2023 50 Book Challenge

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2023 50 Book Challenge

Editado: Maio 18, 3:06 pm

2023 is Historical Murder Trash!
* = Must Purchase

1) The Bloody Countess: Atrocities of Erzsebet Bathory by Valentine Penrose
2) The Royal Art of Poison by Eleanor Herman
3) Blood Work by Holly Tucker
4) Unnatural Murder by Anne Somerset
5) A Taste for Poison by Neil Bradbury Ph.D.
6) The Affair of the Poisons by Anne Somerset
7) City of Light, City of Poison by Holly Tucker
8) The World of Lore: Wicked Mortals by Aaron Mahnke
9) The London Monster by Jan Bondeson
10) Damn His Blood by Peter Moore
11) Heaven's Ditch by Jack Kelly
12) The Italian Boy: A Tale of Murder and Body Snatching in 1830s London by Sarah Wise
13) The Murder of Dr. Chapman by Linda Wolfe
14) Death of an Assassin by Ann Marie Ackermann
15) The Murder of Helen Jewett by Patricia Cline Cohen
16) The Beautiful Cigar Girl by Daniel Stashower
17) Killer Colt by Harold Schechter
18) The King of Confidence by Miles Harvey
19) All That is Wicked by Kate Winkler Dawson
20) The Peculiar Case of the Electric Constable by Carol Baxter - 1845
21) Blood & Ivy by Paul Collins - 1849
22) Murder, Magic, Madness by Owen Davies - 1856
23) The Last Pirate of New York by Rich Cohen - 1860
24) Hell's Half-Acre by Susan Jonusas and The Benders by Fern Wood - 1871-1872
25) Man-Eater by Harold Schechter - 1873
26) The Inventor and the Tycoon by Edward Ball - 1874
27) Death at the Priory by James Ruddick 1876
28) Hell's Princess by Harold Schechter 1884 - 1904
29) The Midnight Assassin by Skip Hollandsworth - 1885
30) Myth, Monster, Murderer by Jackie Anderson - 1888
31) Did She Kill Him? by Kate Colquhoun - 1889
32) The Killer of Little Shepherds by Douglas Starr 1894 - 1897
33) The Burning of Bridget Cleary by Angela Bourke - 1895
34) Empire of Sin by Gary Krist 1897 - 1910
35) The Devil's Gentleman by Harold Schechter - 1898
36) The Butcher's Tale by Helmut Walser Smith - 1900
37) Conan Doyle for the Defense by Margalit Fox - 1908
38) American Lightning by Howard Blum - 1910
39) Thunderstruck by Erik Larson - 1910 - 480 Pages
40) Starvation Heights by Gregg Olsen 1910-1912
41) The Crimes of Paris by Dorothy Hoobler - 1911
42) Devil's Rooming House by M. William Phelps - 1911
43) And the Dead Shall Rise by Steve Oney - 1913
44) The Ghosts of Eden Park by Karen Abbott - 1920s
45) Violette Noziere by Sarah Maza - 1933
46) American Demon by Daniel Stashower - 1934
47) Twilight at the World of Tomorrow by James Mauro - 1939
48) Death in the City of Light by David King 1940 - 1944
49) Death in the Air by Kate Winkler Dawson - 1952
50) The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston - 1974-1985
51) I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara - 1974 - 1986
52) Furious Hours by Casey Cep - 1977

Bonus Ones:
Paris Requiem by Chris Lloyd
Perfume: The Story of a Murder by Patrick Suskind
The Pale Blue Eye by Louis Bayard
See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt
All the Blood We Share: A Novel of the Bloody Benders of Kansas by Camilla Bruce
The Murder of William of Norwich: The Origins of the Blood Libel in Medieval Europe by E. M. Rose

Editado: Jan 22, 9:36 pm

Finished reading The Bloody Countess: Atrocities of Erzsebet Bathory by Valentine Penrose
Pages: 148
Words: Mielliki, Isten, Ordog, dithyramb, ichthyoglosses, ichthyodontes, "ceremony of the touchstone", meerschaum, salmordine,
Notes: "The minutes of the trial were discovered in 1729 by a Jesuit Father, Laslo Turaczi, who wrote a monograph on Erzsebet Bathory, to be published in 1744."

