Journal Posts

Tag: curator

Two Journals, A Bird, and A Murder

February 14, 2014

I’ve had quite a bit of time off from creating exhibits lately; people are pretty intrigued by what I have for now. Honestly, I’m a little tired of the constant work. Luckily, my house isn’t too far from my museum, so I’ve told the staff to just call me if they need anything. It’s been rather cold around here lately, so I’m looking forward to sitting by my fireplace with some of those new books I had bought. I think I saw another journal in that batch of books that I want to try out; besides, the last one proved so interesting that this one may be well worth my time as well.

February 17, 2014

I finished that journal I picked up a few days ago. It’s mostly boring blather about some Martha Hale’s life on her farm with her husband and children. I suppose that might be how somebody reads my journals, if they find them some day, long after I’m dead… But I digress. There is a certain part in the journal that seems to be more interesting. She talks about going with her husband to the scene of a crime, but she doesn’t really say anything about the crime itself. She doesn’t write much about what occurred there, other than her feelings while she was there. She seems to be rather irritated at the men for laughing at her and another woman because of the things they were talking about: ”Trifles, they called em. Like we wasn’t for nothin important. Just made to sit there and be pretty little birds. Well at the rate this is going we could all end up like Minnie Foster’s little bird, its neck all wrung out an all. Or maybe we could all end up like Minnie Foster herself.” This part worries me a little. I believe that this Minnie Foster could very well be part of this crime scene that Martha was present at, but I really wonder what a bird has to do with all of this. I wonder what exactly the crime was.. So much it seems for my little vacation; this is too intriguing to pass up!

February 24, 2014

Well, this has taken some meticulous digging. Apparently, this was an obscure case on a small farm in some obscure little town of America. I did, however, get to visit some family while I was over there, so it wasn’t all bad. I got what I needed anyways as I now know what happened in the crime that Martha accompanied her husband to. The story was that Mrs. Wright, aka Minnie Foster (maiden name), was asleep in the bed next to her husband as he was strangled to death with a rope. She testified that she was sleeping on the inside of the bed, so she didn’t wake during the night. When she woke up and discovered him dead, she went downstairs and sat in her rocking chair, pleating an apron. A neighbor (Martha’s husband) then stopped by and asked to speak to Mr. Wright. Mrs. Wright denied the request, and when asked why, stated that her husband was dead. She was taken into custody. They had brought in the Attorney, the Sheriff and his wife, and Mr. and Mrs. Hale so Mr. Hale could give his account of what happened, and apparently they left the women to their own devices downstairs. Mrs. Wright was eventually convicted of murder. Now I know what happened, but I wish I knew what she meant about the bird!

February 26, 2014

I strangely got an anonymous package containing exactly what I needed to help round out my understanding of this incident. The package was addressed from the same area that the murder occurred. The package contained the sheriff’s wife’s journal and a note.The note read: “Dear Miss Adler, I have heard recently of your digging around concerning the old Wright murder. This journal has been kept in my family for years now. I heard you were looking into the case for your museum, and I thought it would benefit you more than it has us. Please take good care of it.” I wish I had a name to put to the donation, but it’s greatly appreciated all the same. I’m going to read this journal tomorrow.

February 27, 2014

Thankfully, the sheriff’s wife has written much more freely about what took place that day with her and Martha. I guess she wasn’t really worried with what others might find in her journal. This is the whole passage concerning that event: “Martha and I were put in such a dreadful position today. I had to go to the poor Wright farm with my husband, and Martha and I got left downstairs to pick up some things to take to Mrs. Wright for her jail stay. I picked up some clothes for her, and then Martha had the marvelous idea to take her quilting, so she would have something to occupy her mind. We noticed something strange though, about the stitching and knotting on it. It was so beautifully done at first, but it got very ragged towards where she stopped. Martha fixed it up a little for her though, the darling. Although she had been speaking rather queer things about Mrs. Wright, how she was almost trapped and such as that. She told me stories of when Mrs. Wright was Minnie Foster, and how she loved to sing. I guess she couldn’t sing much after she got married. We had also found a broken bird cage in her cabinets. We couldn’t understand it much at first, until we found it. We were searching for her sewing scissors when we came across the box. It was a beautiful box, but when Martha opened it, something not so beautiful was found.. That poor pretty bird laid there dead; it’s neck had been snapped. I think she must’ve wanted to bury it, but the dear didn’t have time before she was taken away. Martha and I kept the bird from the men, along with everything else we had discussed. We took the bird out later and buried it, like Minnie would have wanted. Martha told me that Minnie must’ve felt just like that bird, and couldn’t take it anymore. That’s why she killed him.” That’s what I had been wondering about this whole time, and I finally got the answer. I believe this could be an interesting and valuable addition to my museum, but there’s no way I can get any actual artifacts from the crime itself, which kind of disappoints me a little. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to buy pieces to recreate the scene which means more shopping for me in the next few days. I also heard that my friend L was looking into this same event, so I’ve thought about giving him a call to see if he could find some information he needs in these journals. I’m excited about how this has all pulled together. Now I just have to plan out the exhibit itself!

