January 21, 1892 Andrew Borden, Vernon Wade, and Andrew Jennings witness Southard Miller signing his Will. (LR24) February 12, 1892 Former President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday is declared a national holiday in the United States.
April, 1892 Borden barn is broken into. April 25, 1892 Bertha Borden is born. Daughter of Jerome C. Borden. April, 1892 Lizzie tells dressmaker Hannah Gifford that Abby is a “mean old thing”. May 4, 1892 Picker room fire in the Durfee Mill. May 9, 1892 Painter John W. Grouard delivers paint to Borden house; AJB tells painter to wait for Lizzie’s approval. Lizzie goes to Grouard’s house to say color is not right. (TT1249) May 10, 1892 Lizzie inspects paint in tubs in barn and gives approval to painter Grouard; Lizzie selects “drab” color. (LR32) & (TT1350) May/June 1892 Andrew kills pigeons roosting in the barn. Morse visits end of June. June 30, 1892 Morse spends one day at Bordens; takes Butcher Davis’ daughter & Emma for a ride. (CI 96) July 10, 1892 Morse again visits Bordens. AJB asks Morse if he knows of man to run Swansea farm. (CI 96) July 11, 1892 Union laborers in Fall River celebrate new 58-hour workweek with giant parade. July 18, 1892 Emma and Lizzie deed back house on Ferry Street to Andrew and receive $2,500 each. (LR556) July 19, 1892 Lizzie’s 32nd Birthday. July 20, 1892 Grover Cleveland passes thru FR enroute to NYC for Democratic Convention. (VVII-326) July 20, 1892 Lizzie supposedly sees a stranger at the back door when she returns from being out that evening. July 21, 1892 Lizzie & Emma leave Fall River; Lizzie stops at New Bedford to visit Carrie Poole & her mother; Emma stopping at Fairhaven to visit the Brownell’s. July 21, 1892 Lizzie travels on to New Bedford, staying with Mrs. Poole and her daughter at 20 Madison Street. July 23, 1892 Lizzie went on street alone (New Bedford) to buy some dress goods (gone from rooming house 30 minutes). (WS31) July 25, 1892 AJB writes letter to Morse telling him to wait about getting a man to run his farm. (CI98) July 25, 1892 Lizzie visits the girls at Marion at Dr. Handy’s cottage. July 25, 1892 FR Daily News reports on ladies in vacationing in Marion. (LR62) July 26, 1892 Lizzie, Mrs. Poole & Mrs. Poole’s daughter ride to Westport to visit Mrs. Cyrus Tripp (Augusta, old schoolmate). July 26, 1892 Lizzie takes train from Westport to New Bedford to connect with Fall River. July 30, 1892 Fall River Board of Health reports 90 deaths due to extreme heat, 65 are children under age 5. (VVII-331) July 31, 1892 Bridget prepares first serving of the infamous mutton for Sunday supper. August 2, 1892 Andrews tells associate there is “trouble” in the Borden household. August 2, 1892 Swordfish is served for supper and served again warmed over for dinner. August 2, 1892 Andrew and Abby vomit during the night. August 3, 1892 THE DAY BEFORE THE MURDERS 8:00 am Abby goes across street to Dr. Bowen; tells him she fears she’s been poisoned. 9:00 am approx Dr. Bowen crosses street to check on the Bordens; Lizzie dashes upstairs; Andrew rebuffs his unsolicited visit. 10:00-11:30 am Lizzie attempts to buy prussic acid from Eli Bence at Smith’s pharmacy on Columbia Street. (PH310) 12:00 Noon Lizzie joins Andrew and Abby for the noontime meal in the dining room. 12:35 am Uncle John Vinnicum Morse leaves by train from New Bedford. (CI98) 1:30 pm John Morse walks from train station & arrives at Borden house; Abby lets him in front door. 2:00-4:00 pm Morse and Andrew talk in sitting room; Lizzie hears conversation. (TT141) 4:00 pm John Morse hires horse and wagon at Kirby’s Stable and drives to Swansea in late afternoon. (CI 99) 7:00 pm Lizzie visits Alice Russell in the early evening, states her fear “something will happen”. 7:00-8:00 pm John Morse visits Frederick Eddy at Borden farm in Swansea, brings back eggs. (WS36-37) 8:45 pm Morse returns from Swansea, talks in sitting room with Andrew and Abby. (CI99) 9:00 pm Lizzie returns from Alice Russell’s, locks front door, and goes upstairs to her room without speaking to father or uncle. 9:15 pm Abby Borden retires to bed. 10:00 pm Andrew and Morse retire to bed. August 4, 1892 THE DAY OF THE MURDERS (Note: Times given are based on various testimonies taken primarily from the Preliminary Hearing held August 25-September 1st, 1892, and are approximated as close as possible). 6:15 am Bridget goes downstairs, gets coal and wood in cellar to start fire in kitchen stove, and takes in milk. 6:20 am Morse goes downstairs to stting rm. 6:30 am Abby comes downstairs, gives orders for breakfast to Bridget 6:40-6:50 am Andrew goes downstairs, empties slops, picks up pears, and goes to barn. 6:45 am Bridget opens side (back) door for the ice man. 7:00 am Bordens and Morse have breakfast in dining room. (Lizzie is still upstairs). 7:15 am Bridget sees Morse for first time at breakfast table. 7:30 am Bridget eats her breakfast, and then clears dishes. 7:45-8:45 Morse and Andrew talk in sitting room; Abby sits with them a short while before beginning to dust. 8:30 am Morse sees Abby go into the front hall. 8:45 am Andrew lets Morse out side door, invites him back for dinner. 