Another letter written by Lizzie Borden was pictured and posted in the Frances Willard House and Museum website today. The letter is written to “Frances Willard and Lady Henry” according to the website.
The letter appears to be written July 23, 1893 (Lizzie was acquitted on June 20, 1893).
“Frances Willard was a radical social progressive who stood out against gender inequality and fought to give a voice to society’s disenfranchised. She exposed the inherent hypocrisies of the status quo and forever changed accepted societal norms.
Willard forged a prototype for community organization and social reform that transformed our cultural landscape. The basis of our modern social welfare policies can be found in the initiatives fomented by Willard. Her life’s work is an example of what can be done when one is devoted to a cause. Her ability to work hard and to mobilize others to work hard is a model of personal determination and amazing leadership skills. To this day, Frances Willard continues to be “re-discovered” as the prototype of the modern, forward-thinking woman.”
This could be a letter expressing her gratitude for her support. It would seem Frances Willard may have championed Lizzie’s cause much as Mary A. Livermore, American journalist and womens’ rights advocate had done. If simply a thank you letter, I find it interesting it is rather lengthy.
Four days earlier, Lizzie had turned 33 on July 19th, the same day the Fall River Weekly News reported Lizzie won a trip to the Chicago World’s Fair via a coupon write-in from the public. (Lizzie kindly rejected the award.) On the same date as the letter, July 23, 1893, and as reported in the Chicago Daily Tribune, Lizzie Borden was escorted to church by Dr. Bowen and Mrs. Holmes.
In any event, let us hope the Museum will sell – and the Fall River Historical Society will buy – this letter as they are the most logical and appropriate repository to archive this document with her other known letters.
(Update 1/10/2016 – The following statement was included in the email I received