On January 25, 1892, on a riverfront railroad track, in Memphis, Tennessee, Alice Mitchell slit the throat of Freda Ward. Mitchell explained: "I killed Freda because I loved her, and she refused to marry me." The murder and subsequent trial brought new, national attention to intense, passionate, romantic and sometimes sexual (and soured) intimacies between women.
This multi-part feature in development will include primary source documents, scholarly articles (reprinted and original), and a bibliography on this major, violent incident in lesbian U.S. history.
This feature is introduced with reprints of two major scholarly analyses of Mitchell and Ward's intimacy, the murder, and its aftermath.
This feature also reprints reports about an African American woman, Emma Williams, murdering another African American woman, Eleanor Richardson, in Mobile, Alabama. The papers compared this to Alice Mithcell's murder of Freda Ward. OutHistory director Jonathan Ned Katz is asking for more evidence about this case.
OutHistory also publishes original research in newspaper reports of the murder of an African American woman, Eleanor Richardson, by Emma Williams, also African American. Researchers are asked to send OutHistory any new information about this case: firstname.lastname@example.org
See also the OutHistory feature about John Wesley Carhart's novel Norma Trist (1895):
Jonathan Ned Katz, Curator