Edwin Porter - The Fall River Tragedy (Questions)

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Mara
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Re: Edwin Porter - The Fall River Tragedy (Questions)

Post by Mara » Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:25 pm

I haven't read the book myself but just reviewed a few pages using the Amazon "Look Inside" feature. Something immediately struck me: Porter wrote that after Lizzie discovered her father's body she alerted Bridget and "without thinking of Mrs. Borden" sent Bridget off to sound the alarm.

This seems an indictment of Lizzie, doesn't it? Why wouldn't she shout for her stepmother as well as Bridget — unless she already knew Abby was dead, too.

His writing style seems quite readable. I'd love to know, like you, what others here think of the book. I might pop for the paperback if it's pronounced worthy.

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Re: Edwin Porter - The Fall River Tragedy (Questions)

Post by MysteryReader » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:25 pm

Hey! I *think* (it has been awhile since I've read much here about Lizzie) but didn't Lizzie say that Abby had gone out that morning, in her talks with the police? So, to me, it is more like she didn't think of Abby because she believed her to be gone. But if you (in general) believe Lizzie did it, then no, she wouldn't mention Abby because Lizzie already knew she was dead.

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Re: Edwin Porter - The Fall River Tragedy (Questions)

Post by Mara » Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:16 am

Oh right, I'd forgotten about that. Like you, it's been a while for me, too, since I had all the details dancing in the front of my brain. Lizzie said Abbey had gotten a note and had gone out to visit a sick friend. Neither the sick friend nor any evidence of a note ever materialized. I think it's safe to say Lizzie lied.

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Re: Edwin Porter - The Fall River Tragedy (Questions)

Post by mbhenty » Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:35 am

I sort of feel sorry for Porter who died rather young after contracting TB.

Anyone wanting to study the Borden case would do well to start with Porter's book. Though he has made mistakes, often referring to the Borden Farm in Swansea as being in Somerset.

Porter felt that Lizzie was guilty. Hey why not, he worked with the Fuzz.

And yes, I believe that Lizzie knew that Abby was dead. As for Lizzie going to the barn I can't say. I feel that it was an excuse because she probably did go outside. I believe that young Hyman Lubinsky saw her in the back yard walking towards the house. My belief is that Lizzie Knew who committed the murders and went outside to make certain the coast was clear for the killer to make his escape. When asked about where she was she claimed to have been in the barn, giving a half truth. At least it may be a plausible scenario, though it would have been difficult to get past the windows on Mrs Churchill's home.

Young Edwin Porter lived at 111 Rodman Street, very close to Lizzie at the time of the crime, and a little over a block away. Standing in front of Porter's home today one can easily see 92 Second Street. Porter's apartment house is depicted below.
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Re: Edwin Porter - The Fall River Tragedy (Questions)

Post by mbhenty » Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:00 am

Here's a google map showing the proximity between the Borden house and Edwin Porter's home on Rodman Street.

To give you a better idea.....

On the upper right hand in the photo you can see the Lizzie Borden B&B. At the bottom of the photo, middle, on Rodman street, you can see the Porter place. It has the word "Google" over its roof.

Porter could be at work reporting on the crime and home for lunch in less than 2 minutes. :lol: :roll: :oops:
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Re: Edwin Porter - The Fall River Tragedy (Questions)

Post by MysteryReader » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:34 am

MB-

What was the name of Porter's book?

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Re: Edwin Porter - The Fall River Tragedy (Questions)

Post by mbhenty » Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:12 am

Of course Edwin Porter's book was called "The Fall River Tragedy".

It was the first publication on the case and issued shortly after the trial in 1893.

There has been much talk about Lizzie paying off Porter and buying up most of the copies. This was mentioned in Frank Spiering's book "Lizzie", where he claimed there was only 3 copies in existence. (I spoke to a famous book dealer from New Jersey who told me that he informed Spiering, when Speiring had contacted him, that there were many more copies in existence. Spidering chose to ignore this antiquarian book dealer's advise and publish the wrong information nonetheless because it sounded sensational)

There are many copies of The Fall River Tragedy in existence. The number is unknown but probably over 100. There's a copy on eBay as we speak. (sale will be over in 5 hours) https://www.ebay.com/itm/Edwin-H-Porter ... Swbe5aV9ns

There is no proof that Lizzie tried to buy all copies of The Fall River Tragedy she could find. Though there may be a smidgen of truth, on the whole it is just folklore.
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Re: Edwin Porter - The Fall River Tragedy (Questions)

Post by mbhenty » Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:43 am

Here's a tidbit that no one on this forum probably knows.

Porter died at the age of 39 of TB. Financially broke, his family did not have the money to place a tombstone on his grave.

This forum, and a certain member here, along with the administrator of this site, has taken on the responsibility of trying to raise money to place a stone on Mr. Porter's grave. The Grave of Porter was purchased, more or less, by this young lady but little movement has progressed in the past few years to attain such funds for a stone. (expensive)

Below is a photo of where Porter lived at the time of his death. In the distance is St. Anne's Shrine. The house where Porter lived. It is owned by a funeral business today.

The other photo is the front gate of Saint Patrick's Cemetery where Porter is buried.
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Last edited by mbhenty on Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Edwin Porter - The Fall River Tragedy (Questions)

Post by mbhenty » Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:46 am

Ask and ye shall receive.....

