Today's anniversaries begin with the 1742 death of Sarah Grosvenor. Her story is recounted extensively in public records, but begins, predictably, with a lover who didn't love her enough to marry her once she was pregnant with his child. Sarah's family rallied around her, trying to save both her life and her reputation, but by the time they realized that she was pregnant and in the middle of an herbal abortion, the die was cast. Sarah breathed her last on September 14.
Her death-dealing abortionist, Dr. Hallowell, had always been a marginal practitioner who lived a lot of his life on the wrong side of the law. Her faithless lover had been a high-standing member of the community. Sarah was buried, and life in the little town went on.
Suddenly, about a year after Sarah's death, warrants were issued for the arrests of the culpable parties, and a hearing held, determining that Hallowell was guilty of murder, and that Sarah's lover, Amasa Sessions, was an accessory. This was a preliminary finding, and called for prosecution. At first the case -- against Hallowell, at least -- was pushed vigorously. Hallowell was found guilty and sentenced to be shamed, whipped, and imprisoned. He escaped before this sentence could be carried out, and vanished from public view. Nobody went to any trouble to find him.
As for Amassa Sessions, he regained his fine standing in the community, married, and fathered a house full of children before dying at a ripe old age. Reading the laudatory inscription on his headstone, one can almost hear the weeping of the mourners, the family and distinguished persons of the town, as they lay Amasa Sessions, pilar of the community, to rest. Less than 25 feet away lay Sarah Grosvenor, nearly 50 years dead -- evidently forgotten.