8:45-9:00 am Morse leaves for Post Office and then to visit a niece and nephew at Daniel Emery’s, #4 Weybosset Street. (CI101) 8:45-9:00 am Andrew goes back upstairs and returns wearing collar and tie, goes to sitting room. 8:45-9:00 am Abby tells Bridget to wash windows, inside and out. 8:45-8:50 am Lizzie comes down and enters kitchen. 8:45-9:00 am Bridget goes outside to vomit. 8:45-9:00 am Andrew leaves the house. 8:45-9:00 am Bridget returns, does not see Lizzie, sees Abby dusting in dining room, does not see Andrew. 9:00 am Abby goes up to guest room. 9:00-9:30 am Bridget cleans away breakfast dishes in kitchen. 9:00-9:30 am Bridget gets brush from cellar for washing windows 9:00-9:30 am Lizzie appears at back door as Bridget goes towards barn; Bridget tells Lizzie she need not lock door. 9:30 am Abraham G. Hart, Treasurer of Union Savings Bank, talks to Andrew at Bank. 9:15-9:45 am Morse arrives at #4 Weybosset Street to visit his niece and nephew. (WS29) 9:30-10:05 Andrew visits banks. 9:45 am John P. Burrill, Cashier, talks to Andrew at National Union Bank. 9:50-10:00 am AJB deposits Troy Mill check with Everett Cook at First Nat’l Bank; talks with William Carr. (WS29) 9:30-10:20 am Bridget washes outside windows, stops to talk to “Kelly girl” at south side fence. 9:30-10:00 am Abby Borden dies from blows to the head with a sharp instrument. 10:00-10:30 am Mrs. Churchill sees Bridget outside washing NE windows. (CI126) 10:20 am Bridget re-enters house from side door, commences to wash inside windows. 10:29 am Jonathan Clegg (fixed time by City Hall clock) stated Andrew left his shop heading home. (TT173) 10:15-10:30 am Andrew stops to talk to Jonathan Clegg, picks up old lock; Southard Miller (at Whitehead’s Market) sees AJB turn onto Spring St; Mary Gallagher sees AJB at corner of South Main & Spring; Lizzie Gray sees AJB turning north on Second Street. (WS10, 43) 10:30-10:40 am Joseph Shortsleeves sees Andrew. (PH230&WS10) 10:40 am James Mather sees Andrew leave shop (PH231) 10:30-10:40 am Mrs. Kelly observes Andrew going to his front door. (PH209) 10:30-10:40 am Andrew Borden can’t get in side door, fumbles with key at front door, and let in by Bridget. 10:30-10:40 am Bridget hears Lizzie laugh on the stairs as she says “pshaw” fumbling with inside triple locks. 10:35-10:45 am Bridget sees Lizzie go into dining room and speak “low” to her father. 10:45 am Mark Chase, residing over Wade’s store, sees man on Borden fence taking pears. (WS45) 10:45-10:55 am Lizzie puts ironing board on dining room table as Bridget finishes last window in the dining room 10:45-10:55 am Lizzie asks Bridget in kitchen if she’s going out, tells her of note to Abby & sale at Sargeant’s. 10:50-10:55 Mark Chase observes man with open buggy parked just beyond tree in front of Borden house. August 4, 1892 10:55 am Bridget goes upstairs to her room to lie down. (CIp24) 10:55–10:58 am Bridget goes up to her room; lies down on her bed. (WS3) 10:55-11:00 am Andrew Borden dies from blows to the head with a sharp instrument. 11:00 am Bridget hears City Hall clock chime 11:00. 11:05-11:10 am Hyman Lubinsky drives his cart past the Borden house. (TT1423) 11:05-11:10 William Sullivan, clerk at Hudner’s Market notes Mrs. Churchill leaving the store. (WS10) 11:10 am APPROX. Lizzie hollers to Bridget to come down, “Someone has killed father”. (TT244) 11:10-11:12 am Lizzie sends Bridget to get Dr. Bowen. (TT245) 11:10-11:13 am Bridget rushes back across the street from Bowen’s, tells Lizzie he’s not at home. (TT245) 11:10-11:13 am Lizzie asks Bridget if she knows where Alice Russell lives and tells her to go get her. (TT245) 11:10-11:13 am Bridget grabs her hat & shawl from kitchen entry way and rushes to Alice Russell’s. (TT245) 11:10-11:13 am Mrs. Churchill observes Bridget crossing street, notices a distressed Lizzie and calls out to Lizzie who tells her “someone has murdered father.” (PH281-282) 11:13 am Mrs. John Gormely says Mrs. Churchill runs through her yelling “Mr. Borden is murdered!” (WS9) 11:10-11:14 am Mrs. Churchill goes to side door, speaks briefly to Lizzie, and then crosses street looking for a doctor. (PH283) 11:12-11:14 am John Cunningham sees Mrs. Churchill talking to others then uses phone at Gorman’s paint shop to call Police. 11:15 am Marshal Hilliard receives call from news dealer Cunningham about disturbance at Borden house. 11:15 am Marshal Hilliard orders Officer Allen to go to Borden house. (Allen notes exact time on office wall clock). 11:16 – 11:20 am Mrs. Churchill returns from giving the alarm. (PH284) 11:16 – 11:20 am Dr. Bowen pulls up in his carriage, met by his wife, rushes over to Borden’s. (PH 273) 11:16-11:20 am John Cunningham checks outside cellar door in Borden back yard, finds it locked. 11:18-11:20 am Dr. Bowen sees Andrew, asks for sheet; alone with Lizzie for approx. one minute. 11:20 am Officer Allen arrives at Bordens, met at door by Dr. Bowen. Sees Lizzie sitting alone at kitchen table. 