"Gout was the hereditary illness of the family...the other was epilepsy. Stephen Bathory, King of Poland, Erzsebet's uncle, died of this disease...She was always suffering from headaches

"Another uncle still, named Gabor, complained of being possessed by the devil...Erzsebet's paternal aunt, Klara Bathory got rid of her first two husbands...Finally she took a young lover and gave him a castle...They were both captured by a pasha. Her lover was skewered and roasted. As for her, she was r***** by the whole garrison and her throat slit."

"Andras Bathory was hacked to death on a glacier. His severed head was recovered; it was sewn back on again and the body was exhibited in the church of Gyulalehervar."

"She was thought to have been, amongst other things, a lesbian."

"Tomas Nadasdy always protected men of learning. It was he who, in 1537 at Sarvar, was responsible for the printing of the first book in Hungarian language, a copy of which is still in the possession of the National Museum in Budapest."

"Ferencz died at Csejthe in January, 1604, when he was only 49 years of age."

"As for the young ones...she had conducted them to the main castle on the hill...given nothing to eat and drink...After 4 days, her sister, Anna, and her husband, left for Presbourg and Erzsebet finally gave unfortunate girls food and drink but only 3 survived."

"12 Augustiner Strasse at the corner of Dorotheengasse in Vienna. It was this house which Erzsebet and Ferencz stayed during their sojourns to the Viennese court."

"Jo Ilona had ripped the clothes off of a young serving wench, and she stood there in the snow. Water was poured on to her and it froze instantly. The girl struggled towards the heat of the torches; more water was poured over her...She was buried at the edge of the road in the field, under the snow."

Rating: 2 out of 5

Jan 23, 12:18 am

Finished reading The Royal Art of Poison: Filthy Palaces, Fatal Cosmetics, Deadly Medicine, and Murder Most Foul by Eleanor Herman
Pages: 260
Words: Aqua Toffana, pomander, sternutatoria, toadstones or tongue stones, kohl, stibnite, lanolin, cadaverine, putrescine,
Notes: "deadly quartet of arsenic, antimony, mercury and lead."

"...sublimate (mercury chloride, a poisonous white crystal), sal ammoniac (a mineral composed of ammonia chloride), rock salt, verdigris (a blue or green powder from corroding copper), and distillate of cyclamen, a flower that blooms in December in Venice."

"On May 26, 1604, when King Henri IV of France moved forward to take Holy Communion from the priest, his dog grabbed his coat and pulled him back. He made the priest take the wafer first, and his body swelled up and burst in twain."

"The gentlemen who made Henry VIII's bed every morning had to kiss every part of the sheets, pillows, and blankets they had touched to prove they had not smeared poison on them."

"...inhaled poison is the most dangerous of all...a blast of odorless, tasteless mercury can go directly to the brain."

"In 1613, Sir Thomas Overbury died in agony after his enemies at the court of James I paid a doctor to give him a sulfuric acid enema."

"In 1536, Count Sebastiano Montecuccoli, was found guilty of pooisoning the heir to the Fremch throne, eighteen year old Francois, Duke of Brittany..."

"Unicorn horn was believed to sweat. change color and shake if it came near poison...the cost of one was at least 11x its weight in gold..Christian V of Denmark commissioned a new throne made entirely of unicorn horn"

"Waving emerald, coral, aquamarine, and amethyst rings over food was thought to neutralize poison, as were stones engraved with the image of scorpions."

"When the calcium carbonate in fossils is mixed with arsenic, it neutralizes the poison via chelation. Chelation can neutralize mercury, arsenic and most heavy metals."

"...ceruse foundation, a paste consisting of tincture of white lead ore, vinegar and sometimes arsenic, hydroxide and carbonate...applied over egg whites..."

"Jerome of Brunswick advised those wishing for thicker hair to take the blood of a thirty year old man and rub it into the scalp or drink it, preferably in the middle of May."

"Aqua argentata, or silvered water was used a lotion...called for mercury sublimate mashed in a mortar and mixed with liquid mercury and strong white vinegar. After sitting for 8 days, it was mixed with 12 or 15 crushed pearls, ground up gold or silver, camphor, bezoar and talc. This mixture was left in the sun for 40 days, then combined with eggs, turpentine and lemon grind."

