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ix, 243 pages, 24 unnumbered pages of plates ; 23 cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
"A compelling story about three murders in Brooklyn between 1872 and 1873 and the young women charged with the crimes. Between January 1872 and September 1873, the city of Brooklyn was gripped by accounts of three murders allegedly committed by young women: a factory girl shot her employer and seducer, an evidently peculiar woman shot a philandering member of a prominent Brooklyn family, and a former nun was arrested on suspicion of having hanged her best friend and onetime convent mate. Two were detained at the county jail on Raymond Street, while one remained at large, and her pursuit and eventual arrest was complicated by dissension in the police department. Lawyers for all three women prepared insanity defenses, and citizens thronged the courtrooms to witness the suspenseful trials. An intriguing account of the events surrounding the cases, which became entwined with Brooklyn's politics and religious differences, The Three Graces of Raymond Street offers insights into the sexual mores of the times and illustrates the development of the modern American city; 'Robert E. Murphy has done a wonderful job recreating the lost city of Brooklyn in the years following the Civil War. Through the stories of three women jailed for murder, he brings to life the personalities and places--and scandals--that made Brooklyn a vibrant, vital place. This is a terrific read'--Terry Golway, author of Machine Made : Tammany Hall and the Creation of Modern American Politics"--From publisher's website.
I. Living dangerously. City air breathes free ; He told her not to do it ; A terrible thing to tell ; Lost city -- II. Jailhouse and courthouse. Fanny of Raymond Street ; You have had me ; Look at her now ; Adulterous, militant Brooklyn -- III. Her poor Betsey. Come in here and see him ; My God, it is plain! ; The same type of woman ; By other names ; Queer crime, queerer woman ; The positions that they're in -- IV. Three Graces. Sarah and Maggie : a very strange ending ; A sealed confession? ; Sarah, Kate and Lucette of Raymond Street ; Brooklyn's lesser scandal, continued -- V. Women and the law. A fourth Grace ; Last words ; Seems like a dream ; Remembered and forgotten.
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