11:20–11:21 am Allen sees Andrews’s body at same time Alice Russell and Mrs. Churchill come in. (Where was Bridget?) 11:20-11:22 am Allen checks front door and notes it bolted from inside, checks closets in dining room and kitchen. 11:20 am Morse departs Daniel Emery’s on Weybosset Street, takes a streetcar back to the Borden’s. 11-22-11:23 am Officer Allen leaves house to return to station, Bowen goes out with him. Allen has Sawyer guard back door. 11:23-11:33 am Dr. Bowen returns home, checks rail timetable, goes to telegram Emma, and stops at Baker’s Drug store. Telegram is time stamped at 11:32. (PH274) 11:25 am Off. Patrick Doherty, at Bedford & Second, notes City Hall clock time enroute to Station. (T589) 11:23-11:30 am Lizzie asks to check for Mrs. Borden; Bridget & Mrs. Churchill go upstairs, discover body. (PH29-30) 11:32 am Officers Doherty & Wixon leaves police station for Borden house. Reporter Manning on rear steps, Sawyer inside at screen door. (Bridget in s/e corner near sink) (PH329) 11:34 am Bridget fetches Doctor Bowen’s wife, Phoebe. (T250) 11:35 George Petty, former resident of 92 Second Street, enters the Borden house with Dr. Bowen. (WS21) 11:40 am Bowen returns to Borden house. Churchill tells him they’ve discovered Abby upstairs. (TT322) 11:35-11:40 am Officer Patrick Doherty & Deputy Sheriff Wixon arrive at house; see Manning sitting on steps, met at back door by Dr. Bowen, who lets them in. (T447) 11:35-11:40 am Francis Wixon and Dr. Bowen check Andrew’s pockets and remove watch. 11:35-11:40 Officer Doherty questions Lizzie who tells him she heard a “scraping” noise. 11:35-11:40 am Officer Doherty views Abby’s body with Dr. Bowen pulls bed out to view her better. (PH330) 11:35-11:45 am Morse arrives at Borden house, first going to back yard. 11:37 am Officer Mullaly arrives. 11:39-11:40 am Officer Medley arrives at 92 Second Street. (TT686) 11:44 am Doherty runs to Undertaker Gorman’s shop around corner and phones Marshal Hilliard. (PH331) 11:45 Dr. Bowen shows Doherty Andrew, then Abby. Pulls bed out 3 feet. (PH330) 11:45 am Doherty returns; Officers Mullaly. Allen, Denny, and Medley arrive. 11:45 am Dr. Dolan arrives, sees bodies. 11:45 am Morse talks to Sawyer at side door, later testifies he heard of murders from Bridget. 11:45-11:50 am Morse sees Andrew’s body, then goes upstairs and sees Abby’s body. 11:50 am Morse speaks to Lizzie as she lays on lounge in dining room. 11:50 am-Noon Asst. Marshal Fleet arrives; sees bodies; talks to Lizzie in her room w/Rev. Buck, says “…she’s not my mother, she’s my stepmother” (PH354) 11:50 am Morse goes out to back yard and stays outside most of the afternoon. 11:50 am –Noon Deputy Sheriff Wixon climbs back fence and talks to workmen sawing wood in Chagnon yard. (TT452) 11:50-Noon Doherty, Fleet and Medley accompany Bridget to cellar where she shows them hatchet in box on shelf. (WS6) 12:15-12:20 am Officer Harrington arrives at the Borden house. 12:25 am Officer Harrington interviews Lizzie in her bedroom (she wears pink wrapper). 12:45 am Marshal Hillliard & Officers Doherty & Connors drive carriage to Andrew’s upper farm in Swansea. 2:00 pm Dr. Dedrick arrives at Borden house. 3:00-4:00 pm Crime scene photographs are taken of Andrew & Abby. (PH160) 3:40 pm Emma leaves on New Bedford train for Weir Junction to return to Fall River. (CI107) 4:30 pm Stomachs of Andrew and Abby removed and sealed. 5:00 pm Emma arrives in Fall River. (TT1550) 5:00-5:30 pm State Detective George F. Seaver arrives from Taunton. (PH453) 5:30 pm Dr. Dolan “delivers” bodies of Andrew and Abby to Undertaker James Winward. (PH388) 5:35 pm Winward & assistant remove sofa from house and store it in a room at his building. (BG8-5-92) 6:00 pm Alice leaves 92 Second St. to return home for supper. (CI149) August 4, 8:30 pm Mrs. Charles Holmes leaves the Borden girls and returns to her home on Pine. 8:45 pm Officer Joseph Hyde, observing from a northwest outside window, sees Lizzie & Alice go down cellar. 9:00 pm Officer Hyde observes Lizzie in basement alone. August 5, 1892 6:00 am Off. FL Edson arrives at Borden house, sees Morse in kitchen; goes with Harrington to cellar and retrieves 2 axes and 1 hatchet, and returns to Police Station 6:30 am Morse comes to side door and speaks to officer on duty. (WS9) 8:30 am Morse leaves house and crosses street to Southard Miller’s house to get Bridget. (WS9) 8:30 am Morse goes to Post Office and sends letter “in haste” to Wm. A. Davis in South Dartmouth. 8:30 am Morse wants to hire someone to bury bloodstained clothes. (ES8/6) 9:00-9:30 am Winward at the Borden house, bodies in caskets; notified not to bury them. (Did AJB have on clean Prince Albert?) (PH388) August 5, 1892 State Detective Seaver and Marshal Hilliard question Lizzie at her home. August 5, 1892 Evening Standard reports Emma & Lizzie notify newspapers of $5,000 reward for capture of assassin. August 5, 1892 Clothing from Andrew & Abby taken from washtub in cellar and buried in yard behind barn. August 5, 1892 John Morse goes to Post Office followed by a large crowd.
