Lizzzie Borden’s Passport from Her 1890 Grand Tour

07 Jun

lizzy-borden-2Click on image for larger view

From the US National Archives we have her passport  issued for the 16 week trip she took in 1890 with some Fall River girls from “up on the Hill”, including her cousin Anna Borden who testified at her Trial.  Thomas J. Borden, who signed the document, was Anna’s father.

Called “The Grand Tour” young ladies of the Victorian era made the crossing with a chaperone, of course.  Traveling to Italy and Scotland, among other countries, Lizzie seemed to have loved Scotland quite a bit.  She made a detailed scrapbook of her journey and partial pages can be found the Parallel Lives – A Social History of Lizzie A. Borden and Her Fall River, written by Michael Martins and Dennis Binette of the Fall River Historical Society.

Lizzie’s father paid for her trip, but she had to wire home for her return passage and it was her sister, Emma, who sent the money.  I’ve posted here about that before as it was cited in a local newspaper.

Apparently, William Benedict, who issued the passport, was of the opinion Lizzie had  “light brown hair.”   Others (including her female associates) had often described her hair as “auburn”.   But we know how men can be about such details.   Harumph.


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