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Book Review: The hanging of Ephraim Wheeler: a story of rape, incest, and justice in early America

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Périodique : Choice Reviews Online
Numéros : vol. 41, nº 04, ISSN 0009-4978 (Imprimé), ISSN 1523-8253 (En ligne)
Dates : Date de publication: 01/12/2003
Etendue : p. 41
Liens internet : DOI

Description

Titre :

Book Review: The hanging of Ephraim Wheeler: a story of rape, incest, and justice in early America

Complément du titre :

By Irene Quenzler Brown, Richard D. Brown; Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2003. 308 p.

Résumé :

In 1806 an anxious crowd of thousands descended upon Lenox, Massachusetts, for the public hanging of Ephraim Wheeler, condemned for the rape of his thirteen-year-old daughter, Betsy. Not all witnesses believed justice had triumphed. The death penalty had become controversial; no one had been executed for rape in Massachusetts in more than a quarter century. Wheeler maintained his innocence. Over one hundred local citizens petitioned for his pardon--including, most remarkably, Betsy and her mother. Impoverished, illiterate, a failed farmer who married into a mixed-race family and clashed routinely with his wife, Wheeler existed on the margins of society. Using the trial report to reconstruct the tragic crime and drawing on Wheeler's jailhouse autobiography to unravel his troubled family history, Irene Quenzler Brown and Richard D. Brown illuminate a rarely seen slice of early America. They imaginatively and sensitively explore issues of family violence, poverty, gender, race and class, religion, and capital punishment, revealing similarities between death penalty politics in America today and two hundred years ago. Beautifully crafted, engagingly written, this unforgettable story probes deeply held beliefs about morality and about the nature of justice.

Harvard University Press : www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674017603

Détails

Langue : anglais
Numéro de fiche : 1262
Source : CrossRef: 2018-05-04
Type de fiche : Article de périodique
Création : 04/05/2018
Dernière modification : 15/11/2018
Statut WordPress : Publié