Murder in Manhattan: Stanford White and the 'Unwritten Law' in New York at the Fin-de-Siecle

March 5, 6:00 pm

Simon Baatz donne une conférence

Simon Baatz is a professor of history at John Jay College, CUNY, where he teaches American legal history.  He received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania and he has taught world history, American history and the history of science at universities in Britain and the United States. He is the author of For the Thrill of It: Leopold Loeb, and the Murder that Shocked Chicago (New York, 2008)

Stanford White, an architect renowned for his landmark buildings in New York, died from an assassin's bullet in 1906.  His killer, Harry Thaw, shot White in revenge for the rape of his wife.  Thaw claimed justification on the basis of the 'unwritten law' that a husband had the duty to kill the man who had violated his wife.  But the Victorian ideal of domesticity no longer held sway -- women in the United States were gradually achieving a modicum of independence -- and Thaw's legal defense failed to convince the jury.