Cover, 'Mary Bean or the Mysterious Murder,' 1851


Following the death of Berengera Caswell in Biddeford as the result of infection after an abortion, sensation literature appeared, using the name "Mary Bean," which the doctor who performed the abortion had given Caswell.

The original edition was titled Thrilling and Exciting Account of the Murder of Mary Bean.

Three different publishers produced editions of the story. The covers and titles varied, but the portrait of Bean and the text were the same in each edition.

This edition was printed by J. Merone & Co. of Boston and is titled, Mary Bean or the Mysterious Murder.

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