Testimony of Hannah Reagan in the Trial of Lizzie Borden
June 14, 1893

I am the matron at the Fall River police station. The prisoner was in my charge for nine or ten days; she occupied my own room. On August 24, Miss Emma Borden came to see her sister; it was about twenty minutes to nine in the morning, and I was tidying up the room.

I let her in and she spoke to her sister Lizzie, and I left the two women talking together and I went into a toilet room about four feet from where Miss Lizzie Borden was lying on a couch, and I heard very loud talk, and I came to my door and it was Miss Lizzie Borden; she was lying on her left side and her sister Emma was talking to her and bending right over her, and Lizzie says, "Emma, you have gave me away, haven't you?" She says, "No, Lizzie, I have not." "You have," she says, "and I will let you see I won't give in one inch," and she sat right up and put up her finger, and I stood in the doorway looking at both of them.

Lizzie Borden lay right down on the couch on her left side and faced out the window and closed her eyes, and Miss Emma got a chair, I gave her a chair, and she sat right down beside her sister. They sat there till Mr. Jennings came to my door, somewhere about eleven o'clock. Miss Lizzie didn't speak to her sister, nor turn her face to her any more that forenoon.


Q. [By Mr. Jennings] How long did Miss Emma remain that morning in the room?

A. She remained, sir, from twenty minutes of nine o'clock until you came to the door.

Q. Did Miss Emma come again that day?

A. In the afternoon, sir.

Q. What time did she come in the afternoon?

A. I never kept the time of when she came. She came at all hours of the day.

Q. How came you to keep the time she came in the morning?

A. Well, I was cleaning up that morning, and it was rather early.

Q. Did anybody else come in the afternoon?

A. Let me see. Why, yes, there was lots of visitors came in the afternoon.

Q. Who were they?

A. M r Buck came in the afternoon.

Q. Are you sure he came that same afternoon?

A. Well, I know we had visitors that afternoon, and I think Mr. Buck came.

I don't remember when miss Emma came in the afternoon; I can't give you any idea. I am sure that there was no one there in the morning but her sister and you [Mr. Jennings]. I don't remember Mrs. Holmes in the afternoon.

Q. Now let me go a little further and see if I can refresh your recollection. Don't you remember that Mrs. Holmes was there that afternoon and you had some conversation about an egg?

A. About what?

Q. About an egg.

A. I remember about the egg, but I couldn't tell you whether it was that afternoon or not, sir.

Q. What was it about the egg?

A. The breaking of an egg.

Q. Well, what was said or done?

A. We were talking in the afternoon, me and Lizzie Borden, and I says, "I can tell you one thing you can't do," and she says, "Tell me what it is, Mrs. Reagan." I says, "Break an egg, Miss Borden," and she says, "Break an egg?" I says, "Yes." "Well," she says, "I can break an egg." I says, "Not the way I would tell you to break it." She says, "Well, what way is it, Mrs. Reagan?" So I told her that she couldn't break it the way I wanted her to break it, and I said I would bet her a dollar that she couldn't, and she said she would bet me a quarter, and in the afternoon someone fetched Lizzie an egg, and Miss Emma Borden was sitting down beside her, and I told Miss Emma Borden to get a little ways away, "Because," I said, "if she will break the egg the wrong way it will destroy your dress," and she did get the egg, and she got it in her hands, and she couldn't break it, and she says, "There," she says, "that is the first thing that I undertook to do that I never could."

Yes, I did speak of the talk between the two sisters as a quarrel. I don't remember the day of the week; it was August 24. I didn't see about it in the papers; I heard of it from Mr. Buck. I was asked about it by the reporters. I did not tell reporters it was all a lie. I didn't tell Mr. Buck it wasn't true.

Q. Subsequent to that was a paper drawn up for you to sign?

A. Yes Sir.

Q. In relation to this story?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Was it read to you?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Can you tell us what it was?

A. No sir, I can't.

Q. Who brought it to you?

A. Mr. Buck.

Q. And you say you can't recall any part of it?

A. No sir.

Q. Will you listen to this and see if this sounds anything like it: "This is to certify that my attention has been called to a report said to have been made by me in regard to a quarrel between Lizzie and her sister Emma, in which Lizzie said to Emma, 'You have given me away, etc., and that I expressly and positively deny that any such conversation took place, and I further deny that I ever heard anything that could be construed as a quarrel between the two sisters."
Does that sound anything like it?

A. No sir. I don't remember one word that Mr. Buck said to me that evening.

Q. Will you say that that was not the substance of the paper that was presented to you?

A. I couldn't tell you, sir.


Q. [By Mr. Moody] Mrs. Reagan, you told Mr. Jennings that you told this story to some reporter on the afternoon it occurred. What reporter was that?

A. The reporter of the Fall River Globe.

Q. Do you see him here now?

A. Mr. Porter, yes sir.

Q. The gentleman sitting at the end of the second seat?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Was anyone with you when Mr. Buck came in with the paper?

A. No sir.

Q. Just say what he said to you when he brought the paper?

A. The Court was going on in the afternoon and Mr. Buck came in and said, "Mrs. Reagan, there is a report going round," he says, "that there has been trouble between Miss Emma Borden and her sister." I said, "Where did you hear it?" He says, "It has come from the papers." I said, "You can't believe all you read in the paper.  "He went away and came back again and called me out of my room on to the landing, and all the reporters were standing there and he turned round and he says, "Mrs. Reagan, I want you to sign this paper." Said I, "For what, sir?" He says, "If you will sign this paper it will make everything all right between Miss Lizzie Borden and her sister." I said, "Will you give me that paper and I will take it to Marshal Hilliard?" He says, "No, I can't give it to you, but I will go downstairs with you," and I went downstairs with him.

Q. Now tell us all that was said or done in the Marshal's office?

A. Mr. Buck went in and showed this paper to Marshal Hilliard, and I stood outside the rail. Marshal Hilliard said, "You go to your room and I will attend to this business; and you, Mr. Buck, attend to yours."

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