Author: Bojan Hamlin Jennings
Copy signed by the author.
This novel is based on a report that appeared in the Massachusetts Spy on March 5, 1778, concerning "the most extraordinary crime ever perpetrated in New England." Seven people were arrested for the brutal murder of a Brookfield trader, Joshua Spooner. The case was the first capital offense tried by the rebel government that took over during the Revolutionary War. The guilty verdict resulted in sensational multiple executions: Four were hanged, including Bathsheba Spooner, Joshua's widow, despite her claim that she was pregnant. For two-and-a-half centuries, versions of this story have been told and retold throughout central Massachusetts, kept alive by newspaper articles, plays, and scholarly writings. Although there has been much conjecture about Bathsheba's motives and character, most of it pejorative, little is actually known about her. This book is an attempt, through fiction, to make sense of the puzzling crime, and to understand the historical Bathsheba.