Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Annie Raffleson was Mistreated, So She Got Even – with Acid - 1912


FULL TEXT: Chicago, Sept. 5.—Annie Raffleson, the pretty Jewish girl, whose face has been described as that of the Madonna, is free today, through the humanitarianism of Judge Hines of the charge which might have sent her to the penitentiary. She recently came here from her country home to throw acid in the face of her lover who had given his love to another girl.

She told a story of love and sacrifice that brought tears to the eyes of the judge and prosecutor and appealed to a higher law than man had made. This is her story:

Annie Raffleson first looked Romance in the face when she was 16. To her father’s farm in Sheboygan, Mich., came a Russian peasant boy named Abraham Milzenmacher. He was hungry and penniless. Annie gave him food and her father gave .him employment. Re wore old, ill-fitting clothes, and had the slouch of the peasant, but the romantic girl looked deeper and saw strength and fineness and beauty. Then began Annie Rafflelson’s six years of sacrifice.

“I loved him the moment I saw him,” she said, “and I gave my life to him.

“He could not even speak English. I taught it to him. When his day’s work on the farm was done, we would sit together by lamplight, far into the night.

“He was eager to learn, and I was so happy to help him! We went through the primary school books, and soon he was able to enter the higher grades of the country school.

“He loved me then. The lessons were mixed with kisses. For both of us life was full of sunshine.

“Together we planned for his future. He was to be physician But I had taught him all I know. We decided that he should go to Chicago, and study in the night schools – then he was to enter the University of Chicago.

“He found Chicago lonely and hopeless, I was the Inspiration of his life, he said, and without me he could do nothing. I had made of the poor immigrant an American gentleman, and I must still be at his side.

“So I left home and went to Chicago. He met me and took me in his arms and covered my eyes and lips with kisses, and we talked of the time when he should be a physician, holding up his head in the face of all men, and I should be his wife.

“I had to earn my living. By day I worked in a department store. By night I sewed.

“I starved and starved myself and wore threadbare clothes, and lived in a cheap little hall bedroom. and all that I could save I gave to pay his expenses, for he needed money when he entered the university.

“On the farm I had sold butter and eggs and sent him the money.

“For six years I gave him everything. And he told to me that the long time of waiting would soon be over, and we should be married. Recently I have been putting away nickels and dines toward buying my trousseau. I wanted him to be proud of me when I became his wife.

“Then, all at once I awoke from my beautiful dream. Abraham grew cool, and began to shun me. He seemed ashamed of me. He did not love me any more. He was not grateful for what I had done for him. Ana then – I learned that he loved another girl – a wealthy girl – in Sheboygan.

“I did not think. I am all health. And now I hated him. I took some of my trousseau money and bought vitroil.

“I WOULD DESTROY HIS BEAUTY.”

“So I threw the acid in his face. My arm trembled though, and I nearly failed.

“They pay he is not hurt much I don’t know whether I care or not. My scars are deeper than Abraham’s. I don’t care about anything. I just want to forget –  and to rest.”

Now Annie is going back to the farm, and her mother.

[“Cupid’s Arrows Were Sham; She Throws Vitrol In Face To Avenge a Broken Heart,” The Tacoma Times (Wa.), Sep. 5, 1912, p. 1]

[Note: Capitalized sentence is as in original.]

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SEE: “Acid Queens: Women Who Throw Acid” for a collection of synopses of similar cases.

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