This week in 1860

March 20th, 2015 by admin

Before leaving her jail cell:
Don’t let a crowd see me. I am willing to meet my God, but I don’t want to have a crowd see me die. I die without having any mercy shown on me, or justice. I die for the good of my soul and not for murder. Your courts of justice are not courts of justice—but I will yet get justice, in heaven.”

— Ann Bilanski, convicted of murder, hanging, Minnesota.
Executed March 23, 1860

The only woman executed in Minnesota, Bilanski went through a lengthy trial over the poisoning death of her husband. Despite the state’s attempts to make her hanging private, up to two thousand onlookers rushed the prison doors, and those who did not get  in gained vantage points outside. Included in the crowd were some twenty-five to thirty women, some carrying children. Bilanski was accused of having an illicit affair with another man, and many believed that was her motivation for killing her spouse.

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