This article in the Fall River Herald News today by Deborah Allard includes several informative links (see my Timeline) and gives us the super bland recipe for Lizzie Borden’s meatloaf.
This article in the Fall River Herald News today by Deborah Allard includes several informative links (see my Timeline) and gives us the super bland recipe for Lizzie Borden’s meatloaf.
(I originally wrote this post back in 2010)
He was a noted librarian and prolific writer on true crime. In 1924 he began a correspondence with Frank W. Knowlton, son of Hosea Knowlton, the district attorney who prosecuted Lizzie Borden in her 1893 trial. Known as the “Knowlton-Pearson Correspondence” it is a remarkable assemblage – rich in content it clearly shows the eagerness with which Frank accommodated Edmund’s request. They were contemporaries, and Frank provided the author with “open sesame” to Lizzie’s contemporaries and others still living who knew her and/or were involved in the case. Pearson had access to all of Hosea Knowlton’s papers on the case, and also the preliminary hearing and Trial transcript. (Knowlton was unsuccessful, however, in tracking down Bridget Sullivan’s inquest testimony – a document still missing after all these decades).
In any event, Pearson’s investigative research resulted in Studies in Murder, first published in 1924, three years before Lizzie’s death. The book was a series of essays on notable cases, the first and expanded essay was on the Borden case. This would be the first of many writings in subsequent books by Pearson on Fall River’s most notorious citizen. But this first book was published while Lizzie still lived.
It is fairly certain that Lizzie Borden had read the very first book on the case published in 1893: Fall River Tragedy by Edward H. Porter. I think it further fairly certain she had read Studies in Murder. In the twilight of her years she was at least relieved of the awful annual editorials in the Fall River Globe commemorating the infamous crimes with their consistent innuendos that she had gotten away with the double murders.
Her life had been lived quietly and with the refinement and deportment that were her hallmarks of character. Her closest associates were her servants and a few loyal friends and relatives. But now came this publication. It must have been the talk of the town when it came out. Knowledge of Pearson’s meetings and inquiries with Lizzie’s contemporaries had proceeded the book itself, and those that assisted Pearson must have discussed it with their own associates. Perhaps it had been talked about in hushed circles long before its publication and perhaps Lizzie had heard as well through reports of who was talking to whom. The long essay left no doubt in the minds of the reader that the deed must have been done by Lizzie and only Lizzie.
Think for a moment how this must have affected her. Guilty or innocent, it must have been a devastating event to have this book circulating in Fall River, the region and all over the country, stirring up painful memories of a horrible time while also serving to provide interest to a whole new generation. Lizzie had been described as nervous and depressed, unhappy with her decision to have lived all the rest of her life in Fall River – and now, this.
Could the book have hastened her demise? Stress, nervous anxiety, depression. Lizzie had always wanted to be accepted by her peers. She lived her life kind to others and animals, generously giving and always thoughtful of the needs of others. And now, this. It must have played upon her mind and heart, a heart already long burdened and weakened by worry. Not long after the book’s success and wide readership, Lizzie would be hospitalized for gall bladder surgery and never fully recover.
Knowlton, Hosea M., white, b. May 1847, 53 yr., b. Maine
Sylvia B. Wife, Jan. 1850, b. Mass.
John W. son, March 1874, 26 b. Mass.
Abby A. dau, mar. 1876, 24, mass.
Frank W., son Aug 1878, 22, Mass.
Edward A., son April 1883, 17, b. mas.
Helen S., dau. Aug. 1884, 14, b. mass.
Sylvia P, dau. may 1890, 10, Mass.
Benjamin H., son, Jun 1892, 8 yr, b. mass.
SYLVIA BASSETT, b. New Bedford, MA, 20 Jan 1852; d. Watertown, MA, 31 Mar 1937; m. New Bedford, 22 May 1873, HOSEA MORRILL KNOWLTON, b. Durham, ME, 20 May 1847; d. Marion, MA, 18 Dec 1902; son of Isaac Case and Mary Smith (Wellington) Knowlton.
