26, 1844 - 16 year old Rosanne Keen, an African American
domestic servant, was hanged in New Jersey for murder.
New Jersey hanged 16-year-old Rosanne Keen
for poisoning her owner Enos Seeley. Young Keen reportedly used arsenic
borrowed from a neighbor that she mixed with butter and served to
He succumbed to the poison but authorities believed
Seeley died of natural causes. It was only when a neighbor revealed
that she had given the poison to young Keen that suspicions escalated
and officials exhumed Seeley's body.
A laboratory analysis confirmed Seeley had died
from arsenic poisoning, and officials tried, convicted, and sentenced
Keen to death for the murder.
Local authorities hanged Keen in a jail yard in
April 1844 altough she was reportedly "deficient in intellect".
(Streib & Sametz, 1989, pp. 17-18).