The Ardmore Crime: Turning Attention Again to the Husband of the Murdered Woman (1886)


The Ardmore Crime: Turning Attention Again to the Husband of the Murdered Woman (1886)


After Catherine Taswell, an African American woman from the nearby town of Haverford was brutally raped and murdered, newspapers covered the story for months. Her death underscores the dangers that Julia and Mary Moulden faced.


Macon Telegraph, page 7


November 13, 1886


America's Historical Newspapers






“On the night Catherine Taswell was murdered two students, Guy H. David and Henry N. Conrad, left Haverford College at 6:45 o’clock and started up the Lancaster pike for an evening’s frolic at the Blue House, an inn half-way between Haverford College House and Bryn Mawr. It was quite dark when they left the college building, and when they reached Howell Evans’s broad gateway they were walking very slowly.

Suddenly they were startled by a piercing cry, seemingly from a woman, and it came from the carriage road, they say, inside the gateway, a very little distance off. The youth, thoroughly frightened by the cry, took to their heels up the pike, and when they had gone about half a square the cry came again, but much fainter, as they the person who uttered it had almost lost her voice. They both think that when they heard the first shriek the woman could not have been more than twenty feet inside the gateway from them. These undoubtedly were the cries Mrs. Hirst and Mrs. Wallace heard, and the boys with these ladies, agree that the hour was about 7 o’clock. The people of Lower Merion Township are divided as to whether Catherine Taswell met her death at the hands of the unknown tramp or her husband. These are the only two people suspected now. Aleck Green having cleared himself thoroughly by proving that he left Ardmore for Philadelphia on the evening of the crime on the 6:23 train. During the past week Mrs. Abbott has told several things which show that there was not perfect harmony existing between Taswell and his wife. She says that on last Wednesday week Mrs. Taswell came over to her house for breakfast, after spending the night with her husband at Philler’s, in a very indignant frame of mind. She said to Mrs. Abbott: “I wanted to go in town today, and my husband wouldn’t give me the money.” On Thursday she made a similar complaint and added: “My husband says he is going to take a house in town this winter and says that it will be very unsafe for Aleck Green if he darkens his door.” Again, Mrs. Abbott says that on Sunday afternoon several weeks ago Taswell called at her house to take his wife riding. When they returned and Mrs. Taswell was alighting from the carriage she heard John say: “I don’t want to hear any more of that from you; if I do it will be very unlucky for you.” A week or so before that, when Mrs. Taswell came over to Mrs. Abbott’s to breakfast one morning, she said to her, “My husband treated me very badly a little while ago.” There was a ball the night before at which Taswell heard for the first time talk of his wife’s intimacy with Green. At the time he went right to his wife’s sister and told her about it. She replied: “It’s none of my business; talk to your wife.”


“The Ardmore Crime: Turning Attention Again to the Husband of the Murdered Woman (1886),” The Rooted Project , accessed June 1, 2023,

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