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The Murder of Mary Bean

The Saco Factory Girl and Emily Adderson Romances of Real Life, 1852

The Saco Factory Girl and Emily Adderson Romances of Real Life, 1852

Item 29089 info
Dyer Library Archives / Saco Museum

Saco and Biddeford were the setting for several works of fiction featuring the sad fate of wronged factory girls.

This tale features the impetuous Caroline who ignores her mother, lies to her parents, and runs away with her beau.

She is seduced, abandoned before marriage, robbed of all her goods, and ends her days in a brothel.

Caroline's seducer uses the stolen money to travel to California in the gold rush but this confidence man is himself conned and he dies alone in Panama, birds of prey waiting for his corpse.

Story after story reiterated that factory work for young women was temporary at best and that safety --- for young women and for middle class culture – was found in the domestic setting of home.


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