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HIST 3850 (7)

Clara Ford Summary

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HIST 3850
Patrick J Connor

Death in the Queen City The Clara Ford Trial 1895 18 year old Frank Westwood is shot on his right side underneath his ribs at 11pm on Saturday October 6 1894 when he answers the door of his family mansion in the Parkdale neighborhoodo Father Benjamin Westwood goes outside with his revolver to find the culprit on his property He is unsuccessful shoots a warning shot to see if he could flush the person out and then goes back inside Franks wound worsens with time being operated on on Monday onlyfor surgeons to find too much organ damage to correct o During this time Toronto beings to create rumors about the killingThere is a girl in ita jealous rivalry must have motivated the killing If he had stolen the affections of another mans womanhad he disgraced a young woman to the extent of revengeFrank dies Wednesday morning October 10 1894 o Coroners inquest is called Confirms that the trajectory of the bullet came from someone standing directly in front of Frank38 caliber bullet o Frank described the assailant as a mustached man of medium build wearing dark clothes but he did not recognize him The only suspicious incident of relevance was a recent confrontation with a group of stonehookers They had tried to break into his family boathouse and he fired warning shots to scare them off Henry Hornberry a neighbour did some amateur sleuthing on the property and found a torn up note that read in a womans hand You said you would If you do not I will under a tree Frank had been questioned becoming defensive when asked about his female friends Frank at this time asked whether Gus Clark an acquaintance who had given him some trouble was still in prison He was noto However during the inquest he was ruled out as a suspect on November 12 as he had proof that he had been sleeping in his boardinghouse at the time of the incidento Clark was known to be free spirited fought in the Northwest rebellion of 1885 with the Toronto Royal Grenadiers Recalled that one of his female acquaintances Clara Ford dressed as a manClara Ford oShe was well known to Westwood and his friends and was known to carry a revolver and had an unpredictable sometime violent dispositiono Mixed race o Frightened Clarks sisters to the extent that they had called the police who subsequently placed her under surveillanceToronto of the 1890s prided itself of being a peaceful law abiding community In 1893 there was only one murder and Franks murder was the only premeditated killing of 1894o Mayor William Howland tried to instill virtue into the city cutting tavern licenses and considering bylaws to close taverns by 9 pm Prostitution however was of major concern 1Page
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