Lindsey Collection

Anne Hawthorne (Sheen) Lindsey Collection

DESCRIPTION

This collection is comprised of six pieces of correspondence sent by Lizzie A. Borden to her friend Mrs. William Lindsey, Jr., née Anne Hawthorne Sheen (1863-1943), a Fall River native who had been residing in Dorchester, Massachusetts, since 1889. The collection includes the most significant examples of Lizzie’s personal letters that have surfaced to date, including four written from her jail cell in Taunton, Massachusetts.

HISTORICAL NOTE

Mrs. William Lindsey, Jr., was the sister of Mrs. George Sewall Brigham, née Mary Ella Sheen (1856-1942), and a close friend and confidant of Lizzie A. Borden, whom she had known since childhood. A steadfast supporter of Lizzie in the days following the Borden murders, and throughout the trial and its aftermath, she was privy to intimate details of Lizzie’s private life. She also maintained a close relationship with Emma Borden.

The relationship between the two women was unknown outside Mrs. Lindsey’s immediate family until discovered by Fall River Historical Society curators following an arduous, multi-year search, undertaken while researching for the book Parallel Lives: A Social History of Lizzie A. Borden and Her Fall River.

By her own admission, Anne “held Lizzie’s hand throughout the trial,” doing what she could to alleviate the day-to-day anxiety and ennui that plagued Lizzie during her incarceration, feelings that are evidenced by the poignancy of the prison letters, which Lizzie addressed, “My dear Annie.”

Lizzie was fond of Anne’s children, Leslie Hawthorne Lindsey (1886-1915), Kenneth Lovell Lindsey (1888-1969), and Dorothy Lindsey (1898-1978). She was especially close to Kenneth, with whom she shared a great love of horses; she often took him driving in her carriage when the Lindsey family was visiting Fall River, and named a favorite horse after him.

In 1899, Anne sailed to England with her family, and, subsequently, divided her time between residences in Boston and Osterville, Massachusetts, and London, England; her frequent visits to family and friends in Fall River waned with the passing of the years. By the time of the Borden sisters’ estrangement in 1905, Anne appears to have ceased her correspondence with Lizzie, perhaps in similar fashion to the actions of her sister, Mrs. George S. Brigham, who had gradually ended her own contact with Lizzie.

PROVENANCE

Mrs. William Lindsey, Jr.; to her daughter, Mrs. Bruno Paul Marie Joseph Ledet, née Dorothy Lindsey (1898-1978); to her daughter, Mrs. Paolo Clemente Maria Achille Mosca, née Béatrice Anne Marie Lesley Amelie Ledet; acquired by the FRHS, 2015, Accession Number: 2015.001.

Museum purchase made possible by:

A major contribution from
The Oliver S. and Jennie R. Donaldson Charitable Trust

Bennett & Ursula Brown
Marilyn A. Lynch-Cornell
Elizabeth Wells Denning
Donna Dunn
Jay & Barbara Lambert
John & Marilyn Pelto
Betty M. Welch
and
Donors to the FRHS Acquisition Fund

INVENTORY

AHL001 – Letter: Lizzie A Borden to Mrs. William Lindsey, Jr., “Tues[day], Oct[ober] [25], 1892.”

Holograph letter, signed; wove paper, 4 ½” x 6 “; one sheet, single fold, inscribed in ink on three sides, with holograph envelope, embossed “Robert Adams Stationer Fall River,” 4 ” x 3 ¾”.

Subject: Pleasantries, prison life, author’s state-of-mind.

Note: Written from Taunton Jail, Taunton, Massachusetts.

Object Identification Number: 2015.001.001

AHL002 – Letter: Lizzie A. Borden to Mrs. William Lindsey, Jr., January 18, 1893.

Holograph letter, signed; wove paper, 4 ½” x 6 ⅞”; one sheet, single fold, inscribed in ink on three sides, with holograph envelope, wove paper, 4 ” x 3 ¾”.

Subject: Pleasantries, author’s state-of-mind.

Note: Written from Taunton Jail, Taunton, Massachusetts.

Object Identification Number: 2015.001.002

AHL003 – Letter: Lizzie A. Borden to Mrs. William Lindsey, Jr., April 30, 1893.

Holograph letter, signed; wove paper, 4 ½” x 7”; one sheet, single fold, inscribed in ink on three sides.

Subject: Author’s state of mind.

Note: Written from Taunton Jail, Taunton, Massachusetts.

Object Identification Number: 2015.001.003

AHL004 – Letter: Lizzie A. Borden to Mrs. William Lindsey, Jr., May 11, 1893.

Holograph letter, signed; wove paper, 4 ” x 6 ⅞”; one sheet, single fold, inscribed in ink on four sides, with holograph envelope, wove paper, with “Crane’s” watermark, either Z. & W. M. Crane, Dalton, Massachusetts, or Crane Brothers, Westfield, Massachusetts, 4 ⅝” x 3 ¾”.

Subject: Author’s state of mind.

Note: Written from Taunton Jail, Taunton, Massachusetts.

Object Identification Number: 2015.001.004

AHL005 – Letter: Lizzie A. Borden to Mrs. William Lindsey, Jr., February 24, 1894.

Holograph letter, signed; wove paper, 4 ½” x 7”; imprinted “7 French Street, Fall River, Mass.”; one sheet, single fold, inscribed in ink on four sides; and one sheet, 4 ½” x 7”, inscribed in ink on one side.

Subject: Pleasantries, author’s state of mind, home life.

Object Identification Number: 2015.001.005

Enclosure:

AHL005.1 – Calling card, imprinted “Robert T. Swan”; pasteboard, 2 ⅞” x 1 ⅝”.

Note: Robert Thaxter Swan (1843-1907) served as Record Commissioner of Massachusetts. In 1894, he resided at 20 Bird Street, Dorchester, Massachusetts, and was the next-door neighbor to Mr. & Mrs. William Lindsey, Jr.

As is detailed in the letter, Lizzie did not receive Swan when he called on her at her French Street residence for fear that he was a reporter.

AHL006 – Letter: Lizzie A. Borden to Mrs. William Lindsey, September 22, 1895.

Holograph letter, signed; wove paper, 3 ⅞” x 6 ⅛”; one sheet, single fold, inscribed in ink on four sides, with holograph envelope, wove paper, partial “Finish” watermark, unidentified manufacturer, 4 ” x 3 ¼”, embossed “Tilden Thurber Company, Providence.”

Subject: Pleasantries, home life.

Note: The content of this letter has not yet been made public by the FRHS pending research.

Object Identification Number: 2015.001.006

 

1594Subscribers
3Subscribers
1594Subscribers
3Subscribers