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Carolyn Gage’s Plays on Nance O’Neil, Lizzie Borden and Bridget Sullivan

Tattered Fabric: Fall River's Lizzie Borden

Carolyn Gageis a prolific, award winning playwright who’s one-act plays are as captivating as she is.  A lovely human being, she exemplifies “Live Life Liberated” in word and deed as well as her joyful exuberance as illustrated in this image.

She has written a play of Nance O’Neil and her alleged laison with Lizzie Borden:

The Greatest Actress Who Ever Lived

Carolyn Gage in character as Bridget Sullivan for reading of her play, “Lace Curtain Irish”

Here’s the web page showing the dates and locations where these plays are being performed.  If you live anywhere near these locations, do yourself a favor and relish in the writing and performance of Carolyn Gage.

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Posted by on August 15, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Lizzie Borden’s Dying Act of Kindness

 (Originally published in June 1st, 2010)

https://phayemuss.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/image055.jpg?w=515&h=412

 

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.

Her Will was probated for 6 years with four separate Probate Court Accountings submitted by the executor of her estate, Charles Clarke Cook (as shown below from Men in Progress-1896):

Scan_Pic0008 (2)                                     Photo credit (cropped):  Fall River Herald News

 

Probate of Lizzie’s Will.

Proceeding Inclusive Dates Held
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.

                                                                                             xxx

 

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.)

Added Note:  More information on Charles C. Cook can be found HERE   (Representative Men and Old Families) and from Men in Progress 1896 HERE.

 

Borden Murders: Comprehensive Timeline May 9, 1892 thru August 4, 1892

(Originally posted August 2, 2016 – Be sure to click link at bottom left for “…..As It Happened” minute-by-minute Timeline of day of murders.)

 

vicinity

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 Borden’s; takes Butcher Davis daughter &Emma for ride.                      JohnMorse-older          (CI 96)
July 10, 1892 Morse again visits Bordens.  AJB asks Morse if  he knows of manto 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.          ferrysthouse         (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 stopping 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.KitchenStove
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.BowenMiller house
 9:00am approx. Dr. Bowen crosses street to check on the Bordens; Lizzie dashes upstairs; Andrew rebuffs his unsolicited visit.  ConjectureCover
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 Bedfordfor 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.                           Front stairs top landing      (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.                   Sitting Room from front entry              (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.  Stairwy2Bsmnt
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.Backyard
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. Sitting Room-Kitchen door
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.rearhouse
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.AbbyHeadWounds
9:30 am Abraham G. Hart, Treasurer of Union Savings Bank, talks to Andrewat Bank.1890's
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.  house3
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.nORTHCUT
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.
10:45 am
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.                        92SecondFront                  (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)AdelaideChurchhill
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)Conjecture Cover2
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.ajbsofa
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.

SideEntranceBH

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
11:23-11:30 am
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..                                                           floorplan                                    (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.                                                                 Abby on floor-with half man          (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.Backyard
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.Andrew-Abby4PicDeath
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 phayemuss@gmail.com.

dscn4554

 

Happy 157th Birthday Lizzie Borden

Today is Lizzie Borden’s 157th Birthday.  Show a little respect.

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2017 in Just for Laughs, Time Portals

 

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June 1893 Timeline of Lizzie Borden’s Trial

 

Mayor

Above image is from my CD “Threads That Bind”.

BOOKMARKS3

I used to sell the bookmarks shown in the above image.

**************************************************************

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 – composed from extracts of my Historic Timeline.

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.

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Occasionally, some of you

 

“We Love You, Lizzie – Oh, Yes We Do!”

(Originally posted in 2006)

(Think “We Love You, Conrad” from the movie Bye Bye Birdie.)

There was a great deal of sympathy and support for Lizzie Borden from the time of the murders to the time of her Trial – particularly during the time she was incarcerated at the ivy-covered Taunton Jail until June 3, 1893, when she was transfered to the New Bedford Jail.

While at the Taunton Jail, she gained sympathy from the “sob sister” style reporting of her jailhouse interview with Mrs. McGuire which appeared in print on September 20, 1892. In that interview Lizzie tells her of the flood of letters she has received from kind supporters. (Where ARE they? And who has any she may have written back to?)

