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"Do not scorn her with words fierce and bitter"


Maria Bickford


Maria Bickford

"The Tirrell case is one of the triumphs of [the lawyer] Rufus Choate, who convinced the jury that his client did not cut the throat of Mrs. Bickford, or, if he did, he did it in his sleep ... After his acquittal of the murder charge, Tirrell was tried for arson, the murderer having set fire to the premises. Again Choate successfully argued his 'insanity of sleep' theme and won an acquittal."(McDade)

The illustration is from: [Silas Wilder] The life and death of Mrs. Maria Bickford, a beautiful female who was in-humanly murdered in the moral and religious city of Boston ... by Albert J. Tirrell, her paramour. (Boston: Silas Estabrook, 1846), in the Harris Collection of American Poetry and Plays.


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