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Re: Edwin Porter - The Fall River Tragedy (Questions)

Post by twinsrwe » Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:26 pm

Holy Moly, MB, $1,095.00 is a mighty hefty price for a Porter!

Amazon has a reprint of the sole edition, for $3.99 (Kindle), $8.00 (Hardcover) and $10.00 to $15.00 (Paperback): http://tinyurl.com/y8qmjc7p

There is also the upload version of Porter's book at lizzieandrewborden.com: http://tinyurl.com/yc6k7cxu
"You can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all the people all of the time."~ Abraham Lincoln :grin:

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Re: Edwin Porter - The Fall River Tragedy (Questions)

Post by twinsrwe » Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:31 pm

You're right, MB, I, for one, did not know about the information you posted on Porter! He was so young when he passed away! :shock:

Thank you for posting this information!
"You can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all the people all of the time."~ Abraham Lincoln :grin:

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Re: Edwin Porter - The Fall River Tragedy (Questions)

Post by mbhenty » Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:48 pm

Yes Twins. Don't quote me. But if I remember my Borden history, Porter had a daughter who died of the same thing, tuberculosis.

The Edwin Porter book on eBay is a collectable. No one would buy it for the information but to be able to own it. A first edition, first appearance of the book.

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Re: Edwin Porter - The Fall River Tragedy (Questions)

Post by twinsrwe » Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:16 pm

mbhenty wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:48 pm
… The Edwin Porter book on eBay is a collectable. No one would buy it for the information but to be able to own it. A first edition, first appearance of the book.
Awww, OK, I misunderstood. :oops: I miss the fact that this book is a collectable. :oops: Thank you for pointing this out to me.
mbhenty wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:48 pm
Yes Twins. Don't quote me. But if I remember my Borden history, Porter had a daughter who died of the same thing, tuberculosis. …
Your memory is right on, MB.

On September 24, 2006, Harry posted:

This scan is from the Knowlton Papers (Glossary A)

"PORTER, EDWIN H. 1864 - 1904: born in Glasgow, Kentucky, son of Columbus and Margaret (Davis) Porter. Educated in the public schools of his native Glasgow, he was first employed as a teacher and, later, learned the trade of typesetting. He traveled extensively and for a time was employed by the Providence Telegram in Providence, Rhode Island. From there he went to Fall River, Massachusetts, to become city editor of the Tribune until its dissolution. He was then engaged by the Daily Globe, where he was on staff for a time with Thatcher T. Thurston. His specialty was police work and he became the correspondent to the Boston Herald for his district. He married Miss Winnie Leonard of Fall River in 1891. At the conclusion of the Borden murder trial, his book, The Fall River Tragedy: A History of the Borden Murders was published. He was in the city of Fall River at the time of his death."

At the time of the murders he resided at 10 Rodman (renumbered to 111 in 1896), which is about a block and a half south of 92 Second. The 1896 Fall River City Directory still shows him working for the FR Daily Globe as a reporter. At the time of his death, as Joe said, he lived on South Main.

Len Rebello wrote a very interesting piece on him in the January 1994 LBQ. In part it reads:

"There have been accounts that Porter left Fall River in haste after his book was published. Porter supposedly disappeared from sight and was never to be heard of again. Arnold Brown in Lizzie Borden: The Legend, the Truth, the Final Chapter, wrote: "Porter himself, like most everyone connected with the case, disappeared from sight" (p. 106). Brown further made the assumption that Porter was "paid to disappear, just as legend says Bridget Sullivan was. (Porter) was never heard from again" (Brown, p. 106). Was Porter's presumed and imagined disappearance a mystery that somehow implied Lizzie's involvement to suppress the book?
Edwin H. Porter and his family, like Miss Borden of Maplecroft, never left Fall River as some writers and Borden enthusiasts would have us believe.

Porter continued to work as a reporter for the Fall River Daily Globe and correspondent for The Boston Herald. At this time, he and his family lived at 704 South Main Street. Porter may have disappeared occasionally but for a viable reason. He had contracted tuberculosis (according to his Death Certificate) and, according to his obituary had sought treatment several times at the state sanitarium at Rutland.

Only his family and most intimate friends knew of his illness. When not confined to his home, Porter continued to work for the Globe and did so until his health had worsened on New Year's Day in 1904. Edwin H. Porter died at his home in Fall River on Sunday, February 28, 1904. He was thirty-nine years old. Surviving him were his widow, Winifred, and two daughters, Florence (12) and Winifred (5). ..... He was buried at St. Patrick's Cemetery in Fall River."

Rebello goes on to say Porter's daughter, Winifred, also contracted T.B. and passed away in 1919 at the age of 20.

Source: http://tinyurl.com/j3qu9k8

Here is the link to Len Rebello’s article in the January 1994, LBQ, that Harry mentioned above. (It is disappointing that the left hand column and top of page 13 of this article are cut off. :sad: ): http://tinyurl.com/ycyyua4t
"You can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all the people all of the time."~ Abraham Lincoln :grin:

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Re: Edwin Porter - The Fall River Tragedy (Questions)

Post by patsy » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:06 am

Mara, it is questionable that Lizzie did not express any concern about whether anything had happened to Mrs. Borden, but maybe in the long run only the loss of her father was all that she cared about.

Thanks for posting the information about Porter, MB. So many things I did not know. I have a reproduction copy of his book from 1985 by Robert Flynn. I think it's time to reread it to see if I have a different perspective now.

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