LCP Fireside Chats Logo

Fireside Chat: Cry of Murder on Broadway and Bringing Down the Colonel: A Conversation with Julie Miller and Patricia Miller

In Cry of Murder on Broadway, Julie Miller shows how a woman’s desperate attempt at murder came to momentarily embody the anger and anxiety felt by many people at a time of economic and social upheaval and expanding expectations for equal rights.

Julie Miller earned her doctorate in United States history at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in 2003. She taught in the history department at Hunter College, City University of New York, before moving to Washington DC. Her first book was Abandoned: Foundlings in Nineteenth-Century New York City (NYU Press, 2008). Her second book, Cry of Murder on Broadway: A Woman’s Ruin and Revenge in Old New York, was published by the Three Hills Imprint of Cornell University Press in October, 2020. It was begun with a Bernard and Irene Schwartz postdoctoral fellowship from the New-York Historical Society in 2006-2007. She is the curator of early American Manuscripts at the Library of Congress. Her chapter, “British Beginnings,” in The Two Georges: Parallel Lives in an Age of Revolution (Washington DC: Library of Congress), is forthcoming.

Cry of Murder was written entirely outside of her responsibilities at the Library of Congress and does not reflect the Library’s views.

In Bringing Down the Colonel, the journalist Patricia Miller tells the story of Madeline Pollard, an unlikely nineteenth-century women’s rights crusader. After an affair with a prominent politician left her “ruined,” Pollard brought the man—and the hypocrisy of America’s control of women’s sexuality—to trial. And, surprisingly, she won.

Patricia Miller is an award-winning author and journalist whose fascination with the untold stories of women led her on a 10-year journey to unearth the story of the Breckinridge–Pollard scandal. Her work on the interplay of politics and sexual morality has appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Salon, The Nation, Huffington Post, and Ms. Magazine. She received a master’s degree in journalism from New York University and is the editor of Encyclopedia Virginia.

Talking in the Library will serve as an audio platform for researchers to share the incredible work they’re pursuing using the rich collections at the Library Company of Philadelphia.

Talking in the Library is hosted by Will Fenton, the Director of Scholarly Innovation, and produced by Ann McShane, the Project Digital Asset Librarian at Emory University.

Logo design by Nicole Graham. Theme music by Krestovsky (“Terrible Art”).

Talking in the Library is also available on these platforms: