Killed Strangely: The Death of Rebecca Cornell

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9780801475276: Killed Strangely: The Death of Rebecca Cornell

"It was Rebecca's son, Thomas, who first realized the victim's identity. His eyes were drawn to the victim's head, and aided by the flickering light of a candle, he 'clapt his hands and cryed out, Oh Lord, it is my mother.' James Moills, a servant of Cornell . . . described Rebecca 'lying on the floore, with fire about Her, from her Lower parts neare to the Armepits.' He recognized her only 'by her shoes.'"―from Killed Strangely

On a winter's evening in 1673, tragedy descended on the respectable Rhode Island household of Thomas Cornell. His 73-year-old mother, Rebecca, was found close to her bedroom's large fireplace, dead and badly burned. The legal owner of the Cornells' hundred acres along Narragansett Bay, Rebecca shared her home with Thomas and his family, a servant, and a lodger. A coroner's panel initially declared her death "an Unhappie Accident," but before summer arrived, a dark web of events―rumors of domestic abuse, allusions to witchcraft, even the testimony of Rebecca's ghost through her brother―resulted in Thomas's trial for matricide.

Such were the ambiguities of the case that others would be tried for the murder as well. Rebecca is a direct ancestor of Cornell University's founder, Ezra Cornell. Elaine Forman Crane tells the compelling story of Rebecca's death and its aftermath, vividly depicting the world in which she lived. That world included a legal system where jurors were expected to be familiar with the defendant and case before the trial even began. Rebecca's strange death was an event of cataclysmic proportions, affecting not only her own community, but neighboring towns as well.

The documents from Thomas's trial provide a rare glimpse into seventeenth-century life. Crane writes, "Instead of the harmony and respect that sermon literature, laws, and a hierarchical/patriarchal society attempted to impose, evidence illustrates filial insolence, generational conflict, disrespect toward the elderly, power plays between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, [and] adult dependence on (and resentment of) aging parents who clung to purse strings." Yet even at a distance of more than three hundred years, Rebecca Cornell's story is poignantly familiar. Her complaints of domestic abuse, Crane says, went largely unheeded by friends and neighbors until, at last, their complacency was shattered by her terrible death.

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From the Back Cover:

"Killed Strangely is itself a strangely haunting work. Based on meticulous, often ingenious, research, it unfolds a compelling story of lives gone awry in the lost world of colonial America. Some parts are highly specific to that world; others are of universal significance. As such, the book makes a signal contribution to the budding genre of *microhistory*."--John Demos, Yale University

"Killed Strangely takes us to a seventeenth-century New England hearth that does not radiate the warmth and ultra-piety we commonly imagine when we visit picture-perfect historic colonial houses. Rebecca Cornell's hearth was the scene of her death, by burning and perhaps also by stabbing. Was it matricide? Intruder murder? Suicide? Elaine Forman Crane sorts through the suspects and possibilities, skillfully exploring the tensions generated in the Cornell household over marriage and remarriage, elder care and filial duty, money and inheritance. Her absorbing recreation of this one family's history, from English origins through Atlantic migration, from Puritanism to Quakerism, from Indian wars to the Barbados trade, from murder conviction and execution to the birth of a baby named, Innocent, opens a window onto a rarely-seen slice of the American colonial past."--Patricia Cline Cohen, University of California Santa Barbara

"Killed Strangely is a page turner! I don't think I have ever devoured a nonfiction book so quickly and with so much pleasure. Elaine Crane has mastered the art of suspense; she sets up the circumstances of this unusual case of matricide and only divulges its details to the reader a piece at a time until the puzzle is complete. In addition to writing a superb 'whodunit,' Crane has painted a vivid portrait of seventeenth-century New England."--Elizabeth Reis, author of Damned Women: Sinners and Witches in Puritan New England

"Killed Strangely is an engrossing piece of microhistory, a detective story, and a wonderful 'thought experiment' all rolled into one book. Crane's explorations of different possible explanations for Rebecca Cornell's mysterious death should prove fascinating to scholars and students alike."--Mary Beth Norton, Cornell University

About the Author:

Elaine Forman Crane is Professor of History at Fordham University. She is the author of several books, including Killed Strangely: The Death of Rebecca Cornell and Witches, Wife Beaters, and Whores: Common Law and Common Folk in Early America, both from Cornell.

