Occupation: Financial executive
Residence: Boston, MA
Date of Performance/Collection: 3/11/17
Primary Language: English
“Ok, so this is a story of Georges Island, an island out in Boston Harbor. During the Civil War, they built a fort out there called Fort Warren. And that’s where they held prisoners of the Civil War, so Confederate soldiers were held out there. Um, so there was a soldier out there who wrote a letter to his wife that he was being held out there and she got the letter, she was from Georgia. So she comes up and she wants to break him out of jail. So she ends up staying in Hull, right, which is a town right on the water and one stormy night, she rows out there, dressed in men’s clothing, and she had cut her hair, so she looked like a prisoner. So she broke into the prison and she was doing everything she could to break her husband out of jail. And as she was doing it, she was captured, along with her husband, and as they were about to take her, she went to take the pistol of one of the guards, and as she was grabbing at the pistol from the the guard, the gun went off, and it killed her husband. And then she was tried for trying to break him out of prison, and she was convicted, and she was gonna be put to death. And they said, “So you have one request. What is your request?” And she said, “I don’t wanna die in men’s clothing.” They said, “Ok, that’s reasonable.” So the guards at the fort went around, but there were no women on this island, so all they could find was like this black material and black robes. So they put her in the lack robes and then they executed. And from that day on, when you go out to that island… people swear that there is the “Lady in Black” that everyone sees walking around by herself. And the legend is that that’s this woman.”
This story was told to me by my dad’s buddy, Stephen. As a Boston native, I found the story to be very interesting. Apparently it was based on true events. It’s funny, as Stephen was reciting the tale, I recalled a short news clip from a Boston station that I’d seen several years ago. The clip showed a shadowy figure donning black robes standing in heavy winds on an island in Boston harbor. When Stephen, got to the end of the story, I put two and two together. This was one of my favorite pieces of folklore that I collected.