This week in 1794

September 18th, 2013 by admin

“And now, as a dying man, I recommend to the charity of Christian neighbors, my distressed wife Lydia, who I leave with two small children, destitute of everything to help themselves with, and she big with child. And I desire the prayers of all good people to God for them and myself.”

— Edmund Fortis, convicted of rape and murder, hanging, Maine.
Executed September 25, 1794

Fortis was born into slavery in Virginia. After running away from his master, he wandered around the country. He encountered Pamela Tilton, whom he raped and then, strangely, began escorting home. Fortis’s worry about being exposed drove him to kill and bury her. This account was printed in a booklet called “Last Words and Dying Speech of Edmund Fortis,” which was published and sold in Exeter, New Hampshire.

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