By Alexis Coe

ISBN-10: 1936976609

ISBN-13: 9781936976607

In 1892, the United States was once captivated with a teenage murderess, however it wasn't her crime that surprised the nation—it was once her motivation. Nineteen-year-old Alice Mitchell had deliberate to go as a guy for you to marry her seventeen-year-old fiancée Freda Ward, but if their love letters have been found, they have been forbidden from ever conversing again.


Freda adjusted to this destiny with an ease that shocked a heartbroken Alice. Her desperation grew with every one unanswered letter—and her father's razor quickly went lacking. On January 25, Alice publicly slashed her ex-fiancée's throat. Her same-sex love was once deemed insane by way of her father that very evening, and health workers agreed: This was once a perilous and incurable perversion. because the court docket used to be improved to deal with nationwide curiosity, Alice spent months in jail—including the evening that 3 of her fellow prisoners have been lynched (an occasion which captured the eye of journalist and civil rights activist Ida...

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Extra resources for Alice + Freda Forever. A Murder in Memphis

Sample text

Alice and Freda had made no attempt to hide their relationship: their kissing and hugging and hand-holding was certainly noted by those around them. But Jo and Lillie were also seen with their arms linked, sharing meaningful glances and speaking in hushed voices. During the Victorian era, proper American women were not to speak of their desire for men, let alone show it, but demonstrative relationships with other women were considered unremarkable. In Memphis, “chumming” was the regional term for intimate female friendships, but it was by no means particular to Eastern Tennessee.

But I had little more than a train ride for such reveries. I was already a year into research on citizenship, and I was determined to be the kind of historian who focused on law, not love. Nevertheless, I slowly started collecting newspaper articles about the Mitchell-Ward case, struck by their sensational headlines and front page placement, and intrigued by the physical evidence they mentioned—love letters, a bottle of poison, a father’s razor. After I graduated, I worked as a research curator in the Exhibitions Department at the New York Public Library.

A. DOC 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 4500485180 FOR ALICE MITCHELL (1872–1898) AND FREDA WARD (1874–1892) ALICE MITCHELL NICKNAMES: Allie, Alvin J. Ward, AJW, Freda Myra Ward FREDERICA WARD NICKNAMES: Freda, Fred, Freddie, Patty Sing, Pitty Sing, Sing, Serg. Jueq ALICE MITCHELL’S FAMILY George Mitchell, father Isabella Mitchell, mother Robert Mitchell, older brother Frank Mitchell, older brother Mattie Mitchell, eldest sister Addie Mitchell, older sister FREDA WARD’S FAMILY Thomas Ward, father Ada Volkmar, eldest sister/surrogate mother Jo Ward, older sister, NICKNAME: Joe William Volkmar, brother-in-law/Ada’s husband JUDGE, DEFENSE, AND PROSECUTION Julius DuBose, Judge Colonel George Gantt, defense General Luke Wright, defense Malcolm Rice Patterson, defense George Peters, prosecution MISCELLANEOUS Lillie Johnson, Alice’s best friend, NICKNAME: Jessie Rita James Ashley Roselle, suitor/romantic rival Lucy Franklin, Mitchell family cook WHEN I FIRST LEARNED about the 1892 murder of seventeen-year-old Freda Ward by her ex-fiancé, nineteen-year-old Alice Mitchell, I was riding a New York City subway on my long commute home from graduate school.

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Alice + Freda Forever. A Murder in Memphis by Alexis Coe


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