By Alexis Coe
In 1892, the USA used to be keen about a teenage murderess, however it wasn't her crime that stunned the nation—it used to be her motivation. Nineteen-year-old Alice Mitchell had deliberate to cross as a guy with a purpose 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 surprised 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 used to be deemed insane through her father that very evening, and medical examiners agreed: This was once a perilous and incurable perversion. because the court 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 info for Alice + Freda Forever. A Murder in Memphis
Alvin J. Ward wisely opted not to settle in Memphis, a city teeming with people who knew them and their families, they nevertheless planned to marry there. Even stranger still, Freda promised to enlist her own family’s reverend from Grace Episcopal Church to perform the marriage ceremony. Freda was said to have had a lovely singing voice, and when the Wards lived in Memphis, she often performed at the church. It is hard to imagine that the reverend, who had so often seen the seventeen-year-old surrounded by the Wards, would officiate Freda’s nuptials without questioning her family’s conspicuous absence, or why she would choose to have the ceremony downriver from the city in which they all lived.
If it continued this way, she would miss Freda Ward altogether. But Alice refused to let that happen. She had made a solemn declaration, and she intended to make good on it. In the meantime, she could find no solace in her house, no distraction through sewing or reading. Alice had no interest in food, in eating it or making it, and yet she spent most of her waking hours in the kitchen, where she had hidden the locked box. She would spend hours studying its treasures: the love letters, the photograph, the engagement ring.
In these published stories, mothers were almost always depicted as careless, blind to the shameful schemes unfolding in their domestic sphere, while the men, once informed, would sprint out into the world as saviors, unrelenting in their gallant effort to preserve familial honor. If the young woman was found, it was likely to be in a brothel, or under the influence of an unseemly man not dissimilar to George Wickham, the charming officer who convinces Lydia Bennett to run away with him in Jane Austen’s 1813 novel, Pride and Prejudice.
Alice + Freda Forever. A Murder in Memphis by Alexis Coe