Friday, April 28, 2006

4/28/06- My Dear Chester...

By the evening of June 18, 1906, Grace Brown had returned to her family's farm in the small town of South Otselic to wait for Chester Gillette to come for her with a solution to her problem. She was two and a half months pregnant with his child and she was on the verge of facing public disgrace for being pregnant and unmarried. She had agreed to return home in order for her to hide her condition from friends and co-workers at the Gillette Skirt Factory. She also agreed to do this so that Chester could get his affairs in order so he and Grace could go away somewhere and have the baby in secret.

However, Grace knew that Chester had been continuing to spend his time with the high society girls of Cortland and also she knew about Chester's history of not accepting responsibility for his problems and that he frequently ran away from them. She feared that he would do the same to her and leave her to fend for herself.

That night, Grace began writing the first of what would be considered the most famous love letters ever written. She tried to keep them loving and affectionate, but at the same time she constantly reminded him of his duty as a gentleman to come for her and marry her or else she would return to Cortland and expose him as the father of her unborn child, which would destroy the reputation that he worked so hard to build among Cortland's social elite.

In her letters, Grace talked about being lonely, sick, and crying frequently. She even hinted of suicide and premonitions of her own death, which would be used as a defense later on in Chester's trial. If you read the letters closely, you could feel the struggle that Grace went through to resist the urge to commit suicide because she wanted Chester to marry her. She was so desperate that she even made a telephone call to Chester at the factory to which co-workers listened in.

While Grace wrote a total of eleven letters in that three-week period before her fatal trip to the Adirondacks, Chester only wrote three. His letters were very short and vague about their future together. One plan was that Chester was going to put Grace in an asylum for single mothers so that she could have the baby in secret and then give it up for adoption. Despite not having a set plan, they agreed to meet in the nearby town of DeRuyter to embark of a trip of sorts.

What Grace didn't know was that Chester had something else in mind. Something far worse.

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