Get Brotherly love: murder and the politics of prejudice in PDF

By Charles Hoffmann

ISBN-10: 0870238523

ISBN-13: 9780870238529

On New Year's Eve in 1843, Rhode Island cloth producer Amasa Sprague was once shot and crushed to loss of life. inside days, 3 Irish immigrant brothers have been arrested, charged with homicide, and finally delivered to trial.

Brotherly Love is a image reconstruction of the crime, its social and monetary heritage, and the next trials. the tale unearths the antagonism among native-born Yankees, who commanded nice energy, and the transforming into variety of Irish Catholic immigrants, such a lot of whom labored within the cloth turbines. certainly, the commercial, political, and non secular dimensions of the clash are all obvious within the trials.

The authors argue persuasively that the Gordons have been sufferers of bigotry and circumstantial facts, serving as handy scapegoats to assuage a group outraged over the homicide of its wealthiest citizen. In telling the tale of this infamous case, Brotherly Love finds the politics of prejudice in nineteenth-century New England as performed out in neighborhood and court.

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Additional resources for Brotherly love: murder and the politics of prejudice in nineteenth-century Rhode Island

Example text

October 1873. The Sprague industrial empire collapses in bankruptcy, the largest business failure in the nation's history at the time. , to return to his boardinghouse on the old Plainfield Turnpike, about a mile away. Since the mansion house was on the Cranston Road, he would have taken it rather than the private road that ran north to the Sprague mill complex with its calico cloth printing works, company store, and numerous duplexes and boardinghouses for the factory workers, all owned by Amasa Sprague and his brother William.

On close examination they saw that the man had been beaten to death, but the head had been so disfigured that the murdered man's face was unrecognizable. In the fading light, young Thornton, a neighbor's son, thought the victim was his father. But someone else said it was Amasa Sprague because the frock coat resembled the one he habitually wore. By then, Dr. Israel Bowen had arrived from the town of Johnston with another group of neighbors. They turned the body over, face up, and the dead man was identified by Dr.

He refused to have anything to do with the Sprague enterprise, and when his father died in 1836 he was given a legacy but no share in the Sprague Company. Even the daughters, Susanna, the oldest of the children, born in 1796, and Almira, played their role in the family business. Susanna and later Almira reeled the yarn that Amasa and William carded and spun at the cotton spinning mill. When the wooden mill was burnt to the ground in 1813 by an arsonist, a drastic and at the time a common form of labor protest, William Sprague built a stone mill on the site.

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Brotherly love: murder and the politics of prejudice in nineteenth-century Rhode Island by Charles Hoffmann


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