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Welcome to the post-exhibit archive of "Who Killed Sarah Stout?" This online version of the exhibit stems from both the physical and digital components of a Haverford College exhibit which took place from February 28, 2013- September 20, 2013. 



“Well then gentlemen, go together, and consider your evidence.” This was the task of the jury in 1699 during its deliberation of the trial of Spencer Cowper. Accused of murdering Sarah Stout, a young Quaker woman of unusual independence and wealth, Spencer Cowper and his alleged accomplices stood trial and were acquitted.

Despite the verdict, many questions were left unanswered. A series of scandalous speculations surrounded the trial: a forbidden love affair between Spencer and Sarah, political backstabbing, forged love letters, medical curiosities and lovesick suicide.

Using the rich holdings of Haverford’s Quaker and Special Collections, which include an original transcript of the trial and many pamphlets from the case, we set out to bring the evidence of this 17th-century murder mystery to life with the key question: Who killed Sarah Stout? You can read more of an introduction to the exhibit here


Originally, the exhibit was hybrid experiment between physically recreated spaces such as the Tavern or the Meeting, each furnished with physical artifacts and special collections materials. The digital component was a game that allowed visitors to interrogate those persons in the case in the various spaces. 

We've used this Omeka exhibit to provide access to information from the physical spaces (though unfortunately with less staging). If you'd like to explore the exhibit and play the game, we recommend using having two windows open-- one with this exhibit and one with Sarah Stout's Interrogations. 


Continue by solving the mystery using the "Begin the Game" tab or browse the collections by using the "Visit Hertford" tab.