By Alexis Coe
In 1892, the United States was once keen about 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 on the way to marry her seventeen-year-old fiancée Freda Ward, but if their love letters have been came upon, 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 was once deemed insane by way of her father that very evening, and health workers agreed: This used to be a perilous and incurable perversion. because the court docket was once increased 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
And as Alice would learn in just a few months time, when much of America would clamor for it, Freda most certainly did not destroy their letters. WHEN A MONTH PASSED WITH NO WORD, Alice became convinced that Freda had not received her final plea, or that if she had, that her attempts to respond had been thwarted by others. The possibility that Freda herself had chosen not to reply to a letter full of accusations, or that Freda may have found relief in Ada’s intervention, never seemed to register with Alice.
She obviously gave the purchase much thought and consideration, engraving the ring, “From A. ” And of course, she told no one about it. Freda was far less discreet, happy to display their love whenever possible—the more conspicuous and dramatic, the better. To avoid suspicion, Alice argued that they should be no more demonstrative than Jo and Lillie. She thought further exhibitionism put their future in peril. But to Alice, it was worse than imprudent—the lack of seriousness this immodest behavior implied seemed to really bother her.
George had been expecting him. He readied himself and Alice for a trip to the jailhouse, just a few minute’s walk from the scene of the crime. He waited patiently as Davis booked his nineteen-year-old daughter on the charge of murder, amiably chatting with jailers, all sympathetic friends who promised to look after Alice while he sought legal representation. By eight o’clock that evening, George returned with two of the most prominent, expensive attorneys in Eastern Tennessee, if not the entire state.
Alice + Freda Forever. A Murder in Memphis by Alexis Coe