Brotherly love: murder and the politics of prejudice in by Charles Hoffmann

By Charles Hoffmann

On New Year's Eve in 1843, Rhode Island fabric producer Amasa Sprague was once shot and crushed to loss of life. inside of days, 3 Irish immigrant brothers have been arrested, charged with homicide, and finally dropped at trial.

Brotherly Love is a photograph reconstruction of the crime, its social and monetary history, and the following trials. the tale finds the antagonism among native-born Yankees, who commanded nice strength, and the starting to be variety of Irish Catholic immigrants, such a lot of whom labored within the fabric generators. certainly, the commercial, political, and spiritual dimensions of the clash are all obvious within the trials.

The authors argue persuasively that the Gordons have been sufferers of bigotry and circumstantial proof, serving as handy scapegoats to assuage a group outraged over the homicide of its wealthiest citizen. In telling the tale of this infamous case, Brotherly Love finds the politics of prejudice in nineteenth-century New England as performed out in neighborhood and court docket.

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Additional info for Brotherly love: murder and the politics of prejudice in nineteenth-century Rhode Island

Sample text

Although agriculture was still the main occupation of these states in the 1830s, the farms were small, producing mainly for families and local markets. Textile manufacturing was the main form of industry in New England, and indeed the industrial revolution in America began with the establishment of the Slater cotton mill in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, in 1793. By 1832, there were 116 cotton mills in Rhode Island, employing 8,500 workers. 18 There were only two rival calico printing companies in the state large enough to compete with the Spragues.

If it could be produced, the case against him and his brothers would be severely weakened. He believed the gun must have been knocked down by the dog and fallen behind a barrel. That would explain why the gun had not been found. Right from the beginning he begged Dr. Cleaveland, the jailer, to go to Cranston to search for it, but Cleaveland could not find it anywhere in the store, nor could anybody else. The gun was inexplicably missing. Page 12 In the same state prison, also in solitary confinement awaiting trial, was Thomas Dorr, charged with treason.

M. on the path halfway between Hawkins' Hole and Abner's farmhouse, about 100 yards north of the swamp. Abner was the last man to see Amasa alive, other than the murderer or murderers, for Amasa never reached his farm. To the men gathered around Sprague's body, the timing of the murder and the severity of the blows seemed to suggest an angry confrontation and a vicious assault rather than a coldly planned, premeditated murder. Whatever the motivation, there was no doubt in Dr. Bowen's mind that Sprague had been murdered.

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