HISTORIC TIMELINE LIZZIE BORDEN – FALL RIVER, MA 1612 – 2005
1998-2005 Faye Musselman – All Rights Reserved
Inclusive dates of the Superior Court Trial – held in New Bedford
June 5, 1893-June 20, 1893 THE TRIAL OF LIZZIE BORDEN
June 5, 1893 Monday 1st Day: Court convened at 11:28 am. 111 were questioned before the 12 were selected. Charles I. Richards selected as jury foreman.
June 6, 1893Tuesday 2nd Day: Indictment is read; William Moody opens for the Prosecution. Lizzie faints and is revived.
June 6, 1893Tuesday Civil Engr. Thomas Kieran called, gives measurements, testifies man could have hid in front entry closet.
June 6, 1893Tuesday Jurors travel to Fall River; visit Kelly’s house, Wade’s store, Crowe’s stone yard, Chagnon’s house, Kirby’s yard, Alice Russell’s house, Gorman’s store, Clegg’s store and banks. Tour finished at 4:00 pm.
June 6, 1893Tuesday Jurors taken to Mellen House, Franklin & North Main Street where they spend the night.
June 7, 1893 Wednesday 3rd Day: James A. Walsh, photographer testifies as to the accuracy of the pictures he had made of the victims and the house on the day of the killing.
June 7, 1893 Wednesday John Vinnicum Morse examination conducted by Moody, not different from that as the preliminary hearing. Lizzie smiled as her uncle tried to calculate her age and shook her head vigorously when he came out as 33.
June 7, 1893 Wednesday Abram G. Hart, treasurer of Union Savings Bank, testifies as to Borden’s movements on morning of the 8/4.
June 9, 1893Friday John Minnehan, patrolman assigned to follow John Morse on August 5, 1892, dies at age 48 in Fall River.
June 12, 1893 Monday Lizzie’s Inquest Testimony ruled inadmissible.
June 13, 1893Tuesday AG Pillsbury arrives by train from Boston, consults with Knowlton & Moody & returns same evening. (ES)
June 13, 1893Tuesday Skulls of Andrew and Abby are presented in court, Lizzie leaves the courtroom.
June 14, 1893 Wednesday John T. Burrill, cashier of the Union National Bank, Everett M. Cook, cashier of the First National Bank, Jonathan Clegg, a hat dealer, Joseph Shortsleeves, a carpenter, and John Maher, a carpenter
June 14, 1893 Tuesday Judges ruling excludes Eli Bence’s prussic acid testimony .
June 14, 1893 At Knowlton’s request during Dr. Draper’s testimony, Dr. Dolan brings in the skulls of Andrew & Abby. Lizzie is allowed to retire from the courtroom. (TT1046)
June 14, 1893 Wednesday 9th Day: C. C. Potter’s son (Freddy) finds hatchet w/gilt on roof of Crowe’s barn. Carpenter Carl McDonnel claims it is his hatchet; prussic acid testimony (Eli Bence) ruled inadmissible.
June 15, 1893 FR Evening News reports hatchet found on roof of John Crowe’s barn. ( FREN18)
June 15, 1893 Wednesday Opening statements by Defense are given by Andrew Jennings.
June 15, 1893 Wednesday Opening statements by Andrew Jennings.
June 16, 1893 Wednesday Emma Borden testifies.
June 16, 1893 Governor Robinson reads from Bridget’s Inquest Testimony (a missing document) (TT)
June 19, 1893 Wednesday Governor Robinson gives closing arguments; Knowlton begins his closing.
June 16, 1893 Wednesday Emma Borden testifies.
June 20, 1893 Tuesday 13th Day:
3:24 pm The Jury retires to deliberate.
4:32 pm The Jury returns. Lizzie Borden pronounced “Not Guilty” at 4:35 pm. (TT1928) )
June 20, 1893
8:15 pm Lizzie & Emma arrive by coach w/Mrs. Holmes at 67 Pine St. in FR; small reception follows. Lizzie spends night there. Large crowd gathered at 92 Second St. (CaseBook228)
June 22, 1893 Reupholstered sofa is delivered back to the house on Second Street.
June 23, 1893 Lizzie visits the Wm. Covell’s in Newport, RI, has classic picture of her “standing behind the chair” taken.
June 23, 1893 Morse attempts to get mileage reimbursement from Iowa to New Bedford from Co. Treasurer. (FRHN)
June 27, 1893 Lizzie & Emma go to Taunton to visit Sheriff Wright’s wife.
July 3, 1893 Lizzie and Emma purchase house on French Street.
July 19, 1893 Lizzie’s 33rd Birthday.
July 19, 1893 FR Weekly News reports Lizzie won trip to Chicago World’s Fair via coupon write-in from public.
July 23, 1893 Lizzie escorted to CC Church by Dr. Bowen & Mr. Holmes. (Chicago Daily Tribune 7/24/1893)
August 4, 1893 First of annual articles about crime appears in The Globe.
August 10, 1893 Deed recorded for purchase of French Street house by Lizzie & Emma. (LR556)
August 12, 1893 New Bedford Standard prints Lizzie’s Inquest Testimony.
August 13, 1893 Lizzie & Emma transfer their deed for ½ interest of Whitehead house (Abby’s share) to Sarah & George.
August 14, 1893 Reporter Joseph Howard publishes his criticism of Judge Dewey’s charge to jury.
