Actions
Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Discussion Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Alice Augusta Bowlsby
Birth: 1856, USA
Death: Aug. 26, 1871
New York, USA

Crime Victim.

On August 26, 1871, a shabbily-dressed young woman waited on the platform of the Hudson River Railroad Depot in New York City. The young woman checked the trunk for Chicago -- her own destination -- then vanished in the crowd.

As the flimsy trunk was hauled to the platform, the lid was jarred, and an overpowering stench filled the balmy summer air. The station master was called over. He opened the trunk to find bloodstained quilts and rags -- and the nude body of a young woman.

She was frail and slight, doubled up and crammed into the small space. Her pale hair spilled over her body. Her blue eyes stared sightlessly at the horrified spectators.

A summoned police officer had the body brought to the morgue, and an appeal went out to the public to identify the dead girl. Crowds braved the smell to catch a glimpse of the young woman, kept on ice to try to slow decomposition. An examination revealed that death was due to uterine infection from an induced abortion.

The newspapers dubbed the mystery "The Trunk Case", and filled their pages with lurid descriptions of the crime and poetic descriptions of the victim. She was, The New York Times said, a "young girl ... [with] a face of singular loveliness... but her chief beauty was her great profusion of golden hair... that lay in heavy masses upon her breast."

The family doctor and dentist identified the young woman as Alice Bowlsby. The trial of the man responsible for her death was a massive media sensation. The public outcry led to a drive for more stringent laws against abortion practitioners.

The morgue sent Alice's body to Potter's Field, a public graveyard on an island off Manhattan. "A pauper's burial!" exclaimed the Daily Monitor, in outrage. Wealthier community members offered money to the family, and a florist donated $50 worth of flowers for the coffin. Mrs. Bowlsby thanked them for their graciousness, but refused their gifts. After the summer heat broke, gravediggers unearthed Alice's remains and sent them home to 42 West St., where her family held a small, private memorial service. They buried her again at a family gravesite, in Parsippany, ten miles from Paterson.
 
 
Burial:
Non-Cemetery Burial
Specifically: Buried in a small family plot in Parsippany
 
Created by: Christina Dunigan
Record added: Sep 26, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 59239161
Alice Augusta Bowlsby
Added by: Christina Dunigan
 
Alice Augusta Bowlsby
Added by: Christina Dunigan
 
 
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.


- New York Historian
 Added: Mar. 16, 2011

-Anonymous
 Added: Apr. 24, 2011

- Dragon
 Added: Jan. 3, 2011
There are 2 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
 
This page is sponsored by: New York Historian

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service