Last Woman Hanged was a little girl

October 10, 2014

 

My new book is called Last Woman Hanged - and it concerns the Last Woman Hanged at the Darlinghurst Gaol but occasionally, friends will direct me to clips, stories, songs, poems,

about other women hanged. This story is from the 19th century New York Times and it concerns the last woman hanged in Kentucky - not a woman at all, but a small girl, aged just 13 (it reads like 18, but the number in this story is actually 13.) She was black, and she killed the white baby she was minding. She said she didn't know why but she couldn't seem to help it. A reporter from the Louisville Courier is reported as saying: 'I went to her cell (and) asked her if she knew she must die. She replied: 'yes.' She was sorry she had killed the child but hoped God would forgive her and let her come to Heaven.'

After the hanging, spectators souvenired bits of the rope.

How far away it all seems. How far we've all come. 

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