John Morse’s Timeline

Source: Morse’s testimony at the Preliminary Hearing held from Thursday, August 25 – Thursday, September 1, 1892. Preliminary Hearing in the Borden Case before Judge Blaisdell, August 25 through September 1, 1892. Fall River, MA: Fall River Historical Society. Timeline of John Morse © 2002 Kat Koorey
Aug. 4, 1892, Thursday
6:00 a.m.
Got up in the morning “about 6, if I recollect right.” (pg. 239).
6:20 a.m.
Came down stairs after “I made my toilet.” (pg. 239).
Found no one down stairs. (pg. 240).
Did not see the servant “until about breakfast time.” (pg. 240).
6:35 a.m.
Saw Mr. Borden “I do not think more than 15 minutes” after Morse got down. (pg. 240).
Mr. Borden came down to the sitting room where “I was opening the windows at the time.”
Morse stayed in the sitting room -Mr. Borden was “backwards and forwards into the kitchen several times.”
6:55 a.m.
“15 or 20 minutes after Mr. Borden came down,” Mrs. Borden appeared.
7:05- 7:25 a.m.
Ate breakfast “I think about 7, it may have been a few minutes after.” (Morse, Mrs. Borden, Mr. Borden). Did not see Lizzie.
The servant came “in and out.” (pg. 240).
“. . . we were there not more than 20 minutes.” (pg. 242).
“While we were at breakfast”, Bridget was given directions “. . . That she was to wash the windows.” (pg. 251).
7:25- 9:10 a.m. (?)
Sat in the sitting room after breakfast “probably an hour and 3/4.” (pg. 242).
Had general conversation; we sat there “. . . in the sitting room.” (pg. 240, 241).
Mrs. Borden “sat there a little while” with them in the sitting room after breakfast, before she began to do her work. (pg. 241).
“Mrs. Borden was backwards and forwards through the room; she was in and out.”
“. . . in the kitchen way, and saw her go in the front way, once.”
Mrs. Borden “was dusting the room when I went in the sitting room, when I was there”. . . “with a feather duster.”
Morse did not know or hear Mrs. Borden go up stairs into his part of the house while he was there. (pg. 241).
8:30 a.m.
“About 15 or 20 minutes before I left the house” was when Morse saw Mrs. Borden go into the front hall. . . “Somewhere in the neighborhood of half past eight.” (pg. 243).
“I think Mrs. Borden must be up then; she went into the front hall the last I saw of her at all.” (pg. 241).
8:45 a.m.
Morse went away, “I think about quarter to nine.” (pg. 241).
Morse “did not hear her (Lizzie) come down.” (p. 241).
“I did not see her (Lizzie) from the time I came until the time of the tragedy.” (pg. 238).
At the time Morse left: “I suppose Lizzie was up stairs, I did not see her.” (p. 241).
“Mr. Borden came out through the kitchen into the back hall, and unhooked the door, and he hooked it, and the last words I heard him say was “John, come back to dinner with us.” Mr. Borden remained inside. . . the lasttime Morse saw him. (pg. 241, 242, 243).
Bridget “was in the kitchen” when “I went out.” (pg. 241).
When Morse left, “I looked at my watch,” it was. . . “within a few minutes of it (8:45). (pg. 243).
“I came down to the post office”. . . with a card to “I think William Vinnecum” of Swansea. (pg. 243).
“. . . then went from there out to the north door, and went up (walked) Third St.; from there to Pleasant St., up Pleasant St. to Weybosset St., No. 4 to Daniel Emery’s.” . . . “a good mile,” eastward, to see “a niece and a nephew from the west; my brother’s children.” (pg. 243, 244).
11:20 a.m.
Morse started to come away from there “I think about 20 minutes past eleven.” (pg. 243).
Morse fixed the time by looking “at my watch about going back to dinner.” (pg. 244).
The usual dinner hour at the Borden’s was “About 12 o’clock.”
Morse came back “on the car”. . . that comes down Pleasant St.
“I got off the corner of Pleasant and Second Streets”. . . went right up home. (pg. 244).
11:45 a.m.
Got home “about quarter to 12; I do not know exactly.” Did not look at watch. (pg. 244, 245).
Noticed “. . . Nothing that attracted my attention. . . I did not notice anything about the place.” (pg. 244).
“. . . might have been a few men along, the same as generally. I did not see anything unusual about it.” (pg. 253).
Came “Into the north small gate. . . I went around to the pear tree”-(didn’t see anybody in the entry way by the screen door)-stayed out under the pear tree “two or three minutes.” (pg. 253).
11:48 a.m.
First learned what happened “at the door,” by way of “I think the servant girl.” (pg. 244).
Mr. Sawyer was inside the house.
“The first man I saw in there was Dr. Bowen,” and “I think two policemen.” (pg. 244).
“I saw Mr. Borden (body) as I passed through. I went in there and saw him laying on the sofa. I went part way up the stairs. I did not go into the room at all, looked under the bed, and saw Mrs. Borden lying there.” “They told me”. . . she was up in that room. (pg. 245, 254).
Came down through the sitting room, “into the kitchen, from there into the dining room, from there back into the kitchen.” (pg. 255).
When came back through sitting room did not look at Mr. Borden to examine anything. (pg. 255).
Could only tell the direction of one wound upon Mr. Borden, “The one that went down through, and cut through here, and cut through the nose, a long gash it appeared to be”. . . “My impression of it”. . . the cut was diagonal, from the forehead down and towards the nose. (pg. 257).
11:50 a.m.
“After I had been in the house 2 or 3 minutes, I saw her” (Lizzie) “. . . In the dining room, sitting on the lounge.”(pg. 245).
There were some ladies with Lizzie. (pg. 255).
“I was so excited at that time I could not tell you who they were; I was nervous, to tell the truth about it.”
Morse then went out of doors; saw “quite a number” of people then.
While out of doors “I don’t know as (I did) anything.” (pg. 255).
“I was out there 3 or 4 hours”. . . “walking around in different parts”(of the yard). (pg. 256).
“I think when I came from the back of the house, when I got the pears, I think it (the cellar door) was open; I won’t say sure, but I think it was.”
“I think it (the barn) was open.” (pg. 256).