August 17, 1893 Lizzie and Emma sold for $1 the ½ house on 4h St. to Sarah whitehead & Priscilla Fish. (LR556)
August 21, 1893 FR Police announce case is closed.
The hatchet murders of Andrew and Abby Borden in their Fall River, Mass. home in broad daylight on August 4, 1892 is the most compelling and mystifying case in the annals of classic, unsolved murders. Although 32 year old Lizzie, the younger daughter, was brought to Trial, she was acquitted and no one else was ever charged. After 121 years, the case still fascinates people all over the world. Why is that?
Every time there is a new book, documentary, news article, etc. about the case, the inevitable question comes up: “Why has this case endured?” The answers are usually speculative responses referring to the Victorian era, the possibility of incest, lack of blood on the accused, lack of a murder weapon, the time between the two murders, the accused being a virginal Sunday school teacher, the accused being a “Borden” when Bordens were the power elite in the town, the gruesomeness of the hatchet blows, the theme of the hated stepmother, etc., etc. But that’s not it. The following is.
A single statement made by the Prosecuting Attorney and the Defense Attorney best encapsulates forever exactly WHY THIS CASE ENDURES:
Fall River Central Police Station and Second District Court – 1892
The Preliminary Hearing was held on August 25, 1892 at the Second District Courthouse in Fall River. During their Opening Address, Prosecutor Knowton and Defense Attorney Jennings made the following statements.
“It was an incredible crime. It was an impossible crime. And yet it happened.”
-District Attorney Hosea Morrill Knowlton
“She is either the most maligned creature on earth or she possesses a heart as black as hell itself. Does she look it?”
-Defense Attorney Andrew Jackson Jennings
After almost 121 years, these statements remain relevant on two levels: Knowlton’s statement is the reason it has compelled three generations to study and speculate how it could have been done. Jennings statement remains as a premise for those who believe she didn’t do it, and those who believe she did.
These simple, one sentence statements best encapsulates forever exactly WHY THIS CASE ENDURES.
Lizzie Borden’s home: Extremely rare photograph discovered! Lizzie Borden had this green and gilt “Maplecroft” seal made for use on her correspondence — a rare example of her personal style during her years in that residence. Now we are excited to report that a truly unique photograph taken inside the French street mansion while Lizzie lived there has been given to the FRHS! It’s the only such photo ever to have surfaced, and anyone with an interest in Lizzie will find it fascinating. For the first time, we have a partial but revealing glimpse of the interior of her home. And the subject of the photo – something Lizzie apparently cherished — helps to debunk one of the biggest myths perpetuated about her.
Donated by a descendant of Lizzie’s personal maid, Ida S. Carlson, the photo came to us with impeccable provenance. Lizzie hired a professional photographer to capture the compelling image and had it mounted in an ornate frame, and around 1899 she gave it to Ida, who displayed the treasured piece in her home until her death, at which time it was acquired by a relative.
The photo will make its debut at the FRHS at a special exhibit opening on August 4, 2014, where it will join a collection of other recently acquired Borden-related items of note. Mark your calendar, and be sure to come and take our informative tour about the life and trial of Lizzie Borden!
Long before Emma Borden abandoned her sister, Lizzie, in late May of 1905, she had very close ties to many Gardners in Swansea, Ma. But after she split from Lizzie, some of those Gardners became a surrogate family to her.
The progenitors of those that Emma would embrace, socialize with, attend major family events, and help financially in trusts and her will, are those in the oval picture below (click it to enlarge).
The births, marriages and deaths of these people were recorded in William Gardner’s family bible:
Aside from taking into consideration Lizzie was a prolific reader and didn’t “do things in a hurry”, I think she would agree with my sarcasm on the following):
I’m so grateful I live in a digital world that allows me to view movies I’ve already seen or maybe not have seen because I didn’t want to buy it but now can for only $7.99. And I’m grateful that my cable company, for a moderate fee, allows me to view those movies on my 60” flat screen.
More to my happiness is the fact I can view a movie on my Galaxy wristband while traveling on Hawaiian Airlines unless I want to see one on my laptop, I-phone, I-pad, or cell phone. And my purchase of Kindle and all the cheap downloads relieve me of carrying a book or two or three inside my carry-on. And if I want to watch the in-flight movie on the seatback screen in front of me, I absolutely can for less than $20, which includes music, games and current events.
I am grateful for the fact, I check my emails on the go with my digital devices and whether I’m waiting in a theater for the movie or play to start, or just sitting in my baca lounger in front of that flat screen waiting for the HBO boxing event to start, the latter of which I’m proud to have access for an additional fee of less than $40.
I’m grateful I can have Netflix notify me anytime one of my favorite movies becomes available because of my special apps used on several of my digital devices. I’m grateful I can be on a beach sipping pina colladas knowing that what cute sayings my friends on Facebook are posting won’t go missed because of my audio alerts. I’m grateful I won’t miss any Tweets from friends or celebrities lest I miss a beat on trending topics or global events that would take hours to appear in traditional print news media.
I’m grateful my cell phone is linked to my I-Pad and can download music to my laptop. I love that I can DEMAND a movie from my cable TV provider, record it, then upload that to my digital wrist device and watch, holding it up to my ear and watching it while sitting in my seat at the cinema without people nearby knowing what I’m doing.
I’m grateful the digital devices and the monthly fees, as well as the apps costs, surpass my monthly cable bill by an amount that has yet to reach 4 rounded digits. I’m grateful most people will recognize the appropriate device on my person when I have fallen and can’t get up. And if they can not, I’m grateful I will have an abundance of digitized communicating devices from which they can use to call for additional help. I’m grateful first responders will most likely reach me in time so I don’t miss my Netflix choice to be shown on my cell phone as I recline in my hospital bed asking a nurse why I can’t upload to the mounted t.v. in my semi-private room.
