No Spark of Malice: The Murder of Martin Begnaud

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On April 22, 1896, Martin Begnaud was brutally murdered in his general store in Scott Station, Louisiana. He was bound, gagged, blindfolded, stabbed more than fifty times, and robbed of over $5,000. Ten months later, after one of the most extensive manhunts in nineteenth-century Louisiana, public shock and outrage reemerged when two teenage brothers from France, Ernest and Alexis Blanc, were arrested for the crime. William Arceneaux sets the story of Begnaud's murder, the Blanc brothers' trial, and the media ...

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Overview

On April 22, 1896, Martin Begnaud was brutally murdered in his general store in Scott Station, Louisiana. He was bound, gagged, blindfolded, stabbed more than fifty times, and robbed of over $5,000. Ten months later, after one of the most extensive manhunts in nineteenth-century Louisiana, public shock and outrage reemerged when two teenage brothers from France, Ernest and Alexis Blanc, were arrested for the crime. William Arceneaux sets the story of Begnaud's murder, the Blanc brothers' trial, and the media circus surrounding it all against the backdrop of Acadian history — from the 1604 establishment of a French colony in the Canadian maritime provinces to the eventual creation of a "New Acadia"in South Louisiana. By intertwining a suspenseful account of this heinous crime with an exploration of the citizens it affected, No Spark of Malice provides insight into a fascinating people, place, and era.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Readers expecting a straightforward account of the grisly murder of Martin Begnaud in 19th-century rural Louisiana are in for a surprise. Two brothers, Ernest and Alexis Blanc, murdered Begnaud on April 22, 1896 in Scot Station, LA. The brothers were 20 and 19, respectively, and had come to America as orphans from France. They were subsequently hanged for their crime. But there's more to the story than that. The author, himself an Acadian we know them as Cajuns, is Begnaud's great-great-nephew, and the incident was told to him by his mother. In recounting this story, he provides background information about the cultural history of the Acadian people and explains how they ended up in Louisiana after their expulsion from Nova Scotia. At the same time, he gives the reader the Begnaud family's genealogical history. While this well-researched and well-written book may have strictly regional appeal, libraries where there is an interest in genealogical stories or the cultural history of the Cajun people should consider purchasing.--Michael Sawyer, Northwestern Regional Lib., Elkin, NC Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807130254
  • Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2004
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 5.76 (w) x 8.76 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author

William Arceneaux is president of the Louisiana Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and author of Acadian General Alfred Mouton and the Civil War, winner of the Jefferson Davis Medal. He lives in Baton Rouge.

William Arceneaux is president of the Louisiana Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and author of Acadian General Alfred Mouton and the Civil War, winner of the Jefferson Davis Medal. He lives in Baton Rouge.

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Table of Contents

Prologue 1
Book I The Murder 3
Book II The People 33
Book III The Return 69
Book IV The Family 91
Book V The Arraignment 129
Book VI The Village 147
Book VII The Trial 191
Book VIII The Brothers 219
Epilogue 256
Notes 269
Bibliography 313
Acknowledgments 333
Index 337
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2000

    Truth...Not Fiction...Youth of two brothers Lost

    Excellent story of late 1800's in Cajun Louisiana. Ties in with wonderful history of the area and how the Cajun people came to be in Southwestern Louisiana. Intrigue is woven with actual truth and history of the BEGNAUD family. But also relates to what goes on with our youth of today and how they think murder is so insignificant for profit and gain. Human nature NEVER changes.

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