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Francis Stone
Frances in 1919
Frances Stone
Portrayed by Erin Cahill
Episode Torn
Status Deceased (1919)

Frances Mae Stone was an 18-year-old heiress killed on June 23, 1919, after her involvement with the women's suffrage movement put her at odds with the rest of her family.

History[]

Frances was the daughter of Ambrose and Elizabeth Stone. Her father owned one of the largest brewing companies in Philly, which ensured the Stones were well-off. Frances was close friends with her family's housemaid, Philippa "Phil" Abruzzi, whom she had taught to read. Phil's young daughter, Audrey Abruzzi, even called her "Aunt Frannie". In 1919, Frances had accepted the proposal of a young man named Lawrence Wakeley.

One day, while walking down a street with her parents and Lawrence, she noticed a group of women passing out forms calling for votes for women. The leader of the group, Alice B. Harris, was pelted with food by passing men but refused to back down, much to Frances' awe.

Sometime later, Frances noticed Phil had a black eye. Phil admitted her husband had beat her for reading one of the forms Alice handed out. Frances and Phil started thinking how men would have to respect them if they had votes, and decided to attend one of Alice's meetings.

Frances impressed Alice at the meeting, but had only been present for a few minutes before Elizabeth arrived to take her and Phil home. Frances protested until Elizabeth threatened to fire Phil.

Frances would later try to appeal to Elizabeth what women voting could mean for them. Elizabeth, however, pointed out that women getting the vote would lead to Prohibition being enacted, which would ruin the family business. Elizabeth instead appealed to Frances to work against the suffragettes as a spy.

Frances appeared to go along with her mother's request but found she couldn't bring herself to betray the suffragettes, confiding that Alice shouldn't trust her. Alice, however, assured Frances that she was an intelligent woman and that they would change the course of history together. The meeting was quickly interrupted, however, when the police arrived and arrested the suffragettes, including Frances, on trumped-up charges.

The jailers recognized Frances from her well-known family and separated her from the others. Ambrose and Lawrence arrived at the jail hours later to bail Frances out. Lawrence assumed she would forget about the suffragettes and move on to a life with him, but Frances instead told him she didn't want to marry him. After Lawrence left, Ambrose warned Frances that Prohibition would ruin their family and threatened to disown her unless she renounced suffragettes. In a moment of weakness, Frances conceded.

After learning it was Phil who had sold out the suffragettes to Ambrose and Elizabeth, Frances confronted her. Phil confided that her husband had threatened to divorce her and take Audrey away. Humbled, Frances realized she couldn't betray the suffragettes for her own safety and comfort. She resolved to go back to the jail and fight to get Alice and the others released.

As she walked out, Frances was confronted by her mother, who refused to let her daughter leave, believing she would ruin everything Elizabeth had sacrificed for. As she heard her mother speak, Frances realized Elizabeth wanted more out of life as well, but never believed it could happen, and that wishing for more was simply too painful. Elizabeth, however, insisted she was happy, growing angrier. The two struggled, and Frances was accidentally thrown over the second-story balcony to the floor below, breaking her neck.

Ironically, just 14 months later on August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment was ratified, giving women the right to vote. Elizabeth, who had become a recluse after Frances' death, made a recording that day in memory of her daughter to play over and over again, reliving what she'd done.

Frances' murder would go unsolved for nearly 88 years. In 2007, her great-great-niece Emma Stone approached Detective Lilly Rush with information on Frances' death from an heirloom that she had received from her recently deceased grandmother. Though most of Frances' family and acquaintances were long dead themselves by this point, the detectives were able to learn about the final days of her life, which ultimately led them to the recording Elizabeth had made, and Frances' murder was finally solved. In the epilogue, Lilly imagines bumping into Frances on the street.

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