The Ballad of Fred & Allie

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Fred and Allie

  • Fred and Allie went to the same all girls school, The Higbee School, in 1891.
  • At this time, women were housewives for men.
  • Fred and Allie were best friends as children, but had a very intimate relationship.
  • They fell in love.
  • Allie was way more into than Fred.
  • She was going to disguise as a man and marry Fred.
  • Allie was obsessed with Fred, so much so, that when they couldn't marry, she went insane.
  • Allie was under huge depression and Fred wasn't affected as much.
  • Allie felt betrayed when she saw Fred in her town without Fred telling her she was there.
  • So she killed Fred.
  • She stabbed her and then wanted to stab herself, but was contained by Fred's friends.
  • She admitted flat out about the whole relationship, which at this time, was unheard of! She also told about their plans to get married and her killing Fred.
  • This was so rare back in the day for a lesbian couple that she was found insane, not because of the killing, but because of the relationship.


  • Did you ever think these relationships existed way back in the day?
  • Was it love or an obsession?
  • In today's society Allie would have been thrown in jail, in what ways have we changed?
  • What do you guys think about how she was automatically thought of as insane?

Other references

From the Blogs

  • Sarah mentioned that Lillie Johnson was also arrested. I did not know that and it surprised me that that wasn't in the article.
  • Demi pointed out that the guy's testimony about how Allie didn't dance with him was irrelevant. I disagree with that because it contributed to the insanity plea of her defense.
  • Gloriana emphasized that girls were encouraged to have relationships until it got serious, then it was frowned upon. I never really thought of it like that and I think it was a good point!
  • Everyone pointed out that noone thought there was a crime until the end. I thought this too, but I like how it was a shocking turn of events. We always expect a crime, but with this story it caught a lot of us off guard because it seemed to be a love story that just ended, rather than a murder.