She was a famous stage actress in New York named Abbey Sage. But after her ex-husband Daniel McFarland murdered his lover, journalist Albert Richardson on November 25, 1869, at Richardson's workplace in the New York rostrum, Sage's lifestyle was put on the trail, not just McFarland.
Born in Ireland in 1820, Daniel McFarland emigrated to America with his parents when he was four. McFarland's parents died at the age of 12, leaving him an orphan. Determined to do something on his own in America, McFarland works hard at a harness shop, saving his money so he can go to college. By the time he is 17, McFarland has saved enough money to attend Ivy League Distinguished University – Dartmouth. At Dartmouth, McFarland studied law and did extremely well. After graduating, McFarland passed the exam, but instead of practicing law, McFarland took a position at Brandywine College, teaching elocution – the ability to speak clearly and expressively.
In 1853, McFarland traveled to Manchester, New Hampshire, where he met a very beautiful 15-year-old girl named Abbey Sage. Abbey came from a poor but well-respected family – her father was a weaver – but Abbey was quite bright and soon she became a teacher as well as a published writer. Four years after they met, McFarland and Abe Sage got married. She was only 19, and he doubled his age.
Abbey later wrote in a statement on the McFarland murder trial: "During our marriage, Mr. McFarland presented to me that he had a thriving legal practice, brilliant political prospects and $ 30,000 worth of property, but while on our wedding tour he was forced to raise money in New York to enable us to continue to Madison, Wisconsin, which was decided as our future home. We resided in this city, but for a short time when he acknowledged that there was no law practicing any consequences and that he devoted himself solely to land speculation, some of which led to disaster. "
In February 1858, McFarland moved to New York. McFarland told Abbey in New York that he had a better chance of selling the $ 20,000 to $ 30,000 property he owned in Wisconsin. However, McFarland initially sold nothing, and soon Abby had to stake most of her jewelry to pay the rent. With the bills piling up and no money yet, McFarland thought it better to do it alone. As a result, McFarland sent Abbey back to her father's home in New Hampshire. At the end of 1858, McFarland finally managed to sell some of his property in Wisconsin. Shortly after, he returned Abby to New York and they settled in a rented villa in Brooklyn. Their first son Percy was born there in 1860, and his second son Daniel was born in 1864.
McFarland's business was selling flat and he started drinking heavily. Abbey later wrote: "At first Mr McFarland professed to me the most extravagant and passionate devotion, but soon he began to drink heavily, and before we were married a year, his breath and body were steamed with foul liquid. Reform, but he shouted, "My brain is on fire and alcohol makes me sleep."
At the start of the Civil War, McFarland returned briefly to Madison, Wisconsin. Soon McFarland realized, under the right circumstances and with some training, his handsome, young wife would be the better carrier of both. To fulfill his plan, the McFarlands travel back to New York to study Abbey to become an actress.
In New York, Abbey tired her arm at dramatic readings and found she had a talent for the stage. One thing led to another, and soon Abby played a few plays and made a tidy $ 25 a week. Abby's career progressed so quickly, she soon appeared against the great actor Edwin Booth in The Merchant of Venice (Edwin Booth was the older brother of John Wilkes Booth, the man who shot and killed Abraham Lincoln). Abbey also complements her income by writing several articles on children and nature. She even wrote a poem entitled "The Percy Book of Rhyme" after her son Percy.
Abby's artistic accomplishments allowed her to grow her circle of friends. She became fast friends with Horace Greeley newspaper magnate, his sister Mrs. John Cleveland and New York Tribune publisher Samuel Sinclair and his wife.
However, his wife's successes did nothing to tame McFarland's wildlife. He uses his wife's new friends and their relationship to make a political meeting. Abbey later said, "Through the influence of Horace Greeley, founder of the New York Tribune, I secure a position for him (McFarland) with one of the Provost marshals."
