This article utilizes comparative data from Virginia and Pennsylvania to examine newspaper representations of white and black women sentenced to death in the nineteenth century. Media coverage changed over the course of the century and execution records reveal the growing demand for labor in the post-emancipation South halted the number of former slave women hanged. The number of white women executed in Pennsylvania increased as white women entered the public sphere. Press coverage, execution records, and penitentiary registers expose fluctuating media coverage of women convicted and sentenced to death in the two states over the course of a century.

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