Yay! Our first woman on what I’ve decided to call
Historic Noteworthy Tuesdays! Lizzie Borden! Yay!?
Lizzie Borden is most likely best known for the children’s poem written about her:
Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done
She gave her father forty-one.
It’s a good thing she chose the axe, otherwise the rhyme scheme would have been totally off.
The poem was written about the tragic events that happened on August 4, 1892 in the Borden house. As you may have guessed, Lizzie’s father and step mother were brutally murdered that fateful morning, although not as brutally as the poem may suggest. Lizzie’s stepmother received between 18 to 19 blows, while her father only got 11. And if we’re really going to be technical about it, it wasn’t an axe either, it was a hatchet. You may wonder what the difference is, I didn’t know either. So after some googling I found that according to Survivalist Forum the deference has something to do with weight, length of the handle and how easily you can split medium size piece of elm. Using this reasoning it would surely take fewer than the combined 30 blows that was needed with the hatchet.
Children’s poems are rarely scientifically accurate.
Although she was acquitted, and maintained her innocence, Lizzie was ostracized until her death in 1927. This type of thing happens when you have slews of school children chanting poetry about you as they skip rope.
If you’re in the Fall River, MA area you should stop by The Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast, where you can take a tour, or spend the night. They even have paranormal nights! But before you leave, be sure to pick up a Lizzie Borden bobble head as a souvenir.