Their children, all born in New Bedford were:
The younger siblings were:
Helen Sophia Knowlton; August 1, 1885
August I. Knowlton;
Sylvia Prescott Knowlton born Ma7 29, 1890
Benjamin Almy Knowlton born June 13, 1892
Attorney General Herbert Parker is not only included in this correspondence but was also one of Pearson’s primary sources for his last essay in his book, Studies in Murder, titled “The Hunting Knife” concerning Mabel Page.
Frank Warren Knowlton, Jr. donated his grandfather’s papers to the Fall River Historical Society in 1989. (He died in October 11, 2002).
Jai Sotomayer poses in front of special display
for an awesome display. And if you live in or near Fall River, MA, you should go to see it.
Kudos to Jai Sotomayer. (I made the contributions on Lizzie Borden, of course).
From Sotheby’s International Realty’s listing of 306 French Street, aka “Maplecroft” here is a wonderful 3-D tour of the inside. I especially like utilizing the blue circle to guide me up, down, sideways, close-up, around corners, through doorways, etc., to see virtually every bit of the home, – its furnishings, paintings, portraits, photographs, ornamental items, original doors, doorknobs, tin ceilings, servant stairways, servants’ rooms, etc.
You can pause and zoom and take your time. Making use of the blue circle – moving it to enlarge or reduce – really makes you feel you are walking around inside. And truly gives you a better appreciation for the quality and detail Kristee Bates put into restoring this home.
Except for the stove and fire sprinklers – it is truly a turn-key operation for new owner, Donald Woods and his son, Ryan, who will be the Manager. Huzzahs!
Click the link HERE and scroll down to the 2 images of Maplecroft and click the box on the right hand side to walk around inside Maplecroft.
Note: The first time I was inside this home the dining room still had Lizzie’s original drapes.
Break open your piggy bank. LOL!
Also to be auctioned, same day, same auction house, is a document signed by Emma Borden settling her 1/2 share of the 1917 sale of the Second Street home.
(Originally published in June 1st, 2010)
Lizzie Borden died 84 years ago today. She died at 8:30 pm on June 1, 1927 (a Wednesday) in her home in Fall River, MA. She had been lingering all day, surrounded by her chauffeur and two servants: Ernest Terry, Ellen Miller, and Florence Pemberton. There were others who came to the house as well.
The Reverend Cleveland from the nearby Church of Ascension – a few doors down from Central Congregational Church on Rock Street – would execute the wishes Lizzie had written out on March 31, 1919. Vida Turner would come in and be instructed to sing “My Ain’ Country”, tell no one she had been there and then leave immediately.
The reporting a few days later of Lizzie’s Will was regional front page news and appeared in many newspapers across the country recounting the horrific hatchet murders of August 4, 1892, and Lizzie’s subsequent arrest, trial and acquittal.
Photo credit (cropped): Fall River Herald News
Probate of Lizzie’s Will.
|1st Accounting||June 24, 1927 – May 1, 1929||October 2, 1931(Fall River)|
|2nd Accounting||May 2, 1929 – Jan. 1, 1932||February 17, 1933(Taunton)|
|3rd (Substituted)Accounting||Jan.1, 1932 – Nov. 28, 1932||February 17, 1933(Taunton)|
|4th FinalAccounting||Nov. 28, 1932 – March 3, 1933||March 24, 1933(Attleboro)|
The primary reason for the long probate was Mr. Cook’s failure to include the house/property at 328 French Street known as the “Henry House” which was situated directly east of “Maplecroft”.
Mr. Cook claimed the house was his as a gift from Lizzie. However, Grace Hartley Howe and Helen Leighton, the two major legatees in Lizzie’s Will, were having none of it. They claimed fraud and the matter went to court – Probate Court – in several sessions. The testimony in those proceedings are rich in insight into Lizzie’s character as gleamed from those who testified, including Winifred F. French, who was to receive $5,000 as a bequest from Lizzie. What the witnesses on behalf of Grace & Helen had to say was insightful, but the most provacative was this:
So here we have Lizzie dying and she knows she is about to die but what is on her mind? She is remembering her promise to Ernest Terry to pay for his house repairs and tells him to write a blank check, which she signs and which he takes to the bank. She may or may not have remembered she left him and his wife money in her will, but she wanted this to be extra. A blank check – reluctantly approved by Cook, but cashed at the bank. And Cook, dear man, tried to convince Mr. Terry that that check of $2,500 was to be considered part of the $3,000 cash bequest from Lizzie. What a guy.