Soon, McFarland became jealous of Abby's new friends, and his drinking grew exponentially. McFarland kept the money Abby made from her acting and writing and spent it on drinks. McFarland started opening Abby's personal mail, and if he didn't like what he was reading, he would threaten to kill Abby and himself.
"At that time he had become a demon," Abbey said. "He'll get up in bed, tear his clothes off in bed and threaten to kill me. When he gets tired, he'll cry tearfully and fall asleep."
One time, when McFarland got so angry, he punched Abbey in the face, so hard he made her stumble back. From that moment on, their relationship changed dramatically.
"There was a look in his eyes that made him burst into tears paroxysm and beg that I should forgive him," Abbey said. "But from that moment on, I could never tell him that I loved him or forgive him, because that would not be true."
In January 1867, McFarland moved to the boarding house at 72 Amity Street in New York. Shortly after, Albert Dean Richardson, who was in his mid-thirties at the time, moved to the same guesthouse. Richardson was already familiar to Abby since they had met at Mr and Mrs Sinclair's home. Richardson had a beard and hazel eyes with an orange color and was considered a very distinctive appearance with the highest character.
The Massachusetts-born Richardson was one of the most famous reporters of his time. He was well known for his writings as a military correspondent on the New York Tribune during the Civil War, and also spent time as a spy for the North. In 1862 Richardson was captured from the South in Vicksburg and he spent a year and a half in two separate Confederate prisons. In December 1863, while imprisoned in Salisbury, North Carolina, Richardson and another military correspondent escaped from prison and walked four hundred miles on foot to the Union Line in Knoxville. At the time of his imprisonment, Richardson had a wife and four children. When he returned home, he discovered that his wife and infant daughter had died. Richardson took care of the three other children, who were thirteen, ten and six by the time of his death.
Returning to his desk at the New York Tribune, Richardson took advantage of the Civil War heroics by writing about his escape. The headline of his article in the newspaper was "Beyond the Jaws of Death and Beyond the Mouth of Hell." It was considered one of the finest non-fiction works of the Civil War era. Richardson expanded this book article and, in combination with his other writings, Richardson turned from a prisoner of war into a rich man. So many, Richardson bought shares in the New York Tribune, becoming a minority shareholder.
By the time he moved to the same boarding house as McFarlands, Richardson was already an editor / writer for the New York Tribune. (Editor's note: I was a sports colonist for the reincarnation of the New York Tribune in 1980.) Richardson uses his room on Amity Street as an office, as well as a place to sleep. On his staff at 72 Amity Street, Richardson hired a stenographer, painter and messenger boy to deliver his work to the offices of the New York Tribune in downtown Park Row.
On February 19, 1867, McFarland returned to the boarding house and found his wife standing at Richardson's door. Abbey claims that Richardson and her are discussing one of his articles, but McFarland will have none of it.
Abbey later wrote: "When we entered my apartment, my husband became furious and insisted that there was a wrong intimacy between Mr. Richardson and me."
McFarland immediately went to a three-day bent where he threatened Abby's life again and said he would commit suicide. Finally, on February 21, Abbey left McFarland forever. She grabbed her two children and settled with Mr. And Mrs. Samuel Sinclair.
At the Sinclairs, Abbey called her father, who now lives in Massachusetts, and informed him of the situation. It was agreed that McFarland would be invited to the Sinclair residence, and in the presence of Sinclair and her father Abbey told McFarland that their marriage was over.
Richardson called the Sinclair residence that evening. Richardson expressed his condolences and said that he would do everything he could to help her in her moment of need. Then, as he was leaving, Abbey followed him down the hall.
With tears in her eyes, she said, "You have been very kind to me. I cannot repay you."
Referring to Abby's two children, Richardson said, "How do you feel about facing the world with two babies?"
She replied, "It seems difficult for a woman, but I'm sure I can do better without this man than with him."
Before leaving, Richards told Abbey, "I want you to remember that any responsibility you choose to give me in any future I will be glad to take."
