Hanging Ruth Blay: An Eighteenth-Century New Hampshire Tragedy
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On a cold December morning in 1768, thirty-one-year-old Ruth Blay approached the gallows erected for her execution. Standing on the high ground in the northwest corner of what is now Portsmouth's old South Cemetery, she would have had a clear view across the pasture to the harbor and open sea. The eighteenth-century hanging of a schoolteacher for concealing the birth of a child out of wedlock has appeared in local legend over the last few centuries, but the full account of Ruth's story has never been told. Drawing on over two years of investigative research, author Carolyn Marvin brings to light the dramatic details of Ruth's life and the cruel injustice of colonial Portsmouth's moral code. As Marvin uncovers the real flesh-and-blood woman who suffered the ultimate punishment, her readers come to understand Ruth as an individual and a woman of her time.
The History Press
: 9781596298279
: The History Press
: 06/04/2010
: New Hampshire
: 30 Black And White
: 128
: 6 (w) x 9 (h)
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About the author
Carolyn Marvin currently works as a research librarian at the Portsmouth Athenaeum in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where she first came upon the story of Ruth Blay. Previously, she worked in both public and school libraries. Ms. Marvin lives in a tiny ivy-covered brick house in the Atlantic Heights Historic District of Portsmouth with her granddaughter Makenzie, three cats, Dante the Westie, three hamsters and two fish.
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