I’m grateful you’ve spent so much time reading this entire “comment” when you could have been searching the Web for the next new thing in this self-indulgent digital world. But I suppose you already know there’s a app for that.
Isn’t it sad when the only thing you have to nurture in life is your own self image? And isn’t it even more pathetic when that image is predicated on an infamous character of an unsolved classic crime?
“Look at me. I’m over here.”
“Hey! I’m in that picture but you didn’t cite my name.”
And isn’t it even sadder when you have to bellow on social media “Look at me, look at me, I’m over here” when the response is so silent it only serves to validate what I have been posting for years, to wit: Nobody cares.
To those who are so self-involved with nurturing the only thing that gives them self-gratification and meaning to being, I say: Look over there. Look over there. A sad and aging visage bellows in the dark and endless tunnel. A series of failures, a partner who won’t commit and another cycle of long-term unemployment. The shriek-infested soul leaves pock-marks upon the landscape of a narrow life stuck and stagnated. No one wants to look at that. ;)
As an unrelated sidebar notation: I don’t know which is the bigger mystery: What happened to Flight MH370 or why Fall River doesn’t have a Gay Pride Parade. You be the judge.
Quite an ambitious endeavor here – doubt its fundraiser will yield the $100,000 goal. The skulls pictured are NOT those of Andrew and Abby Borden, but were on display at the short-lived “40 Whacks Museum” in Salem. I suspect the merchandise comes from that failed operation. However, if this project were to become a reality, I certainly would attend a performance.
Property values have declined steadily in the past 20+ years in Fall River. This property, next door to “Maplecroft” (Lizzie Borden’s post-Trial home) on French Street, was assessed at $258,500 in 2013.
The declining property values are a result of Fall River’s declining economy and has put many homeowners “underwater” in their loans, i.e., they owe the bank more on their mortgage than the property is worth.
The hot topic in Fall River today concerns a possible mega resort/casino proposed by Foxwoods and the positive or negative effect it will have on the economy; those for it scream “we need the jobs”, those opposed yell “property value will decline”. The mere mention of a casino being built in Fall River has the Bank of America sending out “heads up” letters that – from their POV -, the property that is the subject of this letter is worth only $222,491 in 2014. In any event, it has some people waiving the letters and hollaring: “The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Stop the casino!”
Frankly, Fall River is on a path to being a sister city of Detroit if it doesn’t do something soon.
Here’s more old pictures of Fall River first posted here in 2008 and then Recycled again in August of 2009. Time to “revisit”. ;) If you have trouble reading the colored type, just highlight over it and it turns black. :)
More images -
Notre Dame Church
Bank Street (north side)
Prospect and Highland
McWhirr’s on South Main
Belmont looking West
Back of Durfee Mill 1911
1911 Flint Mill
1911 King Mill spinners
1911 Postal Messengers
1916 Chace Mill
1916 King Philip carding room
1916 Merhants Mill
I’ve added more old photos of Fall River. These mostly have to do with the mills and the child labor used to profit the owners…not often addressed but fortunately preserved by noted photographers.
Boys Club on Anawan Street – 1916
I love old photos of Fall River – some found on the internet, some sold on eBay, some from archival institutions and private collections. Here are some random photos of Fall River and some of its people in the past:
Slade Ferry Bridge 1905
“Borden” family in 1911 Cotton Centennial Parade
Dr. Dubois office – 1908.
Maplewood Mills – girls packing – 1916.
LeFleuers pool room – 1910
Durfee Theatre lobby (1929-1973)
Durfee Theatre Stage
Library women at a gathering.
Diving at Globe Wharf
Main Street looking North
Azab Grotto Band
House fire scene.
Truesdale Hospital – 1905
130 Rock Street
Eagle pool room 318 N. Main – 1915
Horse and buggy – 1908
Lincoln Avenue 1900′s
City Hall – after fire of 1886
Mill boys – 1910
Steep Brook school – 1910
Clerk – unknown date
1st Cotton mill – 1811
The “Welcome” (also called “Victory”) Arch erected on South Main Street between the City Hall and the Granite Block for the July 4th, 1919 celebration welcoming home veterans returning from service during World War 1.
From a real photo post card found in an old Highland Avenue home which, according to the back, shows “The Holmes sisters in their father’s new Reo machine Aug. 1907.” Also written on the back is “Ella- 21 Hanover St. F. R.”
Another real photo post card from an old Highland Avenue estate. Labeled on back- “N.Y. & Boston Express Co. last money wagon in Fall River. 1910 driven by Thomas Fitzpatrick.” Although likely not armored, the wagon appears to have been made of metal with a rear opening door. It was used to transport currency from the railroad station and steamship wharves to local banks and to provide security for weekly payrolls going to the many city mills.
Durfee Theatre exterior – 1960′s
Aerial view – 1960′s – during construction of Braga Bridge
Leonard Rebello has been proclaimed dead by certain Lizzie Borden Forum sleuths from the Lizzie Borden Forum. I kid you not. It has to do with the silver cup Mr. Rebello’s states was a gift from Abby to Lizzie.
The posting exchanges evolve from speculation that the claim is not authentic and the veracity of Rebello is questioned because he did not give a provenance to the cup, to the cup being meant for another “Lizzie” by another “Borden” and ends with the assertion that no wonder he couldn’t cite his source of the cup because he is dead! (BTW, he is alive and well).
