1800s, Beautiful Cigar Girl, beauty, Celebrity, Connecticut, Edgar Allan Poe, fiance, John Anderson, Mary Cecilia Rogers, media attention, murdered, overdose, The Mystery of Marie Roget, tobacco store employee, unsolved
Mary Cecilia Rogers (1820 – July 28, 1841)
Mary Rogers was born sometime in 1820 probably in Lyme, Connecticut (her birth records have not survived). Rogers was the only child and grew up with her widowed mother. (Her father died in a steamboat explosion.) Rogers was a stunning beauty and worked in a tobacco store in New York City (employed by John Anderson). She was paid a very generous wage for the time since her beauty brought in many admirers and customers.
Her body was found in the Hudson River. At first she was believed to have been the victim of gang violence. Her death remains a mystery and is still unsolved. Theories include Rogers committed suicide, was killed after a failed abortion attempt and at the hands of her fiance, who committed suicide by overdose in October 1841, months after Rogers was found dead. Referred to as the “Beautiful Cigar Girl,” her death was sensationalized by the media and received national media attention. Rogers inspired Edgar Allan Poe’s detective story The Mystery of Marie Roget.