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The Minister And The Mill Girl
Was Parson Avery innocent of poor, pregnant Maria Cornell’s murder, as his fellow ministers maintained, or was a guilty hypocrite concealed by his cleric’s garb? A glimpse at the legal process in 1833 New England
October 1961 | Volume 12, Issue 6
*Among the published curiosities of the Avery case is a sixteen-page purported confession—to adultery but not “wilful murder”—entitled “Explanation of the Circumstances Connected with the Death of Sarah Maria Cornell, by Ephraim K. Avery.” It bears the legend: Providence:/William S. Clark, Printer/1834/Price 121/2 cents. It turns out, however, that there was no printer named Clark in Providence around that time, and that this document was a deception, published in New York and sold for a quick profit before the fraud could be detected.