by Kali Nicole Gross
Shortly after a dismembered torso was discovered by a pond outside Philadelphia in 1887, investigators homed in on two suspects: Hannah Mary Tabbs, a married, working-class, black woman, and George Wilson, a former neighbor whom Tabbs implicated after her arrest.
As details surrounding the shocking case emerged, both the crime and ensuing trial–which spanned several months–were featured in the national press. The trial brought otherwise taboo subjects such as illicit sex, adultery, and domestic violence in the black community to public attention. At the same time, the mixed race of the victim and one of his assailants exacerbated anxieties over the purity of whiteness in the post-Reconstruction era.
Interview with the Author
New Books Network
Kali Nicole Gross, “Hannah Mary Tabbs and the Disembodied Torso” (Oxford UP, 2016)
3/13/18 56 min
PA Books on PCN
“Hannah Mary Tabbs and the Disembodied Torso” with Kali Nicole Gross
4/12/16 57 min
Stuff You Missed in History Class
Hannah Mary Tabbs and the Dismbodied Torso
4/4/16 41 min
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