Lizzie Borden took an axe;
And gave her mother forty whacks;
When she saw what she had done;
She gave her father forty-one!
Call me morbid, but every August 4th, I like to put up a little tribute to Lizzie Borden, because on this day in 1892, her father, Andrew Borden, and step-mother, Abby Borden, were found davagely bludgeoned to death in the family home in Fall River, MA.
Lizzie was tried for the murders, but acquitted. To this day, however, it is widely believed that she was, in fact, the killer. Lizzie inherited her father's fortune and eventually set up her own estate, Maplecroft, in Fall River.
Why my fascination? Because Lizzie had two servants who managed Maplecroft for her, Henry and Elizabeth Sears. And their daughter, Anna, remembers how the "sweet, old lady Miss Borden" (Lizzie never married and died a spinster) would invite her and her childhood friends to sit with her on the porch for lemonade and cookies on a hot August day, to delight in each other's company.
Anna Sears was my maternal grandmother, and told me that story directly. She also said that her father maintained until he died that "Lizzie did it." Did Lizzie reveal the truth to her trusted servants as the end of her life drew near? Unfortunately, that piece of knowledge lies with Henry at St. John's Cemetery in Fall River . . .