Wright Square is full of history, mostly tragic, though. Long before Tomochichi was buried in the Square, it was home to Savannah’s gallows where convicted criminals were sentenced to death by hanging.
One story is that of Alice Riley, a pregnant young Irish immigrant who worked as an indentured servant for William Wise. It’s rumored that he did not treat Alice very well making her tend to the cows and other demeaning chores such as washing his hair, giving him a bath, and grooming him afterward. On March 1, 1734, it’s believed that Alice drowned William in his bath with the help of her lover and fellow servant, Richard White. The couple disposed of the body in the Savannah River and tried to escape to Charleston. However, the body was discovered before they could get away, and they were captured. Richard was sentenced to die by hanging, but being a tall man, he did not die until 3 days later. The people in charge of the gallows didn’t take into consideration of his height before his execution, and Richard was able to stand on his toes gasping for air for three days.
Alice Riley was also sentenced to death by hanging in Wright Square. However, the judge insisted she deliver her baby before the sentence could be carried out. A few days after giving birth to her son, Alice became the first woman in Georgia to be executed as she cried and screamed for her new baby. If the story isn’t sad enough, Alice’s baby died a few days after his mother’s death. Alice’s ghost has been seen wondering Wright Square crying for her baby. Local legend says that Alice will appear to pregnant women or women with young children asking for help to find her baby.