Fall River Outrage
Life, Murder, and Justice in Early Industrial New England
David Richard Kasserman
"A meticulous account that reads as engrossing as a modern murder mystery. . . . A deeply textured and highly readable book on which any such synthesis [about the social forces in Jacksonian America] must draw."—New York Times
"Kasserman scrupulously reconstructs events and supplies contexts for evaluation but avoids imposing interpretations, leaving readers to draw their own conclusions. The historical care will engage scholars and true-crime buffs."—Library Journal
Fall River Outrage recounts one of the most sensational and widely reported murder cases in early nineteenth-century America. When, in 1832, a pregnant mill worker was found hanged, the investigation implicated a prominent Methodist minister. Fearing adverse publicity, both the industrialists of Fall River and the New England Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church engaged in energetic campaigns to obtain a favorable verdict. It was also one of the earliest attempts by American lawyers to prove their client innocent by assassinating the moral character of the female victim. Fall River Outrage provides insight in American social, legal, and labor history as well as women's studies.
David Richard Kasserman taught anthropology at Glassboro State College. His interest in the Cornell-Avery trial grew out of his research on the American cotton industry.