John Holtzapple | The Fate of Mary Rogers
On July 28, 1841, Mary Rogers was found dead in the Hudson River at 20 years of age. Speculation swirled: Was it gang violence? A botched abortion? Was she murdered by her fiancé, who later committed suicide? Mary Rogers' murder was never solved, although its sensationalized presence in the media (even brought to literature by Edgar Allan Poe) ensured Mary's story never truly died.The President James K. Polk Home and Museum director John Holtzapple's presentation, The Fate of Mary Rogers: How a 19th Century Murder Mirrored Polk's America, details the case of the Rogers murder and contextualizes it in the historical changes of the early 19th century.