February 28, 2014

I think I’ve figured out a way to set this exhibit up. This could be a highly interesting exhibit though it might be controversial to some. After all, it will be showcasing the fact that the women figured out the reasoning where the men had no idea. Not that I’m hating on men, but it’s an interesting concept for the time period. It would be interesting to have it as a two sided exhibit. The scene would be set up in a large glass box, and looking through it on one side would show you all the things that the women noticed and an explanation. If you looked on the other side, however, you would see it as the men had supposedly seen it. It could be an interesting perspective piece. I believe I can do something great with this!
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The Insanity Journal

February 3, 2014

      So while I was piecing together my exhibit about the Fortunato murder, I was donated a box of books. I was going through them to see which ones I wanted to keep for my personal collection, and I found the most peculiar looking journal. It was old and torn; it looked like it had been through a lot. I was curious, so I read a few pages. It seems to be just the ravings of a woman who hasn’t been out much right now. Also, it’s past my bed time, so I’ll cut off here.

February 5, 2014

      Well, I had some spare time and decided to read more into that journal I picked up the other day. It being as worn as it is, there must be some greater story behind it. It certainly was the ravings of a woman who had been unsocial for a while, but there’s more to it than that. She thought that there was something wrong with her, and her husband wouldn’t listen to her. The idea of treating her by keeping her from doing anything or using her brain seems so… barbaric to me. No wonder she started to go insane! Anybody would, under that treatment. I’m just curious to know what happened after the journal had finished; it stops rather abruptly after her last entry. I think I’m going to look into this more. She does say at the end that she got out at last, in spite of you and Jane. I believe she might be talking about herself in the third person, so her name must be Jane. And considering that’s the only sliver of information that I have to go on, that’s what I’ll take.

February 10, 2014

      I went to the library yesterday and searched through the microfilms they had there for any stories of insanity involving a woman named Jane. I came across a sad little short column that seems like it could have been written about my Jane’s journal. It was very brief, and simply stated that Jane and John Smith had been found at a country home that they had rented for the summer. They were found when John Smith’s sister, Jennie, alerted the police that an altercation had happened upstairs. John Smith was discovered dead under mysterious circumstances, and Jane was found crawling around and around the edge of the room with her shoulder pressed against the wall. It says they took her to a hospital to get her help. It also stated that Jennie would be taking care and custody of the child. I’ll have to see what happened to Jane.

February 12, 2014

      I researched the hospital that they took Jane to, and it turns out that it was a mental institution. Since, it has been torn down and rebuilt into a department store. I gained access to their files and found Jane Smith’s file. Sadly, her story ends shortly thereafter. Her records read that she refused to eat or sleep during her short time there. The only thing she would do was sit in the middle of the room and beg for her wallpaper back. She died a few short days later. The file never mentioned anything of an illness other than the insane state they found her in. This whole scenario was handled in such a poor way! Maybe if John had bothered to listen in the first place, he would have gotten Jane help, and the whole thing could have been avoided. I’m not sure if I’ll add this story to my museum or not, as I’m still busy putting the Fortunato murder up and getting ready to reveal that. Either way, I’m glad the system has changed since then. I couldn’t deal with somebody telling me that I can’t write, and that I’m not allowed to think.
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