|Slide Album: Andrew's Last Morning|
September 13, 1892 would have marked a milestone in the life of Andrew Jackson Borden. To become a septuagenarian was a major event in the 1890’s- and certainly a number well above the average life expectancy. Andrew would never usher in his 70th birthday. His life was- literally- cut short.
Would you want to know which would be the last day and last hour of your life? Most people would not. Andrew left his house that morning and went about his daily routine as if it were any other day. It is highly probable he was, until the very end which came around 11 a.m., not aware of his encroaching demise. And that is surely a mercy.
So much has been made of the possible killer, and more is known and eagerly investigated about Lizzie perhaps than the victims. What do we know of Andrew Borden other than he was 5 feet 11 inches, wore a dental plate in his upper jaw, had a hernia and wore a truss, had married twice, had sired three daughters, and was frugal and hard-working? Much more than the bare facts about his life enters into the realm of speculation. Perhaps he loved his children and both wives. Perhaps he stayed on Second Street to be near his many business rental properties and because his wife liked being near her old homestead and family. He provided many comforts for his family, and one or two luxuries as well. It is easy to turn Andrew into a Dickensian miser, and Lizzie into a sympathetic victim-but the truth is probably not so black and white- which makes this case, of course- irresistible.
Happy Birthday, Andrew Borden- you are still remembered.
The following short film was made with photographs taken in December 2006, based upon the research on Andrew’s last hour by Leonard Rebello. Some vintage photos have been inserted to give a better idea of 1892 locations and buildings.