Raynors HCA 2017-09
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 9/7/2017

Broadside. 6 3/4" x 12". Printed by Opinion Printing, Rockland, Maine. Poems commemorating the execution by hanging of Louis H. F. Wagner and John True Gordon "who were hung at Thomaston, Me., June 25, 1875." In 1873, northern New England witnessed two brutal axe murders within three months apart from one another. The first of the murders occurred when a German-born fisherman named Louis Wagner killed two women, Anethe Christensen and Karen Christensen. Wagner had recently moved to the area and was living in poverty. He worked for a local fishing company where he financially lived day to day. He was known for complaining to his fellow workers about his lack of money and poor clothing. Furthermore, Wagner often talked about he adored Anethe Christensen despite not being able to have her. On one night in March, Wagner tried to solve his problems himself. He stole a local fisherman’s boat and began to row out to Smuttynose Island. His plan was to rob, murder, and possibly rape the three Christensen sisters who lived there alone. With only a hand-axe, Wagner was able to kill two of the three women while severely injuring the other. Amongst the intensity of the situation, one sister was able to escape and hide in the rocks on the beach until neighbors saw her around dawn. Wagner was eventually convicted of murder and hanged at Maine State Prison. Wagner maintained he was innocent until he was hung, and the warden of the prison supported his claims. On the day of Wagner’s hanging, another axe-murdering man, John True Gordon, accompanied Wagner. Also claiming his innocence, Gordon had far more evidence against him. The farm house of Almon and Emma Gordon was brutally ravaged and burned on June 16, 1873. Both Almon and Emma, as well as their year and a half old daughter were killed. Almon and Emma’s six-year-old son was brutally injured but survived. The testimonies of those in the house and the blood found on items in John True Gordon’s living quarters were major players in the conviction. However, the most powerful piece of evidence was the fact that John was vehemently trying to save furniture while the farm burned down rather than trying to save a single member of the family. In the end, it was determined that John’s motivation was likely to have involved his father’s passing of the family farm land to his younger brother Almon. There was also speculation that John had a very conflicting relationship with Almon’s wife, Emma. A rare broadside from the hanging that features pictures and descriptive poems about both killers. We are aware of one other in existence though others are likely to be found. Some light dampstaining, Fine.
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A Rare Broadside On The Execution of Louis H. F. Wagner Who Was Convicted Of The Axe Murders Of Two Woman On The Isles Of Shoals Off The Coast Of New Hampshire

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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $500.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $0.00
Estimate: $1,000 - $1,500
Auction closed on Thursday, September 7, 2017.

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