Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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ROGERS, Mary Cecilia, born about 1820; died in Weehawken, New Jersey, 25 July, 1841. She was the daughter of a widow that kept a boardinghouse in Nassau street, and was engaged by John Anderson as a shop-girl in his tobacco-store on Broadway, near Duane street, where young men of fashion bought their cigars and tobacco. No suspicion had ever been attached to her character, and much excitement was manifested when she suddenly disappeared. A week later she reappeared at her accustomed place behind the counter, and in reply to all inquiries said that she had been on a visit to her aunt in the country. Several years afterward she left her home one Sunday morning to visit a relative in another part of the city. She requested her accepted suitor, who boarded with her mother, to come for her in the evening; but, as it rained, he concluded that she would remain over night, and did not call for her. The next day she failed to return, and it was ascertained that she had not visited her relative. Four days later her body was found floating in Hudson river, near Weehawken, with marks that showed beyond doubt that she had been murdered. Every effort was made to determine by whom she had been killed, but without success. A few weeks later, in a thicket on the New Jersey shore, part of her clothing was found, with every evidence that a desperate struggle had taken place there; but these appear-antes were believed, on close inspection, to have been arranged to give it that aspect. Subsequently it was shown that she had been in the habit of meeting a young naval officer secretly, and it was alleged that. she was in his company at the time of her first disappearance. He was able to account for his whereabouts from the time of her leaving home until the finding of her body, and the murder would have been forgotten had not Edgar Allan Poe revived the incident of tile crime in his "Mystery of Marie Roget." With remarkable skill he analyzed the evidence, and showed almost conclusively that tile murder had been accomplished by one familiar with the sea, who had dragged her body to the water and there deposited it. Many persons were suspected of the crime, and, among others, John Anderson, whose last years, he claimed, were haunted by her spirit.
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