By Alexis Coe
In 1892, the USA was once enthusiastic about a teenage murderess, however it wasn't her crime that surprised the nation—it used to be her motivation. Nineteen-year-old Alice Mitchell had deliberate to move as a guy to be able to marry her seventeen-year-old fiancée Freda Ward, but if their love letters have been found, they have been forbidden from ever talking again.
Freda adjusted to this destiny with an ease that shocked a heartbroken Alice. Her desperation grew with each 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 through her father that very evening, and health workers agreed: This was once a perilous and incurable perversion. because the court docket used to be extended 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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Extra resources for Alice + Freda Forever. A Murder in Memphis
They were teenagers in love, and they planned to spend the rest of their lives together. Their relationship—plagued by issues of jealousy and infidelity from the very beginning—was fraught, in no small part, because it was illicit. In 1892 Memphis, few people had heard of same-sex love, and even fewer believed it was anything less than perverse. And from the moment the romantic nature of Alice and Freda’s relationship was discovered, that was all they heard: It was wrong. It was unnatural. It was impossible.
Laudanum, a potent mix of opium and alcohol, was easy to procure for various aches and pains, but it came with a warning. The solution was highly concentrated, and fatal overdoses were not uncommon. If Alice could get enough past Freda’s lips while her beloved slept, the drink would likely be her last. Alice would eventually write out a more comprehensive list—“How to Kill”—but that night laudanum was her only option, and she could hardly guarantee there was enough for both of them. And so she lay there, inches from her love, contemplating how many doses she held in her hand.
Freda shrieked. ” Jo screamed as she watched blood pour down her sister’s neck, staining her dress red. She grasped the only weapon she had, the long umbrella in her hand, and lunged toward Alice. It was no match for the razor. Alice had only intended to harm one Ward sister that day, but the umbrella enraged her, and she turned her blood soaked razor on Jo, slicing at her collarbone. ” Jo yelled, with now her own gaping wound. She had lost her only means of defense. In the scuffle, Alice had gotten hold of the umbrella, and proved more successful in using it.
Alice + Freda Forever. A Murder in Memphis by Alexis Coe