Ultimately the court ruled in favor of Helen & Grace and the proceeds from the sale of the property was considered a part of Lizzie’s estate. Although he was judged not guilty of fraud or had bad faith in carrying out the terms of the Will, Judge Mayhew R. Hitch of the Probate Court made Cook accountable for that $10,000 (which was the amount he had sold it for but not yet pocketed) plus interest. Cook made this right in the Final Accounting. I find it amusing that he also included the cost of services from the attorney who represented him, Arthur E. Seagrave. The court approved it. His submittal of the heating bill for the Maplecroft garage where he parked his car, however, was not approved. (Good try but too bad, Charlie).
So as she lay dying on this day 83 years ago, Lizzie Andrew Borden made no deathbed confession (and had she, I probably wouldn’t be writing this blog) but she was focused on a potential financial hardship to her faithful driver and friend, Ernest Terry. Her last documented act was to issue a blank check.
Yes, there were many acts of kindness that Lizzie Borden did throughout her life, particularly the second half of her life when she had the money to use as she wanted. We will most likely read more about them in Parallel Lives and perhaps finally see a photograph of Ernest Terry (I’ve never seen one and the book is to have well over 500 photographs – yep, you read that right).
I would like say, on this day: “Rest in peace, Lizzie Borden.”
But we all know that ain’t gonna happen.
Note: Here’s the full article to that posted above as well as the follow -up explaining Charles Cook being exonerated of any fraud in that pesky purchase and sale of the Henry House next door to Maplecroft. (Catherine MacFarland, btw, mentioned in this article, was also a beneficiary in Lizzie’s Will.)
WS = Witness Statements (Fall River Police Dept.)
CI = Coroner’s Inquest (Second Distrct Court, Fall River)
PH = Preliminary Hearing (Second District Court, Fall River)
TT = Trial Testimony – Superior Court (New Bedford)
LR = Lizzie Borden Past & Present (Len Rebello)
VV = Victorian Vistas – 3 Volumes (Philip T. Silvia, Jr.)
|May 9-10, 1892||Painting of Borden house begins by John W. Grouard; Lizzie selects “drab” color. (LR32)|
|May/June 1892||Andrew kills pigeons roosting in the barn. Morse visits end of June.|
|June 30, 1892||Morse spent 1 day at Bordens; takes Butcher Davis’ daughter & Emma for 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 work-week 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; Emma stops at Fairhaven to visit the Brownell’s.|
|July 21, 1892||Lizzie travels 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 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 26, 1892||Lizzie, Mrs. Poole & Mrs. Poole’s daughter ride to Westport to visit Mrs. Cyrus Tripp (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.|
|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.|
|9:00am 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 noon time meal in the dining room.|
|12:35 am||Uncle John Vinnicum Morse leaves by train from New Bedford for Fall River. (CI98)|
|1:30 pm||John Morse walks from train station & arrives at Borden house; Bridget lets him in front door.|
|2:00-4:00 pm||John Morse and Andrew talk in Sitting Room; Lizzie hears their 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”.|
|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 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. (CI 00)|
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 Sitting Room.|
|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 iceman.|
|7:00 am||Bordens and Morse have breakfast in Dining Room. (Lizzie is still upstairs).|
|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 am||Morse leaves for Post Office and then to visit niece at Daniel Emery’s #4 Weybosset Street.|
|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.|
|9:00 am||Andrew leaves the house.|
|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.|
|9:00-10:00 am||Abby Borden dies from blows to the head with a sharp instrument.|