"During the Lewis and Clark expedition, the men's main diet was strips of dried beef, and they all suffered from shocking constipation. They brought along laxative pills with a 60% mercury content which did the job. Since mercury doesn't dissolve in soil, modern historians have discovered many of the expedition's campsites by finding the areas they used as a latrine."

In the 11th century the Holy Roman Empire and the papacy entered into a civil war. Those who supported the Pope were the Guelphs and those who supported the emperor were the Ghibellines. Napoleon's surname, Bonaparte, came from "Buonaparte" meaning good party, which were the Florentine Ghibellines.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Jan 25, 11:12 pm

Finished reading Blood Work: A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution by Holly Tucker
Pages: 231
Words: epiglottis; girdle books; ostiola; mithridate
Notes: "1667: Denis transferred lamb's blood into the veins of a 15-yr old boy."

"Mauroy was formerly the Marquise de Sevigne's valet, who greeted visitors and guests before they entered her salon."

"The heart was connected to Leo; the feet, Pisces; the gut, Libra; and the genitalia Scorpio."

"According to Aristotle, the lowest entity on the Great Chain of Being was plant life, which possessed a corporeal "vegetative soul" endowed with only the basic faculties necessary for life: nutrition, growth and reproduction. Higher up, animals enjoyed both this vegetative soul and sensitive soul which allowed for sensation, movement and emotion. Humans alone possessed an intellectual soul, along with the vegetative and sensitive faculties. This allowed for knowledge, memory, will and reason."

"Unlike humans, who have only four blood types, dogs have more than a dozen possible blood types."

"In 1667, the same year as Denis' experiments, parliament reversed the 1566 decree that forbade the use of chemical remedies."

"Animals did not drink, swear or overindulge their passions. Animals are less subject to the "sadness, envy, anger, melancholy, disgust and generally all the passions that trouble the life of man and corrupt the whole substance of the blood."

"But neither Oldenburg nor the English scientific community could deny that the French had won the race for the first human blood transfusion."

"Judge Defita exonerated Denos of all accusations that his transfusions had killed Mauroy. The widow was formally charges with murder and taken away."

"In his address President George W. Bush called for legislation to prohibit animal-human embryonic stem cell research as a way to prevent "untold damage to the human species." In 2009, a few months after her son left the White House, Barbara Bush underwent open-heart surgery to replace her aortic valve; the replacement valve was from a pig."

Rating: 3 out of 5

Jan 29, 11:31 pm

Finished reading Paris Requiem by Chris Lloyd
Pages: 385
Words: None
Notes: None

Rating: 3 out of 5

Fev 25, 5:55 pm

Finished reading City of Light, City of Poison by Holly Tucker
Words: argentine, cantharis, cantharidin, la robe battante, spikenard, terebinth resin, earth of Lemnos, brodequins,
Notes: "An ornate rooster was painted on each lantern, the symbol of timely vigilance. When La Reynie was done, 2,736 lanterns illuminated the majority of Paris' streets."

"Plants such as celery, fern, juniper and parsley were long believed to stimulate menstruation; and marjoram, peony, marigold and pennyroyal were lauded for being able to cause abortions."

"A laundress could wash a shirt with an arsenic-based soap and when worn would cause blisters, vomiting and death. The family, seeing the rash, would diagnose the man with a pernicious case of syphilis."

"Louis signed a lettre de cachet, ultimately banishing Anthenais' cuckolded husband. She announced to family, friends and the couple's 5-year old daughter and three-year old son that the marquise was dead and following a symbolic funeral at the local church, ordered the household to wear black in a gesture of mourning."

"At a ball at the couple's home, Philippe appeared in a dress and joined a cluster of women...A smartly dressed man approached and bowed to the group. Henrietta Anne's husband lifted the sides of his dress demurely and curtsied to the chevalier of Lorraine. The two men glided into the center of the ballroom and performed a perfectly choreographed minuet."

"Louis needed someone Charles II trusted to help broker the deal. There was no better person for the job than Henrietta Anne, the king's own sister...For two weeks, Henrietta Anne helped craft a treaty on which the 'fate of Europe had depended," while her husband seethed."

"In France there were two levels of postsentencing torture, the Question Ordinaire and the Question Extraordinaire. Torture took four main forms: strappado, water torture, brodequins, and the rack."

