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Grave  of Joseph Courtemanche (Shortsleeve) His name is not on the stone.

Notre Dame Cemetery

Joseph Shortsleeve immigrated from Canada in 1876.  Listed as being born in English Canada in 1847 as Joseph Courtemanche, he americanized his name to Shortsleeve as did many French Canadians in Fall River.  He was trained as a carpenter and worked for Andrew Borden.  On the morning of the murders he was with Jim Mather at a store near the corner of Spring and South Main putting in a new window for Jonathan Clegg, one of Andrew Borden’s commercial tenants. Mr. Borden owned the property.

Andrew had bumped into Mr. Clegg near the Granite Block on his way back home and had promised to check on the window that morning.  Joseph Shortsleeve appears in the 1910 census as living at 40 Dover Street, a widower with several single daughters to support. He is still listed as a carpenter in 1910.  He was 45 on the day of the murders and was questioned intently so as to fix the time of Andrew Borden’s arrival at home.  From the Preliminary: *note In the preliminary and in newspapers, the name is usually plural, Shortsleeves, however in French Courtemache is singular, courtes manches being the plural form. 

Q. Mr. Knowlton.) What is your full name?

A. Joseph Shortsleeve.

Q. Did you know Mr. Borden?

A. Yes Sir.

Q. Did you work for him?

A. I worked for him on different jobs, yes sir.

Q. What is your business?

A. Carpenter.

Q. Were you working for him on the day that he was killed?

A. No Sir.

Q. Did you see him on that day?

A. Yes Sir.

Q. You remember the day, of course?

A. Yes Sir.

Q. Where did you see him?

A. In the building that he owns on So. Main street, No. 92.

Q. What street is that the corner of?

A. That is not exactly on the corner, sir, it is three buildings from the corner of Spring and So. Main.

Q. Spring is the next street above his house?

A. Above the store where we were working.

Q. If you were going to his house you would turn down?

A. He lives on the right hand side of the street, turned down on Second to the left.

Q. Go towards City Hall?

A. Yes Sir.

Q. It is between Spring street and the next one below it?

A. Between Borden and Spring street.

Q. Did you see him on some business that day?

A. Nothing, no particular business; he dropped in there. I supposed he was on his way home at the time.  We were repairing this store for Jonathan Clegg; and he came in there.

Q. That was the store Clegg was to move into?

A. Yes Sir, he is moving in some of the stuff now.

Q. You were working in that store?

A. Yes Sir.

Q. Did you have some talk with him?

A. Yes Sir.

Q. Who was there with you?

A. My friend James Mather.

Q. How long did he stay there?

A. Between three and four minutes I should judge.

Q. Did you see which way he went when he left your place?

A. I could not swear which way he went, but he disappeared in a very short minute, but he was heading towards So. Main, towards Spring street.

Q. What time was that?

A. It was between half past ten and quarter to eleven.

Q. After half past ten?

A. Yes sir after half past ten.

Q. How do you fix that fact?

A. My friend there stepped out on to the sidewalk, and he looked down to the town clock, we can see the town clock very plain from where we were, and it was twenty minutes to eleven then.

Q. Was that before or after he had left?

A. It was just after he had left.

Q. You did not see him again after that?

A. No sir we did not.