Hilliard Papers

Rufus Bassett Hilliard Collection, aka “The Hilliard Papers”


This important archive is comprised of the personal files of City Marshall Rufus Bassett Hilliard (1849-1912), and contains manuscripts and correspondence that he received pertaining to the Borden case, and the only two original copies of the Witness Statements known to exist. It is the second largest collection of primary source material on the Borden case to have surfaced to date.


Rufus B. Hilliard served as city marshall in Fall River, Massachusetts, from March, 1886, until his retirement in June, 1909. In that capacity, he was a key figure in the police investigation of the murders of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew J. Borden. 

The existence of this material was unknown outside the Hilliard family prior to its being donated to the FRHS.


Rufus B. Hilliard to his wife, née Nellie Smith Clark (1861-1936); to their son, Dana Smith Hilliard (1889-1965); to his wife, née Clara Louisa Hart (1890-1973); to their daughter, Mrs. Donald Bradbury, née Jean Frances Hilliard (1916-1981); to her husband, Mr. Bradbury (1917-1996); to the FRHS, 1989, Accession Number: 1989.057.

The collection was donated by Mr. Bradbury in memory of his late wife; the gift was prompted by the publicity surrounding the contribution of the Hosea Morrill Knowlton Collection to the FRHS, just a few weeks earlier.


RH001 to RH243Manuscripts: 243 letters and documents received by City Marshall Hilliard from August 5, 1892, to September 19, 1902.

Object Identification Numbers: 1989.057.001 to 1989.057.243

RH244, RH245Transcripts: Two copies of Witness Statements pertaining to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts vs. Lizzie A. Borden – August 4, 1892 to October 10, 1892.

Object Identification Numbers: 1989.057.244 to 1989.057.245

This collection is closed to researchers pending conservation and publication by the FRHS.