During the Victorian time period social class rank and distinction defined your life. The Bordens belonged to the old middle class. The Cult of Domesticity was a belief during the 1800's about how women should act, behave, and function in society. The main parts of the belief were that women should be religious and homemakers. Women in general were seen as weak. Lizzie Borden was a spinster which meant that she was unmarried.
Lizzie Borden Comic Book Project
By: James Miranda
The Borden household was frivolous and strict because Andrew Borden imposed a stern environment. Lizzie Borden was born in 1860 and became a spinster. She was not content with the lifestyle that was imposed by her father. She wanted to live a more luxurious lifestyle. Andrew Borden had given gifts to various family members but not to Lizzie. Life in the Borden household was seen as a "cold war" between family members because they did things separately like eating meals.
On August 2nd and 3rd of 1892 at 10:40 am Andrew Borden comes home from work after feeling sick. At 10:45 am he enters the house and Lizzie is seen standing at the landing of the stairs laughing. At 10:50 am Lizzie tells him that she received a note from a sick friend and leaves the house. Andrew Borden lays down to take a nap. At 11:00 to 11:15 am Andrew Borden is struck with an axe 12 times. At 11:15 Lizzie yells to Bridget to "come down quick."
At 11:30 am Dr. Bowen arrives and notes that there was no sign of a struggle and that the 1st hit killed Mr. Borden. He asks Lizzie where she was and she says "in the barn looking for some iron." Dr. Bowen also determines that Abby was killed almost an hour and a half before her husband. She was killed in the guest room and was struck with an axe 19 times. Both died after the first hit and there was no definite murder weapon found.
On June 5th, 1893 Lizzie Borden's trial started at the New Bedford Courthouse. She had a lot of public support. The 2 things that the prosecution used against Lizzie were the estrangement between her and Abby and her burning her dress. The defense stated that Lizzie was seen as having a spotless reputation. There was no direct evidence to connect Lizzie to the crime. All evidence against Lizzie was circumstantial. The verdict was not guilty because there was not enough direct evidence to convict her and the prosecution failed to prove her guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Also, most people found it hard to believe that a woman like Lizzie could commit such brutal murders.
After the trial Lizzie Borden bought a new house on "the Hill" and continued to live with her sister Emma Borden. On June 1st, 1927 Lizzie Borden died at 67 years old. Eight days later, her sister Emma died. Both of them were buried at the family burial plot in Oak Grove Cemetery in Fall River.