history vintage

Mugshot of Maria Pettersson, 1877, Sweden. She was arrested for killing her 20 day old infant daughter. The papers described it as “an act of desperation” after first being unable to find work as a wet nurse then being turned away from a poor house for new mothers. She was 31 years old.

Ellis Island Immigrants: Girl from Rättvik, Province of Dalarna, Sweden
ca. 1905–14
Photographer: Augustus F. Sherman (American; 1865–1925)

Formerly identified as “Norwegian Girl”; new identification in Peter Mesenhöller, Augustus F. Sherman: Ellis Island Portraits, 1905–1920 (New York: Aperture, 2005)