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First Women Executed in NH


A WARNING TO ALL OTHERS (Endnotes)

ENDNOTES

 (1) Religious Education of Children Recommended, In a Sermon Preach’d in the Church of Portsmouth December 27th 1739…by Arthur Browne, A.M. (Boston: 1740), 13.

(2 ) Daniel Allen Hearn, Legal Executions in New England: A Comprehensive Reference 1623-1960 (London: McFarland & Company, 1999) 12-13, 41-44, 56-57, 102-103, 104-105, 107, 110-113, 116-177, 122, 124-125, 127-135, 137-138, 140, 151, 169, 174.

(3 ) The Faith and Prayer of a Dying Malefactor: A Sermon Preach’d December 27, 1739…by William Shurtleff…to which is annexed a brief narrative concerning the said criminals and a Preface by the Reverence Mr. Fitch (Boston: J. Draper, 1740) i. Along with Connecticut, New Hampshire is the only other state in New England that currently has the death penalty. For a perspective on the recent debate over this issue, see www.nhcadp.org, website of the New Hampshire Coalition Against The Death Penalty.

(4)  A Discourse Shewing What regard we ought to have to the Awful Work of Divine Providence in the Earthquake, which happen’d the Night ofr the 29th of October, 1727 By Jabez Fitch…(Boston: B. Green, 1728) 8. For a first-hand account of this earthquake, see the Register 15 (1861): 316-317.
 
(5) At this time, the Governor of Massachusetts also had jurisdiction over New Hampshire. The definitive biography of Belcher is by Michael C. Batinski, Jonathan Belcher: Colonial Governor (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1996).

(6) Jere Daniell, Colonial New Hampshire: A History (Millwood, NY: KTO Press, 1981) 196, 201-202.

(7) Daniel, 140-141. 

(8) Mary Cochrane Rogers, Glimpses of An Old Social Capital…As Illustrated By The Life of The Reverend Arthur Browne And His Circle (Boston: 1923) 4-10.
 
(9) For a biographical sketch of Fitch see, Sibley’s Harvard Graduates, Volume IV, 1690-1700  (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1933) 201-205.

(10) An Account of the numbers that have died of the Distemper in the Throat, Within the Province of New Hampshire…July 26, 1736 (Boston: 1736) 13, and also Jeremy Belknap, The History of New Hampshire…Volume II (Dover: 1812) 97.

(11) New Hampshire Province Court Records, Microfilm Series, Case No. 20062.

(12) Boston News-Letter, 17 August 1739.

(13) See The Faith and Prayer of a Dying Malefactor, 20, and also  “The Diary of Master Joseph Tate of Somersworth, New Hampshire” Register 74 (1920): 130.

(14)  Boston News-Letter, 17 August 1739. Penelope Kenny’s Irish origins are also mentioned in the diary of Joseph Tate, who described her as “a servant girl about 20 years of age [born] in or near Limerick in Ireland,” Register 74 (1920): 130. When Kenny immigrated to New Hampshire is not known, despite extensive research by the author.

(15) Boston News-Letter, 17 August 1739. This body of water would be the Piscataqua River.

(16) A 1701 New Hampshire law stipulated that “if any man commit fornication with any single woman…they shall both be fined not exceeding fifty shillings a piece, or be…punished by whipping not exceeding ten stripes,” Laws of New Hampshire…Volume One, Province Period 1679-1702 (Manchester: John B. Clarke Co., 1904) 678-679. Also see Sharon Ann Burnston, “Babies in the Well: An Insight into Deviant Behavior in Eighteenth-Century Philadelphia,” In Remembrance: Archaeology and Death, David Poirier and Nicholas Bellantoni eds. (London: Bergin and Garvey, 1997) 51-65.

(17) Peter Hoffer and N.E.H. Hull, Murdering Mothers: Infanticide in England and New England 1558-1803 (New York: NYU Press, 1984) 115.

(18) Laws of New Hampshire…Volume Two, Province Period 1702-1745 (Concord: Rumford Printing Company, 1913) 127.

