By Alexis Coe
In 1892, the United States was once captivated with a teenage murderess, however it wasn't her crime that stunned the nation—it was once her motivation. Nineteen-year-old Alice Mitchell had deliberate to go as a guy that allows you to marry her seventeen-year-old fiancée Freda Ward, but if their love letters have been came upon, they have been forbidden from ever talking 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 via her father that very evening, and health workers agreed: This was once a deadly and incurable perversion. because the court used to be elevated to house 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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Additional info for Alice + Freda Forever. A Murder in Memphis
She might just marry one of the young men she corresponded with, and move even farther away. Alice knew this might be her last chance. And what did Freda know, as she made her way to the docks? 2 THE SURE-FOOTED HORSES PROVED FAR STEADIER on the slippery, thawing ground than Freda, Jo, and Christina had. Distracted by frequent stops to steady themselves, they did not seem to notice when Alice’s buggy passed them. Their slow advance offered plenty of time for Alice to settle the horses in front of the post office, climb down, and watch the trio approach.
The city had practically come to a wintry standstill, and everyone knew the steamers were running on an irregular schedule. Alice studied every line of the letter, each crammed full of lies and broken promises, and grew apoplectic over her ex-fiancé’s sloppy attempt to deceive her. The Rosa Lee had most certainly not gone out, and neither had the Ward sisters. On January 25, however, the Ora Lee was due to depart. If they had not left already, Alice seemed certain they would leave before sundown on this steamer.
I THOUGHT YOU WERE A LADY AFTER MONTHS OF REHEARSAL, Freda’s cue had finally come. On that summer night in 1891, she was, for once it seemed, fully committed to playing her role. She took supper with her family in Gold-dust as if it were any other meal, and then retired to bed, as she had so many nights before. But once inside her room, Freda did not shed her clothing from the day, nor satisfy more than perfunctory ablutions. She was waiting for the moment—between ten o’clock and two in the morning—when the steamer would announce itself, confident that her performance that night had fooled everyone.
Alice + Freda Forever. A Murder in Memphis by Alexis Coe