Now what I find excruciatingly funny is that these sleuths, laboring over layers of minutia to solve the case, fail to apply the most readily available techniques and processes for verifying facts. For example, they could Google Mr. Rebello and look for his death certificate or newspaper reports of his unexpected passing, or even called the Fall River Herald News. Instead, they remain fixated on the misspellings and even assert such a cup would only be presented to a person of the Jewish faith because of the decorative engraving on the bottom!
See for yourself: I have underlined key sentences in this evolution of error.
Back to breaks in the pattern! In court Emma did a good, very equivocal job on her sister’s behalf didn’t she? Skate, skate over the very uncomfortable truth (as Lizzie did at the Inquest) that neither of them called Abby ‘mother,’ or that they went nowhere with her unless they had to, and that, for the last five years of Abby and Andrew’s life, the tension in the home was getting worse.
Incidentally, hadn’t Andrew stopped going to Church? I can’t remember the details but it was something to do with having to pay some tax and he objected so much he didn’t go anymore, as the man who imposed the tax was a Church elder he would have to meet every Sunday. So Andrew became a heathen!
Sorry, Curryong, my trail stopped there! I wasn’t ab;e to determine what a “youth cup” was used for. At first, I thought maybe a punch cup of some sort. I don’t know. I’m swamped with work right now, but I’ll put this on my list for something fun to do this weekend. :)
I’ll look forward to it! It sound like the sort of thing that might be handed over, unengraved, of course, as a Sunday School prize, or something of that sort. I got the book ‘What Katy Did’ once, but a cup sounds nicer!
I still think we need to exercise caution. First it could be another Lizzie and Abbie. Leonard Rebello who presented the cup (as far as I can tell) never proves beyond reasonable doubt that it is BORDEN. 1868 date strengthens the claim, BUT it is easily added later, or the whole engraving may be forged. Most of the time items like this come with a letter of authenticity, often tracing who owned it, showing a relationship to the original owner. If Rebello could show HOW the current owner came to be in possession of it, I would be less skeptical. Either way, it’s authenticity does nothing for the case.
The only youth/child cups I’ve been able to find that have a grapevine or grapes motif are intended for Jewish children’s use at the formal Shabbat meal celebrated weekly in observant homes, or for the special Passover Seder. (Children are given watered down wine.)
Further enlightening us along Jewish traditional lines, “Abbie” can be a Hebrew name, either on its own or short for Abigail (which was the name of one of King David’s wives). It can also be a male Hebrew nickname (think Abbie Hoffman). Some of you might remember “Abie’s Irish Rose,” about a cross-cultural romance.
So I think this cup was a gift to a Jewish young lady/girl named Lizzie by a family friend, beau or sibling named Abbie in a Jewish household in 1868, rather than from our Abby to our Lizzie.
Good job, Mara! I agree with you; I think this cup was a gift to a another Lizzie, from another Abbie. If our Lizzie disliked Abby as much as we are led to believe, then I highly doubt she would have kept the cup for sentimental reasons.
he was so meticulous about being accurate, it surprises me he’d include the cup in his book if there wasn’t good reason to think it was lizzie’s. but i thought it odd that in the other thread apparently people had or were going to contact him about it, and then nothing more was said.
the only thing i can think of is perhaps the owner or donor of the cup was absolutely convinced it really was lizzie’s, and mr. rebello didn’t want to offend him or her, so included the photo in the book. without a caption, just the photo itself.
As I said earlier, for something that vague (two first names) to be included in the book, one would almost have to be able to trace it’s ownership back. If we were told that it came from the grandson of a known friend of Lizzie, THEN we could be more sure. But a cup without a “pedigree” is meaningless.
What are the odds a woman named Abby would be giving a silver cup to both a Lizzie AND an Emma in 1868? In any case, I know Mr. Rebello. I’ve known him for almost 20 years. I’ve been to his home. He showed me the cup. Mr. Rebello is an expert on the case, fastidious, generous, and completely honest. He did not cite his source for the cup – which he owns – as it was a condition of anonymity by the person from whom it was acquired. (Much like items that have been donated to the Fall River Historical Society).
There is a unique dynamic intrinsic to internet forums. Cliques are formed. The desire and need to be included in the clique makes one conform to opinions of the others, even to the extent of making judgements of others without all known and available facts. It reminds me of high school.
Within the irony is the humor. It is ironic the people posting are supposed to be “investigating” the Borden case. The humor is that they would appear to share the same gene pool as Inspector Clouseau. ;)
But good lord! LEONARD REBELLO IS NOT, REPEAT, NOT DEAD!! GET A CLUE, LADIES!
I have a charcoal portrait that I believe to be of Lizzie Borden and I have held onto it..trying to locate someone with knowledge on this matter. I found the Portrait in the back room all by itself on the wall of an antique shop somewhere in Connecticut. I believe it to be from the 1800s. When I walked into this room and saw this portrait, I said to myself oh my goodness…that’s Lizzie Borden and until this day I still believe that it is a portrait of her. The antique shop had no information on it and no idea who it could possibly be. I would greatly appreciate any information you could offer and can also send you photos of the portrait. There is a signature on the bottom that I can not identify, I believe it may be in french….not sure. My email is Thank You
I say no. The lips are wrong, the ears are wrong, too much hair on both sides of the middle part, and the dress appears to be from the early to mid 1860′s. Lizzie was born in 1860.
What do you say? Vote on the poll below and leave comments with your vote if you like. Comments will be reviewed before appearing here.
Nance O’Neil (October 8, 1874 – February 7, 1965) was an American actress of stage and cinema of the early 20th century.
She transitioned successfully from the theatre to silent movies and on to sound movies into the early 1930′s.
Nance O’Neil was associated with Lizzie Borden from 1904-1905, and it is often asserted or speculated they were lovers although no credible evidence of any sort has ever surfaced to validate that claim.
