Bag of Bones: The Sensational Grave Robbery of the Merchant Prince of Manhattan

Bag of Bones: The Sensational Grave Robbery of the Merchant Prince of Manhattan

by J. North Conway
     
 

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From the renowned chronicler of law-and-order in Gilded Age New York City, the sensational grave robbery of A. T. Stewart, "The Merchant Prince of Manhattan," one of the wealthiest men in American historySee more details below

Overview

From the renowned chronicler of law-and-order in Gilded Age New York City, the sensational grave robbery of A. T. Stewart, "The Merchant Prince of Manhattan," one of the wealthiest men in American history

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for J. North Conway's The Big Policeman: The Rise and Fall of Thomas Byrnes, America's First, Most Ruthless, and Greatest Detective "Creating period atmosphere by quoting extensively from newspaper accounts of the sensational crimes Byrnes solved, Conway portrays his subject's cleverness and excesses with a flawed-hero flavor that should draw in true-crime fans." —Booklist "An essential read for those interested in police work, detective stories, and New York City history." —Library Journal "A fascinating, fast-moving account of one of the most polarizing and influential figures of 19th-century New York. Conway brings 'the big policeman' to life." —Daniel Stashower, author of The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Invention of Murder "A treasure trove of information not only on larger-than-life pioneering detective Thomas Byrnes but also on law-and-order in wide-open nineteenth-century Manhattan."—David Pietrusza, author of Rothstein: The Life, Times, and Murder of the Criminal Genius Who Fixed the 1919 World Series Praise for J. North Conway's King of Heists: The Sensational Bank Robbery of 1878 That Shocked America "Engrossing . . . Conway skillfully paints a backdrop of fierce and flamboyant personalities who paraded across the Gilded Age, from Brooklyn Bridge engineer John Roebling to Marm Mandelbaum, 'queen of the criminals.' . . . [H]e capably recounts his story against a background of glitter and greed." —Publishers Weekly "A page-turning account of one of the most brazen crimes of our time." —Reader's Digest "Conway, a college prof and ex-newspaper man, covers this ancient tale in a way that makes it feel like a hot news story." —New York Post
Kirkus Reviews
The final installment of the author's true-crime trilogy about New York City in the Gilded Age. Conway (The Big Policeman: The Rise and Fall of America's First, Most Ruthless, and Greatest Detective, 2010, etc.) tells the story of the life and death of "The Merchant Prince of Manhattan," A.T. Stewart, the father of the American department store, who was, at the time of his death, the third richest man in the United States (behind William Astor Sr. and Cornelius Vanderbilt). A hard-working Irish immigrant, Stewart eventually grew his fortune to $40 million but was never accepted by New York's elite--despite two landmark retail outlets and his massive Italian marble mansion, "considered one of the most ornate and elaborate private homes in America." Two years after his death in 1876, his body was stolen from the family crypt. "Not only did the grave robbing cause a national sensation," writes Conway, "it also led to one of the most notoriously bungled police investigations in New York City's history." Judge Henry Hilton, Stewart's friend, was directed to sell off Stewart's businesses, but he ran them into the ground within six years. Eventually Stewart's wife exchanged $20,000 for a bag of bones she hoped were her husband's. Hilton also impeded the police investigation, which never got off the ground, and may have committed fraud in the form of Cornelia's will, which named him as a significant benefactor. In support of his story, Conway uses numerous headlines and portions of articles from newspapers of the era. The device is occasionally clunky and leads to a repetitive, though generally engrossing, narrative. A quick read about a gruesome crime with a twist at the end--will appeal mostly to die-hard fans of historical true crime.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780762787821
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
06/04/2013
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 5.60(h) x 0.90(d)

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