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Descripción Cornell University Press, United States, 2009. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. It was Rebecca s son, Thomas, who first realized the victim s identity. His eyes were drawn to the victim s head, and aided by the flickering light of a candle, he clapt his hands and cryed out, Oh Lord, it is my mother. James Moills, a servant of Cornell . . . described Rebecca lying on the floore, with fire about Her, from her Lower parts neare to the Armepits. He recognized her only by her shoes. --from Killed Strangely On a winter s evening in 1673, tragedy descended on the respectable Rhode Island household of Thomas Cornell. His 73-year-old mother, Rebecca, was found close to her bedroom s large fireplace, dead and badly burned. The legal owner of the Cornells hundred acres along Narragansett Bay, Rebecca shared her home with Thomas and his family, a servant, and a lodger. A coroner s panel initially declared her death an Unhappie Accident, but before summer arrived, a dark web of events--rumors of domestic abuse, allusions to witchcraft, even the testimony of Rebecca s ghost through her brother--resulted in Thomas s trial for matricide. Such were the ambiguities of the case that others would be tried for the murder as well. Rebecca is a direct ancestor of Cornell University s founder, Ezra Cornell. Elaine Forman Crane tells the compelling story of Rebecca s death and its aftermath, vividly depicting the world in which she lived. That world included a legal system where jurors were expected to be familiar with the defendant and case before the trial even began. Rebecca s strange death was an event of cataclysmic proportions, affecting not only her own community, but neighboring towns as well. The documents from Thomas s trial provide a rare glimpse into seventeenth-century life. Crane writes, Instead of the harmony and respect that sermon literature, laws, and a hierarchical/patriarchal society attempted to impose, evidence illustrates filial insolence, generational conflict, disrespect toward the elderly, power plays between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, [and] adult dependence on (and resentment of) aging parents who clung to purse strings. Yet even at a distance of more than three hundred years, Rebecca Cornell s story is poignantly familiar. Her complaints of domestic abuse, Crane says, went largely unheeded by friends and neighbors until, at last, their complacency was shattered by her terrible death. Nº de ref. de la librería AAC9780801475276

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Descripción Cornell University Press, United States, 2009. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. It was Rebecca s son, Thomas, who first realized the victim s identity. His eyes were drawn to the victim s head, and aided by the flickering light of a candle, he clapt his hands and cryed out, Oh Lord, it is my mother. James Moills, a servant of Cornell . . . described Rebecca lying on the floore, with fire about Her, from her Lower parts neare to the Armepits. He recognized her only by her shoes. --from Killed Strangely On a winter s evening in 1673, tragedy descended on the respectable Rhode Island household of Thomas Cornell. His 73-year-old mother, Rebecca, was found close to her bedroom s large fireplace, dead and badly burned. The legal owner of the Cornells hundred acres along Narragansett Bay, Rebecca shared her home with Thomas and his family, a servant, and a lodger. A coroner s panel initially declared her death an Unhappie Accident, but before summer arrived, a dark web of events--rumors of domestic abuse, allusions to witchcraft, even the testimony of Rebecca s ghost through her brother--resulted in Thomas s trial for matricide. Such were the ambiguities of the case that others would be tried for the murder as well. Rebecca is a direct ancestor of Cornell University s founder, Ezra Cornell. Elaine Forman Crane tells the compelling story of Rebecca s death and its aftermath, vividly depicting the world in which she lived. That world included a legal system where jurors were expected to be familiar with the defendant and case before the trial even began. Rebecca s strange death was an event of cataclysmic proportions, affecting not only her own community, but neighboring towns as well. The documents from Thomas s trial provide a rare glimpse into seventeenth-century life. Crane writes, Instead of the harmony and respect that sermon literature, laws, and a hierarchical/patriarchal society attempted to impose, evidence illustrates filial insolence, generational conflict, disrespect toward the elderly, power plays between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, [and] adult dependence on (and resentment of) aging parents who clung to purse strings. Yet even at a distance of more than three hundred years, Rebecca Cornell s story is poignantly familiar. Her complaints of domestic abuse, Crane says, went largely unheeded by friends and neighbors until, at last, their complacency was shattered by her terrible death. Nº de ref. de la librería AAC9780801475276

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Descripción Cornell University Press. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Paperback. 256 pages. Dimensions: 8.4in. x 5.4in. x 0.7in.It was Rebeccas son, Thomas, who first realized the victims identity. His eyes were drawn to the victims head, and aided by the flickering light of a candle, he clapt his hands and cryed out, Oh Lord, it is my mother. James Moills, a servant of Cornell . . . described Rebecca lying on the floore, with fire about Her, from her Lower parts neare to the Armepits. He recognized her only by her shoes. from Killed Strangely On a winters evening in 1673, tragedy descended on the respectable Rhode Island household of Thomas Cornell. His 73-year-old mother, Rebecca, was found close to her bedrooms large fireplace, dead and badly burned. The legal owner of the Cornells hundred acres along Narragansett Bay, Rebecca shared her home with Thomas and his family, a servant, and a lodger. A coroners panel initially declared her death an Unhappie Accident, but before summer arrived, a dark web of eventsrumors of domestic abuse, allusions to witchcraft, even the testimony of Rebeccas ghost through her brotherresulted in Thomass trial for matricide. Such were the ambiguities of the case that others would be tried for the murder as well. Rebecca is a direct ancestor of Cornell Universitys founder, Ezra Cornell. Elaine Forman Crane tells the compelling story of Rebeccas death and its aftermath, vividly depicting the world in which she lived. That world included a legal system where jurors were expected to be familiar with the defendant and case before the trial even began. Rebeccas strange death was an event of cataclysmic proportions, affecting not only her own community, but neighboring towns as well. The documents from Thomass trial provide a rare glimpse into seventeenth-century life. Crane writes, Instead of the harmony and respect that sermon literature, laws, and a hierarchicalpatriarchal society attempted to impose, evidence illustrates filial insolence, generational conflict, disrespect toward the elderly, power plays between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, and adult dependence on (and resentment of) aging parents who clung to purse strings. Yet even at a distance of more than three hundred years, Rebecca Cornells story is poignantly familiar. Her complaints of domestic abuse, Crane says, went largely unheeded by friends and neighbors until, at last, their complacency was shattered by her terrible death. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Nº de ref. de la librería 9780801475276

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