Two days later, Richardson asked Abbey to marry him, telling her that he wanted to give her childless children to look after, as she did.
Abbey later said, "It was absolutely impossible for me not to love him."
On the night of March 13, 1867, Richardson met Abby at the theater where she had just finished a performance. Just as they turned a corner, McFarland rushed behind them and fired three shots; one of which pierced Richardson's thigh. It was a superficial wound and Richardson was not seriously injured. McFarland was arrested by police, but due to some unexplained court transactions, McFarland somehow managed to escape from prison.
When it was apparent to McFarland that his wife had been lost forever, he decided to take legal action to obtain custody of both of their children. The courts came up with a separate ruling that would give Abbey custody of Daniel and McFarland grant custody of Percy. In April 1868, Abbey tried to see her son Percy, but was refused to do so by McFarland, who became furious and threatened to hit her. At that moment Abbey had no choice but to file for divorce.
In New York State, the only reason for divorce was infidelity. So in July 1868 Abbey decided to go to Indiana for her divorce, where the grounds for divorce were more extensive. These grounds included drunkenness, extreme cruelty and failure to support a woman. Abbey stayed in Indiana for 16 months until her divorce from McFarland was final. Then Abbey travels to her family's home in Massachusetts, and Richardson meets her there to spend Thanksgiving 1869 with her and her family.
On November 25, 1869, at 5:15 PM, McFarland enters the Park Row offices of the New York Tribune. He hid quietly in the corner for about 15 minutes until he saw Richardson enter through the side entrance of Surch Street. As Richardson read his mail on the counter, McFarland rushed toward him and fired several shots. Richardson was hit three times, but still managed to climb two pillars to the newsroom, where he threw himself on the couch, deadly wounded with a bullet to the chest. When the medics arrived, Richardson was transported through the town hall to the Astor House and lay down on a bed in room 115.
At 22:00 McFarland was arrested in Room 31 of the Westmoreland Hotel, at the corner of Seventeenth Street and Fourth Avenue. The arresting officer, Captain AJ Allaire, told McFarland that he had been arrested for the shooting of Richardson. At first, McFarland said he was innocent of the charges. Then he shockingly said, "It must have been me."
Captain Allyer took McFarland into custody and took him to the house of Astor, room 115. After Captain Alare asked Richardson if the man before him was his attacker, Richardson raised his head slightly from the pillow and said, "This is the man! & # 39;
Abbey Sage was immediately called to New York. As soon as she arrived, at the request of Richardson, Horace Greeley made arrangements so that Abbey and Richardson could marry Richardson's deathbed. The wedding ceremony was performed by Rev. Henry Ward Beecher and Rev. O. F. Frottingham. Three days later, on December 2, Richardson took his last breath, leaving Abbey Richardson a widow.
Prior to McFarland's trial, his lawyer, John Graham, told the New York press that Abbey Sage's intentions with Mr. Richardson were anything but honest. Graham said: "This tender and touching marriage was a terrible and shameful ceremony to acquire the property of a dying man, and it tended to hasten his death."
At first, Richardson journalists from New York defended Richardson's honor, and they began to delve into McFarland's life, trying to find anything that would discredit McFarland. The New York Tribune writes that McFarland is "in the habit of eating opium in order to drown his grief."
However, the New York Sun launched a campaign to discredit both Abbey and Richardson. In an editorial entitled "Public Outrage Against Religion and Decency," The Sun accused Richardson of luring Abby to her loving husband. The sun even dug a quote from McFarland's brother who said, "Abbey went to read only to get a chance to paint her face, go for beauty, and enter with this tribe of free love in Sam Sinclair." with. "
There was a battle in the press in which most of the daily newspapers in New York objected that Richardson and Abbey were immoral and that McFarland had done the honest thing by killing the man who had stolen his wife away from him.