The years 1930 and 1931 were very productive film years for Miss O’Neil. She worked with some very well known, even legendary, actors, such as Barbara Stanwyck, Basil Rathbone, Anita Louise, Zasu Pitts and Edgar Kennedy. She also acted with a young Lawrence Olivier in Westward Passage, one of her last films made in 1932.
It was quite unusual for a Broadway tragedienne of the early 1900′s to have such a long career in transitioning to movies. O’Neil must have had a terrific agent or good connections. Or perhaps, because she had been such a big star on the stage, producers thought her name would be an added draw to audiences.
I am offering here three films of Nance O’Neil from the 1930′s on DVD:
The Secret Service (1931) with Richard Dix. I just loved this movie. It holds up after 80 years! Think of Richard Dix as Agent 007. Nance plays his mother in this exciting film full of dramatic tension and surprises! Easy to see why Dix was such a popular actor aside from his Westerns.
I must say she looks like a man wearing a wig in this film, particularly in this scene.
Ladies or Leisure (1930) directed by Frank Capra is a wonderfully engrossing drama starring Barbara Stanwyck. Jerry Strong (Ralph Graves, Submarine) is the wealthy son of stuffy but permissive parents who allow Jerry to follow his ambition to be a painter. When he hires party girl Kay Arnold (Barbara Stanwyck, Double Indemnity) to be a model for one of his paintings, the two fall in love despite their obvious differences. But eventually, class distinctions push Kay away back toward her old life, one just shy of prostitution. Directed by Frank Capra (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington), LADIES OF LEISURE was also one of Stanwyck’s first roles and the one that made her a star. Newly remastered.
Nance O’Neil plays the mother of Jerry Strong and has some terrific scenes with super closeups. In one she trys to convince “Kay” to let go of her love for the betterment of his life. It is quite touching and highly dramatic. One can easily see O’Neil’s acting chops in this film.
Both Stanwyck and O’Neil have been perceived as lesbians. It’s true Stanwyck had an abortion at 15, married two times. Her second husband, actor Robert Taylor, was also rumored to be Gay. That marriage was arranged by Louis B. Mayor of MGM when both were stars there.
In what seemed like an inappropriate “thank you dear for seeing my point” kiss, Nance plants one smack on Barbara’s lips. It almost looked like it to Babs unexpectedly, and she gently seems to push O’Neil back.
As a loves story, this movie holds up, not corny at all.
Floradora Girl has a similar theme as Ladies of Leisure only this time the girl wants to get rich. Here again, O’Neil plays the wise woman to set the girl on the moral high ground. This movie stars Marion Davies and was produced through her film company established by William Randolph Hearst to showcase her stardom. Perhaps O’Neil met the august Hearst during this time.
Yep, the 1890′s and early 1900′s were the American Theater’s heyday, and the 1930′s were Hollywood’s Golden Years. And Nance O’Neil rode the crest of the former and was still afloat for the latter.
EACH IS $20.00 OR $45.00 FOR ALL THREE! IF INTERESTED, EMAIL ME AT:
POSTAGE WILL DEPEND UPON LOCATION AND BUYER’S PREFERENCE FOR DELIVERY.
Looking for that reasonably priced Lizzie Borden Past & Present? Here it is:
This revered book by Leonard Rebello is long OOP and there will not be a second edition or paperback. $85.00 The dust jacket does not come with it, but the limited issue bookmark does.
This is a Powerpoint Presentation (if you have Microsoft WORD, Office, you have Powerpoint) which I used in various presentations and lectures on Lizzie Borden and Fall River history: $20.00.
Black & White VHS film made entirely in Fall River with Fall River locals. You’ll recognize many of the locations if you’ve been to Fall River. Includes commemorative program from Fall River Historical Society special showing. $15.00
Highly collectible, long out of print, includes highly coveted dust jacket as seen. Psychological study of Lizzie Borden. $115.00.
Read the label for all the things included on this CD. A researchers dream! $15.00.
2 books and 3 plays on Lizzie Borden: $25.00
IF INTERESTED IN ANY OF THESE ITEMS, EMAIL ME AT: firstname.lastname@example.org Postage will depend upon your location and mailing preference.
Here’s some fun stuff to play around with via Bing Aerial Maps. Be sure to note other Fall River locations to the left.
This is 230 Second Street, Fall River, Ma.; otherwise known as 92 Second Street, otherwise known as The Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast Museum. This aerial image was taken in around 2001-2002, My Fall River Lizzie friends and Lizzie Borden case experts will be able to name everything shown here in a two block radius – and maybe more. Lizzie lived here from the time she was 12 in 1872 until after her Acquittal in July, 1893.
Built by Southard Miller in 1845, the house has remained in the same location and virtually unchanged for nearly 170 years. Since this aerial was taken, however, the house has changed ownership, been painted green, the L-shape Leary Press has been demolished, the bus terminal directly across the street has been relocated and an architectural monstrosity known as the Superior Court towers in its place, Subtle symmetry? Perhaps.
Shown here is the French Street home, (otherwise known as “Maplecroft”) that Lizzie and her sister moved into several weeks after her acquittal in 1893. This aerial was taken around 2001-2002. The house in the bottom of the frame, partially cut off, was also owned by Lizzie and is now owned by Michael Brimbau (author of Girl With the Pansy Pin). Stefani Koorey, Mr. Brimbau’s girlfriend, moved in to this house in 2006, Interestingly, neither one have ever been inside “Maplecroft”, which has been owned by Robert Dube’ since 1980.
Lizzie lived here the entire second half of her life until she died in 1927.