"As the soldiers broke in to the dining room to arrest her, Brinvilliers smashed a glass on the table and frantically shoved the shards into her mouth in a suicide attempt. After a short struggle, the officers stopped her before she had a chance to swallow the fragments."

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Mar 14, 12:12 am

Finished reading Unnatural Murder: Poison at the Court of James I by Anne Somerset
Pages: 466
Words: bastinado,
Notes: "In early 17th century England the age of consent was 12 for a girl and 14 for a boy. Nevertheless, although ti was legal to marry once those ages had been attained, many people felt that it was inadvisable to do so."

"In 1614 Suffolk was appointed Lord Treasurer, but 4 years later he was dismissed and he and his wife were charged with embezzlement...it emerged that it was Lady Suffolk who had instigated the corrupt transactions, including misappropriating funds destined for the army in Ireland and extorting money from England's leading trading company, the Merchant Adventurers."

"...by a statute dating from the reign of Henry VIII, sodomy was a felony, punishable by hanging. Admittedly, the purpose of that act had been as much political as moral. It was passed, not because Henry felt concerned by a supposed upsurge in homosexuality, but because he wished to reduce the power of the church courts, which hitherto had had jurisdiction over such cases."

"In 1616, after it had emerged that the Countess of Somerset had been a client of several cunning men, Lord Chief Justice Coke mounted a purge of these practitioners of magic."

"Simon Forman, in 1592, gained immense kudos during an epidemic of the plague. Fearing infection, many members of the College of Physicians had fled the disease-ridden capital, leaving the populace to fend for itself. Forman, however, had stayed behind. He created a sensation when he cured himself and members of his household of an illness diagnosed as the plague by lancing the sores and administering distilled liquors."

"Mary Woods, otherwise known as 'Cunning Mary', came from a village near Norwich. She claimed to be skilled at palmistry, telling fortunes, and finding lost property with the aid of familiars...As security, Frances gave her a diamond ring worth 60 pounds which the Earl of Essex had purchased for her while on his travels."

"Although divorce was not an option for English couples, it was theoretically possible to procure an annulment as... promulgated by Pope Gregory IX in the 13th c. If a husband testified under oath that he was impotent, and his wife confirmed this, then their marriage could be considered void. The drawback was that, if the husband had successful sexual relations with another woman, he would be guilty of perjury."

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Editado: Mar 31, 4:52 pm

Finished reading Heaven's Ditch: God, Gold and Murder on the Erie Canal by Jack Kelly
Pages: 264
Words: None.
Notes: "Ginseng grew wild in Vermont hills. Joseph Smith, Sr. amassed a large quantity of it, and he and his wife boiled it in sugar to preserve it for transport..."

"In 1812, typhoid swept Vermont...all Smith children became ill. They survived, but a lingering infection invaded the bone of young Joe's leg. Twice, a physician laid open his shin from ankle to knee...chiseling away the infected bone. His father held him while the doctors removed three fetid chunks of his shin bone. The wound finally healed, but Joe spent the next three years on crutches."

"The New York state legislature voted to form a 7-man commission that included Clinton, a Jeffersonian Republican; Gouveneur Morris, a Federalist, and Stephen Van Rensselaer, a landed Dutch patroon from Albany."

"Deists - President Jefferson was one - believed that God was the prime cause of reality. But after the creation, they reasoned, the Almighty stepped back and allowed the world to operate according to natural laws. They viewed the world as a rational place."

"James Geddes led the team that plotted the route through the most remote section of the waterway, from east Palmyra to Lake Erie. The commissioners assigned the middle section to Benjamin Wright...Charles Broadhead, another surveyor, would cover most of the upper Mohawk Valley, from Utica eastward."

"William Morgan had tried the pirate's life, a rumor had it, crewing with Jean Lafitte. Captured, Morgan had been dragooned into the U.S. Army. He claimed that during the War of 1812 he had fought under Gen. Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans, rising to the rank of captain."

"Finney's sudden ardor for religion, combined with his native intelligence, enabled him to squeeze all the preparation he felt he needed into less than two years. At the end of 1823, Presbyterian officials in northern NY gave him a provisional license as an evangelist."

"The states were also in the process of weaning congregations from their tax revenues: in 1833, Massachusetts would be the last state to end public subsidies of religion."