|9:30 am||Abraham G. Hart, Treasurer of Union Savings Bank, talks to Andrewat Bank.|
|9:30 am||Morse arrives at #4 Weybosset Street to visit his niece and nephew.|
|9:30 am||Bridget gets brush from cellar for washing windows|
|9:30 am||Lizzie appears at back door as Bridget goes towards barn; Bridget tells Lizzie she need not lock door.|
|9:30-10:05||Andrew visits banks.|
|9:45 am||John P. Burrill, Cashier, talks to Andrew at National Union Bank.|
|9:40 am||Morse arrives at the Emery’s on Weybosset Street.|
|9:55 am||Everett Cook talks to Andrew at First National Bank.|
|9:30-10:20 am||Bridget washes outside windows, stops to talk to “Kelly girl” at southside fence.|
|10:00-10:30 am||Mrs. Churchill sees Bridget outside washing NE windows.|
|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)|
|10:30-10:40 am||Joseph Shortsleeves sees Andrew.|
|10:40 am||James Mather sees Andrew leave shop (fixes time by City Hall clock)|
|10:30-10:40 am||Mrs. Kelly observes Andrew going to his front door.|
|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.|
|10:35-10:45 am||Andrew goes upstairs to his bedroom and returns in a few minutes, going to Sitting Room sofa.|
|10:45 am||Mary 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 Sargeants.|
|10:50-10:55||Mark Chase observes man with open buggy parked just beyond tree in front of Borden house.|
|10:55–10:58 am||Bridget goes up to her attic room to rest before preparing noon meal.|
|11:00 am||Addie Churchill leaves her house for Hudner’s grocery store on South Main. (WS8)|
|11:00 am||Bridget hears City Hall clock chime 11:00.|
|11:05-11:10 am||Lizzie hollars to come quick.|
|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. (PH281-282)|
|11:10-11:14 am||Mrs. Churchill to side door, speaks briefly, 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 ay Gorman’s paint shop to call Police.|
|11:15 am||Marshall Hilliard receives call from news dealer Cunningham about disturbance at Borden house.|
|11:15 am||Marshall 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 arrives at Borden house, sees Andrew, asks for sheet; alone with Lizzie for approx. one minute.|
|11:20 am||Office 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. Churchillcome 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)|
|11:40 am||Bowen returns to Borden house. Churchill tells him they’ve discovered Abby upstairs. (TT322)|
|11:34 am||Bridget fetches Doctor Bowen’s wife, Phoebe. (T250)|
|11:35-11:40 am||Officer Patrick Doherty & Deputy Sheriff Wixon arrive at house, see Manning sitting on steps, met at backdoor by Dr. Bowen, who lets them Begin search.. (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. (T686)|
|11:42 am||Doherty moves bed out 3 feet to view Mrs. Borden. (PH330)|
|11:44 am||Doherty runs to Undertaker Gorman’s shop around corner and phones Marshall Hilliard. (PH331)|
|11:45 am||Doherty returns; Officers Mullaly. Allen, Denny, and Mr. 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 murdersfrom 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||Asst. Marshall 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.|
|12:15-12:20 am||Officer Harrington arrives at the Borden house. (WS6)|
|12:25 am||Officer Harrington interviews Lizzie in her bedroom (she wears pink wrapper). (WS6)|
|12:45 am||Marshall Hillliard & Officers Doherty & Connors drive carriage toAndrew’s upper farm in Swansea.|
|3:30 pm||Crime scene photographs are taken of Andrew & Abby.|
|3:40 pm||Emma leaves on New Bedford train for Weir Junction to return to Fall River. (CI107)|
|4:00 pm||Stomachs of Andrew and Abby removed and sealed.|
|5:00 pm||Emma returns from Fairhaven and arrives at the Borden house. (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)|
|6:00 pm||Alice leaves 92 Second Street to return home for supper. (CI149)|
|8::45 pm Officer Joseph Hyde, observing from a northwest outside
window, sees Lizzie & Alice go down cellar.
The above is an extract from my Fall River/Lizzie Borden Historic Timeline
1620 – 2005.available in digital format ($10). If interested contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.