Stories & Books

Bathsheba Spooner

In March 1778, Joshua Spooner, a wealthy gentleman farmer in Brookfield, Massachusetts, was beaten to death and his body stuffed down his own well. Four people were prosecuted for the crime: two British soldiers, a young Continental soldier named Ezra Ross, and Spooner’s wife, Bathsheba, who was charged with instigating the murder. She was thirty- two years old and five months pregnant with Ezra Ross’s son.

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Things We Lost...My literary writing career began with short stories, which fit best around raising children and a full-time work schedule, and my collection, Things We Lost, Gave Away, Bought High and Sold Low, represents the best of those published over a span of 20 years.

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Murdered By His Wife Murdered by His Wife, (University of Massachusetts Press) is an historical account of a love affair and murder that took place near Worcester, Massachusetts during the American Revolution. Bathsheba Spooner was a noted beauty, mother of three, and ardent Loyalist caught in an abusive marriage. In early 1777 she took in and nursed a young Continental soldier named Ezra Ross. They became lovers, she conceived a child, and they both—along with two British soldiers—were found guilty in the murder of her husband, Joshua Spooner. When she sought a stay of execution to deliver her baby, the Massachusetts Council rejected her petition, and she was promptly hanged, though five months pregnant, before a crowd of 5000 spectators.

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