Richard Jay Hutto, "A Poisoned Life"
EVENT LOCATION IS IN MOBILE @ 6:00PM on September 20th, at the historic Cox-Deasy House at 115 Palmetto Street on the grounds of Oakleigh. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!
Mobile, Alabama, presentation and book signing for A Poisoned Life
After a late-August book launch at the Carter Presidential Center for A Poisoned Life: Florence Chandler Maybrick, the First American Woman Sentenced to Death in England, the first book presentation and signing will take place in Mobile, Alabama, where the protagonist of the story was born. The Historic Mobile Preservation Society, whose archives were instrumental in researching the book, will host a 6:00 pm presentation on Thursday, September 20th, at the historic Cox-Deasy House at 115 Palmetto Street on the grounds of Oakleigh. The author, Rick Hutto, will be featured as the Society’s monthly speaker and his book will be available for purchase and signing.
Florence Maybrick, born in Mobile, Alabama, was the first American woman to be sentenced to death in England - for murdering her husband, a crime she almost certainly did not commit. Her 1889 trial was presided over by an openly misogynist judge who was later declared incompetent and died in an asylum. Hours before Maybrick was to be hanged, Queen Victoria reluctantly commuted her sentence to life in prison - in her opinion a woman who would commit adultery, as Maybrick had admitted, would also kill her husband. So long as the Widow of Windsor was alive, Florence would not be released from prison for fifteen long years.
Her mother, who had married the scion of one of Mobile’s leading families, was vilified and made an easy target when her daughter was arrested and tried for murder. Widowed just before her daughter was born, her mother soon re-married in Macon, Georgia, to a dashing Confederate officer and was a widow again within months. She worked tirelessly, enlisting the president of the United States and successive ambassadors, including Robert Todd Lincoln, and spent her substantial fortune in an effort to have her daughter released. Florence’s children were taken from her and she never saw them again. Both she and her mother would die in poverty. Decades later, a gruesome diary was discovered that made Maybrick's husband a prime suspect as Jack the Ripper.
For inquiries, the Historic Mobile Preservation Society can be reached at (251) 432-6161.