"The swamps west of Montezuma were the worst...Swarms of mosquitoes competed with deer flies and black flies to worry and sting the workers. The men resorted to hanging tin pots filled with smoldering leaves around their necks. The smoke from these "Montezuma necklaces" was hardly enough...Malaria was common. Aided by dysentery and typhoid fever, it killed perhaps a thousand men just in the 30-mile stretch..."

"When Joseph was 14, around the time of his epiphany in the forest grove, he tried to use a seer stone owned by a local girl named Sally Chase."

"Josiah Stowell had heard accounts of Joseph's treasure hunting and called upon him to find a Spanish silver mine that Stowell had searched for in vain on his property. The agreement allotted the Smith's 2/11ths of all the property obtained. The Smiths spent a month searching but uncovered nothing."

"When the time came for the Irondequoit Valley to be bridged...a 70 foot high wooden trestle was built quickly as a cheaper alternative to Geddes earth-moving project. It was the largest wooden bridge in the world and 15 months after its completion in 1818, it crashed into the river below."

"A man need not go to a tavern: he could stop for a glass of whiskey at a grocery or candy store. He could down a shot of whiskey at a barber shop. Theaters served strong drink... The typical canal worker drank at least a pint, often a quart, of whiskey daily."

"Women and girls instigated the nation's first industrial strike, known as the 1824 Pawtucket Factory Strike."

"In 1830, the year after Joseph Smith finished his translation, the Scottish scientist Sit Charles Lyell published his work Principles of Geology. The volume challenged readers to apprehend spans of time far beyond what they had heretofore imagined."

"Women play a large role in the revival. In general, men go to church as a matter of show; women out of faith. Finney enlists them to help convert their husbands. He organizes women's prayer groups. He sends them door to door to visit potential converts."

"The dignitaries rode the boat called Seneca Chief, but the Seneca tribe of the Iroquois Confederacy, through whole ancestral land the canal had been carved, was represented by only two Indian boys aboard the last boat in line. This vessel, designated Noah's Ark, carried curiosities in the form of a bear, a couple of fawns, two eagles and numerous "creeping things." Noah's Ark later fell behind the other boats and had to drop out of the parade."

"Married four years, Emma Smith had buried three children...The wife of another Mormon follower died in childbirth the day after Emma's heartbreak, leaving behind twins of her own. Their father offered the babies to the Smiths, who took them in and raised them."

"Cordyn Fox, a carriage driver, watched a man being led by the arm and was told to drive six miles north to Ft Niagara. Fort Niagara had been left in charge of Colonel Ezeniekl Jewett, a Freemason, and watched as Morgan was placed under guard at the fort. Later, Edward Giddins helped row the prisoner across the river to Canada. The Canadian Masons who were to take charge of him did not show up. The American Masons returned Morgan to the fort and imprisoned him in the magazine."

"Finney's reforms attacked the time-wasting leisure activities of the working class...It seemed all too convenient that the moneyed mill owners, who profited from an orderly work force, were eager to promote religious dogma that imposed just the kind of discipline they wanted."

"If Smith was to indulge his desire for women, it had to be in the context of marriage, however ad hoc the ceremony...Over time, Joseph constructed an elaborate rigmarole to justify and regulate polygamy...Years later, Joseph Smith would make a sexual proposition to Sarah Pratt, the wife of the missionary Orson Pratt, who had baptized the Harrises...Sarah expressed her concern to Mrs. Harris who said she had been Smith's mistress for four years now...In 1841, Joseph Smith instructed Joseph Noble to marry him to Noble's sister-in-law Louisa Beaman whom Joseph had met when she was a teenager...He said an angel had threatened to kill him if he did not take additional wives...Emma, his lawful wife, was very bitter and full of resentment and anger."

Rating: 3 out of 5

Editado: Abr 4, 8:43 pm

Finished reading The Italian Boy: A Tale of Murder and Body Snatching in 1830s London by Sarah Wise
Pages: 311
Words: detritus; "staunch" also means tight-lipped, private, or close; "stirabout": slang for prison, after the maize and oatmeal staple jail diet; New and Comprehensive Vocabulary of the Flash Language; cognoscenti
Notes: Too many for here.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Abr 12, 12:46 am

Finished reading The Murder of Dr. Chapman by Sarah Wise
Pages: 239
Words: cholera morbus
Notes: "Those who wanted to become Americans had to reside in the country at least 5 years before filing papers indicating they intended to become citizens and had subsequently to wait another 3 years before they could achieve that goal."