Then on October 10th, the “Trickey-McHenry” journalistic fiasco by the Boston Globe so promptly retracted with apologies to Lizzie (and John Morse) garnered her more of the “that poor girl” image.

The papers reported the Government had a weak case but the critical revelation of the dress burning incident told by Alice Russell when the Grand Jury reconvened on December 1, 1893, was not published.

By April 1st, 1893, Lizzie was already a popular icon regardless of one’s belief in her guilt or innocence. Her popularity was evidenced by her name receiving the most write-ins for the below contest. The contest was for 5 tickets to the Chicago World’s Fair in 5 specific categories: (1) School Teacher, (2) Policeman, Letter Carrier or Fireman, (3) Mechanic or Gentleman Clerk, (4) Mill Hand, and (5) Lady Clerk – all to be residents of New Bedford. One simply had to cut out the coupon and write the name of the person they felt the most popular and designate which occupation.

Lizzie, a Fall River resident, won hands down for most popular “School Teacher”. Lizzie courteously rejected hers suggesting it be given to another, as it was. (It is believed, however, Lizzie subsequently attended the Columbian Exhibition towards its end run after her acquittal.)

How Lizzie must have relished in the glow of all this popularity. She had never been popular in school and so much wanted to be accepted among her peers. She played her “awful confinement” to the hilt.

Then, exactly one month later, on May 1st, 1893, there was the trumpeting of an “outraged” Mary Livermore at the police for their abuse and sheer adacity to even suspect this virginal Sunday school teacher who was the younger daughter of her long deceased friend, Sarah Morse Borden. And in this same article (below) we learn that even Emma received many letters of sympathy and support.

Lizzie’s Trial would begin on June 5th. She was still perceived as a victim. Her Inquest Testimony was disallowed. Her attempt to buy prussic acid was disallowed. She was acquitted. She was loved. “We love you, Lizzie Borden.”

Well, maybe not so much later.

By the way, just WHERE ARE all those letters Emma and Lizzie received, let alone those constituting their responses if they did correspond back? Emma, I would think, would have disposed of them. They certainly haven’t surfaced in the personal possessions she left Orrin Gardner. Lizzie, on the other hand, may have kept hers. If she did keep them, I have an idea where they might be. She was odd like that. For example, she had no fondness for Abby but she held on to that silver cup Abby gave her all her life.

I think Lizzie would have held on to the mementos that validated her popularity or when she felt loved.

So….

altogether now: “We Love You, Lizzie – Oh, Yes We Do!”

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New Books on Lizzie Borden Coming This Summer

Coming this summer – new books on Lizzie!  We recently had Christine Verstraete’s Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter, and Rebecca Pittman’s The History and Haunting of Lizzie Borden.     The former is fiction horror and the latter is non-fiction.  Christine’s book has been well received and highly praised in reviews by those of its genre, and Rebecca’s book reflects a rare discipline to combine in-depth research with a totally captivating narrative.

But now we will be treated with a few more before the end of the year and I point out the two below worthy of attention.

Sarah Schmidt’s See What I Have Done is a gothic thriller described below.

                                                                                                      Sarah Schmidt

From the May 12, 2017 Critical Eye book reviews in The Guardian:

“Sarah Schmidt’s debut novel See What I Have Done takes a new look at the case of Lizzie Borden, who in 1892 was charged with the brutal murders of her father and stepmother. “A disquieting read,” wrote Antonia Senior in the Times. “There is an ambiguity here that reflects the endless, unanswerable speculation about what really happened that day. This open-endedness will irritate some readers; I loved it.” Jake Kerridge in the Sunday Express found it “dignified and sensual, as though Henry James had decided to tell the tale.  There are multiple well-characterised narrators and a dreamlike quality to the prose that enhances rather than detracts from the horror at the heart of the story.” For the Observer’s Hannah Beckerman, “Schmidt’s portrayal of Lizzie is haunting and complex, a deeply psychological portrait that forces the reader to question their preconceptions about what women are capable of – for better and worse. Both disturbing and gripping, it is an outstanding debut novel about love, death and the lifelong repercussions of unresolved grief.”

Another book to watch for is from an excellent writer who is to be commended for her equally excellent research abilities, Erika Mailman’s The Murderer’s Maid.  Here’s the cover art for that book.

                                                                   Erika Mailman

Erika has written several books:

Check out her website HERE. 

 

 

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