The trial of McFarland began on April 4, 1820. Ever since she knew that her husband's lawyer was on a mission to disparage and discredit her, Abbey dropped the process. Still, Graham tried to gain sympathy from the jury for his client, with McFarland's son Percy sitting next to him during the trial.
In his opening argument, Graham asked the jury to understand the mental anguish his client was forced to endure. Graham said: "The defendant's mental organization was so sensitive and tender that he was unable to fight and endure the deep sorrow and misery that awaited him. His speculation was catastrophic and that at first the seeds of discontent began to sow. "
Then Graham reached the core strength of his defense when he attacked Abbey's virtue and honor. "When she first met my client, she was just a bad girl from the factory. Still, she once told my client, 'Everything I need to make me an elegant lady and popular with the New York elite, is the money. & # 39; "
Graham then told the jury that a break in his client's life had occurred on February 21, 1867, when McFarland returned home at 3pm and saw his wife leave Richardson's room.
"This beautiful woman was completely corrupt," Graham said. "She had tempted the honors of the stage and society of great men. At the time, she was too elegant and too popular for her humble lot and the demon who put her in front of all these temptations for which she had to pay the price. with her soul was Richardson "
Graham said his client's boiling point was reached one day when McFarland went to the New York Tribune's office. There, he received a letter from a boy in the office who was addressed to Mrs. McFarland. The boy mistakenly thought the letter was addressed to Mr McFarland.
Graham told the jury: "My client opened the letter, examined it, and found it to be a love letter written by Richard McArland, Richard, who was in Boston. In this letter, Richardson openly stated his intentions to marry this woman if she could obtain a divorce from Mr. McFarland. "
During the trial, prosecutors led by former judge and then-Congressman Noah Davis focused on how McFarland abused his wife during his marriage and, in some cases, beat her. To support these allegations, prosecutors called on Abby's relatives and friends, including a man of great influence – Horace Greeley.
However, Greeley is not a fan of the corrupt Democratic machine Tammany Hall, whom Greeley has repeatedly cheated on in his newspaper. In retaliation, Tamani Hall used his considerable influence, both before and during the process, to discredit Greeley and Abbey.
На последното си обобщение пред съдебните заседатели, което отне два дни, Греъм се опита да наложи журито да смята, че клиентът му е просто жертва на непоносими последици.
"Доказателствата доказват безумието, под което подсъдимият е работил по време на стрелбата", каза Греъм. "Това беше състояние на ума, подтикнато от агонията, която издържа при мисълта за загубата на дома, съпругата и децата му."
Журито купи невероятната защита на Греъм като марка се купува в игра с три карти-monte. На 10 май им бяха нужни само един час и петдесет и пет минути, за да върнат присъда за не виновни на основание безумие.
Въпреки че беше дълбоко унила, след процеса Аби Сайдж Ричардсън стабилно остана в Ню Йорк. Тя стана успешен автор и драматург и беше добре приета както в литературната, така и в социалната общност. Освен това тя редактира и публикува книга на непубликуваната творба на Ричардсън.
Аби също спази обещанието си на умиращия Ричардсън, че ще отгледа трите му деца като свое. Тя отгледа и сина си Даниел, чието име беше променено на Уили (да не се свързва с баща му Даниел Макфарланд). Другият син на Аби Пърси напусна Макфарланд и се върна при майка си. Той промени фамилното си име от Макфарланд на моминското име на Сейдж.
На 5 декември 1900 г. Аби Сейдж Ричардсън умира в Рим от пневмония.
Даниел Макфарланд пътува на запад през 1880 г. За последно е чут в Колорадо и няма записани данни за смъртта му. Според историка Едмънд Пиърсън, „не му отне много време да се напие до смърт“.
Алберт Ричардсън е погребан в родния си град Франклин, Масачузетс. Видналото във Франклин паметник на героиката на Ричардсън в Гражданската война. Надписът на паметника гласи: „Мнозина ви благодарят, които никога не са знаели лицето ви, така че, сбогом, добро сърце и вярно“.