"In 1814 while William was a soldier, after being threatened with execution along with other mutineers...He began to speak without stammering."

"By 1820, a year that saw the establishment in Philadelphia of two institutions, one public, one private, for teaching sign language to the deaf and dumb, William was working as both an accountant and a speech therapist, and planning to open an institution of his own, the United States Institution for the Treatment of Defective Utterance."

"Joseph Bonaparte had come to American in 1815, lived for a time in Philadelphia, and ended up purchasing a vast tract of land in Bordentown, New Jersey, some twenty miles from Andalusia."

"A local woman named Joanna Clue, who'd been on trial for poisoning her husband with arsenic, had just been set free because the jury couldn't agree whether the unfortunate Clue had died naturally or been murdered."

"The pharmacy on Chestnut and Sixth was the handsomest drugstore in the city, the creation of Elias Durand, an emigre from France. Durance had studied his profession in Paris and served Napoleon as a pharmacist in the Grand Armee, and he still bought all his medications and chemicals from France, which led the world in the manufacture of drugs."

"Durand was the inventor of an apparatus for carbonating water who would soon open the first soda bottling company in America."

After his capture, he managed to distract Sheriff Morris and slip a knife into his mattress and scraped it into a tiny saw using the walls of his cell...He then tied a chip of wood to a piece of string, extricated another small brand from his hearth, burned a hole over the latch of his inner cell door and with its glowing point, and passed the woodchip-weighted string through the hole. He dangled the strong until he heard the chip hit the floor and then slowly, he worked the strong along the far side of the door until he felt that it was juts below the latch and tried to jerk the wood up so that it would spring open the door hook...To get through the outer door, he pulled on the bit of grating in the center of the metal until he made a space wide enough for his fingers to go through. Using the handle of his knife, wrenched off the outer padlock....He and another prisoner escaped into the yard but could not scale the wall. The other prisoner used an axe to break the lock and he and the other prisoner managed to squeeze through.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Editado: Abr 29, 3:43 pm

Finished reading Death of an Assassin: The True Story of the German Murderer Who Died Defending Robert E. Lee by Ann Marie Ackermann
Pages: 150
Words: vomito (yellow fever of Veracruz);
Notes: "only murder case ever solved in the United States by a third person"

"Henry Lee tried to defend a friend's newspaper press from a rioting mob. He was beaten senseless and then mutilated. Fiends stuck penknives into his flesh, poured hot candle wax into this eyes to see if he was still alive and tried to cut off his nose. He survived but was left crippled and an invalid."

"Christian Wachter had just lost his left thumb to a firearm accident in the churchyard. His pistol, probably loaded with too much powder, had exploded."

"The killer had used a variety of shot sizes, a mixture of buckshort and birdshot....because the pellet weighed more than it should have, it might had pointed to irregular or homemade shot."

"Takedown rifles could be quickly disassembled into pieces, sometimes within seconds. And because they were illegal, they were often hand-constructed...Criminals misused takedown rifles frequently enough that Wurttemberg outlawed them in 1821, 14 years before the murder."

"Had the investigator asked if there was anybody out there who was angry enough with the forestry department and with the forest ranger in particular, to pin a murder on him, it might have taken a different course. A review of the forestry personnel files and recent job applications could have led him to the assasin..The assassin had recently applied for a lateral position as a game warden...He didn't get the job and for that he blamed Mayor Rieber. He concluded that his rejection was a bad job recommendation from Bonnigheim's mayor."

"In 1829, Gottlob was accused of severely wounding a man from a neighboring town. He was charged with battery. On June 16, 1829, the court absolved him of criminal liability but made him pay the court costs."

"Reub had continual problems on the job and every couple months asked his father to bail him out of debt."

"For Reub, the first leg of the journey was to Pittsburgh, and form there, he traveled by boat down the Ohio River. From there the first regiment of Pennsylvania would go down the Mississippi to New Orleans. There, the regiments waited for ships to transport them to Mexico."

"San Juan de Ulua became the most celebrated fortress of North America; for over three centuries, it served as Spain's foremost military stronghold in the Americas. And when Mexico won independence from Spain, it became a symbol of Mexico's independence."

