Lizzie Borden (Dictionary of World Biography: The 19th Century)
Article abstract: The legend of Lizzie Borden, axe murderer, endures despite the fact that Borden was acquitted of the August 4, 1892, murder of her father, Andrew Jackson Borden, and stepmother, Abby Durfee Gray Borden.
Born on July 19, 1860, Lizzie Andrew Borden and her older sister, Emma Lenora, were raised by their stepmother, Abby, and their father, Andrew. Lizzie’s mother, Sarah Morse, died when Lizzie was an infant; two years later, Andrew married Abby Durfee Gray, who cared for the Borden girls for thirty years. By 1892, Lizzie was thirty-two and Emma was forty-two years of age. Unmarried, both sisters continued to live in the Borden house on 92 Second Street, one of the busiest streets in Fall River, Massachusetts.
The Borden name was influential in Fall River. The eighth generation of Bordens in the town, Andrew owned numerous properties, served as bank president, sat on the board of directors of three other banks, and was the director of several businesses. He was worth a half-million dollars (a multimillionaire by contemporary standards) and was a man of high social standing, known for his considerable wealth as well as for his penurious nature.
Lizzie was an active member of her church, a Sunday school teacher, a participant in a variety of women’s groups, a leader of the town’s Christian Endeavor Society, and a member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union...
(The entire section is 2055 words.)
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Borden, Lizzie (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
The trial of Lizzie Borden shows the effect that public opinion can have on the life of an accused person, regardless of the outcome of a fair trial.
Lizzie Borden was born July 19, 1860. She was a plain, outspoken woman who lived with her father, stepmother, and sister in a house on Second Street in Fall River, a small industrial city located in southeastern Massachusetts.
According to local rumors, the Borden family was not noted for its harmonious relationships. Andrew Borden was a quiet, unpleasant man who had two daughters, Lizzie and Emma, by a previous marriage, and who had married his present wife in 1865. Neither Lizzie nor Emma favored the union and animosity existed among the three Borden women.
On August 4, 1892, the residents of Fall River were shocked and frightened by the brutal ax murders of Andrew Borden and his wife. The killings were committed at the Borden home in daylight. Emma Borden was out of town, but Lizzie discovered her father's body on the couch in the living room; she immediately sent a servant, Bridget, for help. Upon their return, Bridget and a neighbor found the body of Lizzie's stepmother in an upstairs bedroom.
The town was in an uproar and the newspapers seized the opportunity to sensationalize an already lurid story. Lizzie became the prime suspect, and throughout Fall River, speculation...
(The entire section is 658 words.)