Women and Capital Punishment in America, 1840-1899: Death Sentences and Executions in the United States and Canada

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McFarland, Apr 10, 2008 - Social Science - 218 pages
Perhaps the single medium in which women have been consistently treated as equal to men is the American judicial system. Although the system has met with enormous public condemnation, equality under the law has justified the legal execution of nearly six hundred American women since 1632. This book profiles the lives and cases of selected women sentenced to capital punishment in America between 1840 and 1899, most of whom were executed by hanging. The book is divided into chapters by decades, chronologically following a summary of the long and heated debate regarding women and capital punishment. Also evident is the influence of the 1870s women’s rights movement on the issue. Each chapter concludes with a comprehensive list of all women executed in the United States during the respective decade, specifying age, ethnicity and criminal conviction.

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I only researched one of the cases in this book using primary sources and found that specific information in the book (for example, ages of the persons involved) were incorrect. Names were also spelled differently from other sources. The cited sources are newspapers published a distance from the murder and trial. So, if a specific detail is important in your research, double check it against other sources.  


1 Women and Capital Punishment
2 1840s and 1850s
3 1860s
4 1870s
5 1880s
6 1890s
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About the author (2008)

Cultural historian Kerry Segrave is the author of dozens of books on such diverse topics as drive-in theaters, ticket-scalping, lie detectors, jukeboxes, smoking and shoplifting. He lives in British Columbia.

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