"I knew the murderer of your mayor. He told me everything in Philadelphia back then when he arrived from Europe. Then he became a soldier here and had to go to Mexico, and was killed in action under General Taylor."

Rating: 3 out of 5

Editado: Maio 16, 12:18 am

Finished reading Killer Colt: Murder, Disgrace, and the Making of an American Legend by Harold Schechter
Pages: 318
Words: star jelly; peregrinations;
Notes: "Benjamin Colt was the manufacturer of the first scythe in America."

"THERE is a sweetness in woman's decay,
When the light of beauty is fading away,
When the bright enchantment of youth is gone,
And the tint that glow'd, and the eye that shone,
And darted around its glance of power,
And the lip that vied with the sweetest flower,
That ever in Pæstum's garden blew,
Or ever was steep'd in fragrant dew,
When all that was bright and fair, has fled,
But the loveliness lingering round the dead."

"Before her death, Sarah Colt bestowed on Samuel a military horse pistol that her father had wielded in the Revolutionary War."

"On July 4, 1830, Samuel Colt, Alphonso Taft (future attorney general under Grant) and Robert Purvis (later famous abolitionist) snuck onto Gen. Ebenezer Mattoon's property to discharge the cannon that Mattoon had brought back from the Battle of Saratoga in 1777."

"Nitrous oxide, first identified in 1773, set off a craze of public demonstrations in England and the U.S. The resulting behavior - laughing, singing, dancing, leaping on the stage, served as a rich source of amusement for the spectators .Sam Colt assumed the role of the "Celebrated Dr. Coult of New York, London and Calcutta."

"In 1838, Sam Colt personally transported ten cases of his rifles - one hundred pieces altogether - to the Florida Everglades where U.S. forces were bogged down in a bloody effort to dispossess the native Seminoles from their rightful lands."

"When President Tyler failed to respond to his letter, Sam turned to two supporters who could provide him with an entree. One was Senator Samuel L. Southard of New Jersey, previously secretary of the navy under James Monroe and John Quincy Adams. The other was John Howard Payne."

"On Sept 17, the day that James Gordon Bennett broke the news about the discovery of Mary Rogers' belongings in the thicket in Weehawken, New Jersey - John Colt paid an early morning visit to Charles Wells' bindery at no. 65 Gold Street."

"Several men hoisted the crate onto the middle deck, where the lid was knocked off. The stench caused several of the men to flee, but those who remained saw a semi-naked, grotesquely contorted male body, trussed up with rope and partly covered with a piece of window awning...The whole of the forehead was beaten in, also the right eye and a part of the right cheek...There was also a fracture on the left side of the head, a little behind and above the ear, in which there was a round, clean hole, as if made by a musket ball..."

"...an elderly Southerner, 70 year old John Davis, went on a rampage in a Greenville, SC boardinghouse when another lodger disturbed him from his sleep. Leaping from his bed, David commenced an indiscriminate slaughter, stabbing six men with a knife, two of whom were killed."

"On February 18, 1844, recently appointed secretary of state Abel Upshur was killed on board the newly commissioned warship USS Princeton when one of her massive guns exploded during a demonstration." The disaster killed more top U.S. government officials in one day than any other tragedy in American history. President John Tyler survived and was uninjured because he was below decks.

"The full story would not be made public for many years, when Sam Colt's most authoritative biographer revealed that the beautiful un-schooled 16 year old Sam had so impulsively married during his early trip to Scotland was Caroline Henshaw. Once Sam decided that so humble a bride was no worthy partner for him he cast about a way to extricate himself from the inconvenient union. Compounding his predicament was the the fact that Caroline was pregnant with Sam's child. It was John who, out of either pity or duty, took the pregnant Caroline and became her protector and lover. When all the efforts to save John from the gallows failed, :Sam saw a way out." The macabre wedding ceremony in the Tombs prison was his doing. By agreeing to the "secretly bigamous and semi-incestuous" marriage to her condemned brother-in-law on the day of his death, Caroline, already effectively discarded by Sam, was not only spared the stigma of divorce but guaranteed his grateful, lifelong support. John, who had nothing to lose, was able to repay his brother's unwavering devotion during his darkest hours. And Sam had his freedom."

Rating: 5 out of 5