(19) New Hampshire Province Court Records, Case No. 20062, and Boston News-Letter, 7 September 1739.

(20) Charles H. Bell, The Bench and Bar of New Hampshire (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1894) 16-18. See Batinski, 110-114, and also Provincial Papers…Relating to the Province of New Hampshire, from 1722-1737, Volume IV (Manchester: 1870) 272, 795.
 
(21) Miscellaneous Provincial and State Papers, 1725-1800, Volume XVIII (Manchester: 1890) 130, 132, 133. 

(22) The Faith and Prayer of a Dying Malefactor, iii.

(23) Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England 1650-1750 (Vintage Books: New York, 1991) 196.
 
(24) New Hampshire Province Court Records, Microfilm Series, Case No. 20062.
 
(25) The Faith and Prayer of a Dying Malefactor, 20.

(26) New Hampshire Province Court Records, Microfilm Series, Case No. 20062.

(27) Stuart Banner, The Death Penalty: An American History (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002) 24-52. Also see Deborah Navas, Murdered By His Wife: An absorbing tale of crime and punishment in eighteenth-century Massachusetts (Amherst: UMass Press, 1999), and Irene Q. Brown and Richard D. Brown, The Hanging of Ephraim Wheeler (Cambridge: The Belknap Press, 2003).

(28) Shurtleff served as the minister in nearby Newcastle from 1712 until 1732, when he moved to Portsmouth, Sibley’s Harvard Graduates, Volume V, 1701-1712 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1937) 396-402.

(29) The Faith and Prayer of a Dying Malefactor, 29.

(30) Religious Education of Children Recommended, 13.

(31) Ibid, 17, 14.

(32) Provincial Papers of New Hampshire…Volume XIX (Manchester: John B. Clarke, 1891) 124-125, also see The Faith and Prayer of a Dying Malefactor, 27.
 
(33) The Faith and Prayer of a Dying Malefactor, iv.

(34) Almanack or a Journal for the years 1737-1801 by Samuel Lane…(Concord: New Hampshire Historical Society, 1988).
 
(35) Colonial hangings were very violent affairs, and the condemned person would often slowly choke to death, see Banner, The Death Penalty, 44-48.
 
(36) The identity of Sarah Simpson’s deceased husband remains a mystery. On September 6, 1733 Peter Simpson “of London” and a Sarah Duley of Portsmouth were married and less than a year later their son Nicholas was born. That same year, 1734, Sarah was also “received” into the covenant of the South Church in Portsmouth, Register 25 (1871): 120, and also Register 81 (1927): 451. However, there is no conclusive way to confirm that the Sarah Simpson executed in 1739 was the same woman, since no death or probate record for Peter Simpson has been found.
 
(37) The Faith and Prayer of a Dying Malefactor, 29.

(38) During the 1970s, archaeologists excavating a colonial privy in Philadelphia found the skeletal remains of two infants, discussed in Burnston, Babies in the Well.
 
(39) The Faith and Prayer of a Dying Malefactor, 20-21.

(40) Laws of New Hampshire…Volume One, Province Period, 1679-1702 (Manchester: John B. Clarke Co., 1904) 678.
 
(41) It is believed that the their bodies were buried nearby the gallows, which was located in “the triangular ground formed by the junction of South and Middle Roads” in Portsmouth, see Helen Pearson, Vignettes of Portsmouth…(Boston: The Steson Press, 1913) 40.
 
(42) Kathleen M. Brown, “Murderous Uncleanness: The Body of Female Infanticide in Puritan New England,” A Centre of Wonders: The Body in Early America, Janet Moore Lindman and Michele Lise Tarter eds. (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2001) 77-94.
 
(43) See Hearn, 141-142, 151, 174, 184.

(44) Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 (New York: Vintage Books, 1991) 147-159.
 
(45) Laws of New Hampshire…Volume Five, First Constitutional Period, 1784-1792 (Concord: Rumford Press, 1916) 596-597.

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