Crime Magazine writer Denise Noe recently wrote a long essay in full defense of the much maligned Andrew Borden of Fall River, accused of parsimony, incest, adultery, and every other crime in the calendar [an obscure reference to the Newgate Calendar]. Was old man Borden the victim of misandry?
The general perception of Andrew Borden is of a singularly unpleasant man. He is frequently written of as a cold, tyrannical patriarch and, most especially, a miser. Like the tight-fisted fictional characters of Silas Marner and Ebenezer Scrooge, he is believed to have been constantly scrounging for money and pathologically vigilant in holding on to it.
The popular portrait of Andrew as frugal and sometimes penny-pinching is incomplete—misleadingly and unfairly so. He seems to have been quite divided in how he treated his money, strictly husbanding even tiny amounts here and willingly spending a great deal there. He probably spent little on his own clothes simply because that was something that did not much matter to him. Indeed, the pattern that emerges when examining both his frugality and his generosity is that of a man who was tight-fisted when spending on himself but generous when spending on his wife and daughters.
A fresh look at the life of Andrew Borden shows a flawed, reticent, and, yes, “austere” man who worked hard to provide comfort and enjoyment to the women about whom he cared.
Never have I seen Andrew Borden so ably defended. I found it interesting that the piece, written by a woman, appeared in Men's News Daily.
In a similar vein, in “Everybody’s Safe But Father,” a newspaperman in 1928 decried a wave of parricide and offered advice for his male readers that holds today. Enjoy!