Broadside, LINES Written on the death of Sarah M. Cornell., 1833. Paper; American; unidentified author; unidentified publisher.
The body of Sarah Maria Cornell (1803-1832), a “mill girl” employed at the Fall River Manufactory, was discovered on December 21, 1832, hanging in a stack-yard on the farm of John Durfee in Tiverton, Rhode Island (now Fall River, Massachusetts); an autopsy revealed that the victim was pregnant. The Reverend Ephraim Kingsbury Avery (1799-1869), a Methodist minister, was accused of the crime due to incriminating evidence left by the victim. Following a sensational trial, considered a cause célèbre of the era, he was acquitted on June 2, 1833. The perpetrator of the crime was never brought to justice.