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Newport Historical Society Spring Lecture

The Poison Plot

Thursday, April 17, 2014: 5:30pm
Colony House, Washington Square
A lecture by Elaine Forman Crane, Ph.D. Fordham University
Detail: Colonial-era apothecary pot, NHS collections.
$5 per person, $1 NHS members. RSVP 401-841-8770

Colony-era Apothecary Pot, NHS collectionIn November 1738, Mary Arnold tried unsuccessfully to poison her husband Benedict Arnold, who interpreted this attempt as a hint that she wanted to terminate their marriage. Fearing for his life, he petitioned the Rhode Island General Assembly for a divorce. His plea included accusations of attempted murder, adultery and sexually transmitted disease, theft, fraud, and various other social improprieties. According to Benedict, Mary’s ongoing abuse “…Scandalises his Family Relatives & Acquaintance in an Intolerable manner.” The Arnold marriage—and subsequent divorce—raises intriguing questions about marriage, social norms and the complex relationships between men and women in early American culture.
Photo: Detail: Colonial-era apothecary pot, NHS collections.

NEWPORT HISTORICAL SOCIETY
82 Touro St. Newport, RI · 401.846.0813
BRICK MARKET MUSEUM & SHOP
127 Thames St. Newport, RI · 401.841.8770
www. NewportHistory.org

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