In Christopher Jon Luke Dowgin’s latest book Murder on the Common, we follow everyone’s favorite immortal, Henry Sinclair, as he tries to solve the murder of Joseph White. This murder influenced the game Clue. In the video, Chris explains the true story of the most infamous murder of the nineteenth century. Consequently, a murder that reached the highest ranks within our national politics. One that involved a Supreme Court Justice, the most powerful Senator at the time, and the man who controlled our national bank. Likewise, it inspired many creative endeavors.
The Murder that Influenced The Tell Tale-Heart
The story of a man driven mad by a dead eye was influenced by the ship captain Joseph White’s murder, Salem’s first privateer. Edgar Allan Poe was familiar, along with the rest of the nation, of this murder in Salem. It created the fodder for one of his most famous works. It inspired others as well. For instance, the Parker Brothers would be inspired to change the game Cluedo. They modeled Clue after this murder. Why? You just have to watch the video to find out.
The Locations behind the Murder that Influenced the Game Clue
Follow Chris as he tours Salem and brings you to the locations involved in the murder and the game Clue. Just hit play and enjoy!
Set far back from the main road was an extravagant home owned by one Mr. Greene. Lined by tall trees, the winding drive up to the property transported the driver from a rather banal country highway to a faraway land. Once one turned onto that near hidden drive, the evergreens seemed to swallow all sounds from the road and make them feel so very far away.
Resplendent with turrets and stonework, Greene’s massive home domineered the grounds — though those spilled near endlessly beyond the mansion’s backdoors. Even though the highway couldn’t be more than a 10 minute drive away, the only noise that drifted on the fir-scented air was jazz music.
Though no one seemed able to decipher how (or when exactly) Mr. Greene had accumulated his incalculable wealth, he did have rich taste in music. Anytime someone entered his foyer, a soulful jazz danced about the room. And tonight, one of his renowned soirées, was no exception.
Though Greene himself was nowhere to be seen, his guests enjoyed the jazz band situated in the music room. As Miss Scarlett swirled past the grand foyer in her crimson gown, the music seemed to follow her, folding into near every corner of the house. In the grand hall, Professor Plum pontificated about the moral quandaries of “proper” English between bites of smoked salmon canapés. Mrs. Peacock, appearing utterly enchanted by the music and some new pharmaceutical of her choosing, swayed to and fro, touching every suit pocket and dress front she could. Enamored with the textures, she lurched past the stoney faced policeman no one knew who had invited, and limpet-ed herself onto the unfortunate Mr. Wadsworth, Greene’s head butler. Especially delighted with Wadsworth’s jacket lapels, much to his chagrin, she began languorously rubbing herself on him as he precariously balanced a tray of lobster parmesan croquettes.
As the jazz quartet played tirelessly, other servers floated around the first floor with plates of the night’s delights: smoked salmon mousse canapés, Beluga Sturgeon caviar on crispy cornmeal blinis, bacon-wrapped scallops with a light lemon aioli, and the like. As with all of Mr. Greene’s many parties, this evening followed a culinary theme — tonight’s was Jewels of the Deep. As he kept a ridiculously small staff for such a large home, Greene always brought in the same catering company and gave them free rein over his kitchen, pantries, and wine cellar. He didn’t believe in food prepped in any place other than his own home, wine brought up from anywhere but his own cellar. Odd…but given his immense wealth and gregarious nature, Greene was permitted this particular flavor of eccentricity.Continue reading “So Said the Cook”→
The Summer Street Library of the Salem House Press would like to welcome you to our latest online serial, Get A Clue!
Salem House Press has been publishing series of different periodical titles on our website. In that tradition, comes Get A Clue! Harkening back to the days of penny dreadfuls (also known as penny bloods), Sadie Hofmeester’s Get A Clue is a periodic short fiction series loosely based on the beloved board game, Clue. This serialized work of fiction revolves around one night, one murder, and many perspectives. Who is telling the truth? That is up to you to decipher!
I was the Chief Justice of Massachusetts and one of the original High Federalist. I died 3 days after I said I never felt better and never missed a day on the bench. I was to preside over the murder case that inspired the American version of Clue by Parker Brothers. The murder happened 3 months earlier in 1830 and 3 days after Daniel Webster supposedly came to Salem to prosecute the case. Previously I was the judge accusing him of been a traitor in the 1812 War. The Parker Brothers were the grandson of my cousin William Parker.
For more info read Sub Rosa to find out how Salem shaped America and your lives! Available at Remember Salem, Jolie Tea, Wicked Good Books, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.com. Also to learn more stories like this first hand, book a tour with the Salem Smugglers’ Tour!
I am William Parker. I am a Smuggler in Salem and the Parker Brothers’ grandfather. My cousin’s mysterious death before he presided over the famous Joseph White murder of 1830 led my grandson to purchase Cluedo and rename it Clue. The mysterious death of Chief Justice Isaac Parker the night before he was to be in court spurred my grandson’s purchase of the game.
I was smuggling through the tunnel under the granite steps of my house. Shhh!!! I might have helped my grandsons start their company from my underground ventures…
Find out more in Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City and its sequel Sub Rosa. Available at Remember Salem, Jolie Tea, Wicked Good Books, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.com.
Welcome to tales of Nineteenth-Century Salem. A time in which Salem was the richest city and the most influential in shaping our young country. In our posts you will learn how Salem has shaped American history from the profits she made by the smuggling that happened in her tunnels by the most wealthy and powerful in their day; sometimes for the good, but more often not. So join us every Monday for new tales!
Isaac Parker: The Judge in the Murder that Influenced the Game Clue
I was the Chief Justice of Massachusetts and one of the original High Federalists. I died 3 days after I said I never felt better and never missed a day on the bench. I was to preside over the murder case that inspired the American version of Clue by Parker Brothers. The murder happened 3 months earlier in 1830 and 3 days after Daniel Webster supposedly came to Salem to prosecute the case. Previously, I was the judge accusing him of being a traitor in the 1812 War. The Parker Brothers were the grandson of my cousin William Parker.
To read more about how Salem shaped American history read Sub Rosa by Chris Dowgin published by Salem House Press.
How is this House Connected to the Clue Board Game
Haunted Knapp House from Salem Ma. Joseph Knapp Sr. lived here while his two sons were standing trial and later hanged for a murder they did not commit. This was the murder case that inspired Parker Brother’s version of Clue. The house is haunted. A previous owner actually moved the house back one lot hoping the ghost would stay on the property and not in the house, but the proposal failed and the house is still haunted.
For more great tales visit www.salemtunnel tour.com and book a tour with the Salem Smugglers’ Tour today. Book early for the Halloween season!
I am William Parker. I am a Smugglers in Salem and the Parker Brothers’ grandfather. My cousin’s mysterious death before he presided over the famous Joseph White murder of 1830 led my grandson to purchase Cluedo and rename it Clue. The mysterious death of Chief Justice Isaac Parker the night before he was to be in court spurred my grandson’s purchase of the game. For more info read Sub Rosa to find out how Salem shaped America and your lives!
Available at Remember Salem, Jolie Tea, Wicked Good Books, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.com.Salem House Press
His grand cousins, the Parker Brothers, would purchase the game Cluedo and rename it Clue because of his mysterious death. The most famous Victorian American Murder was of the privateer Joseph White in 1830. Chief Justice Isaac Parker would die 3 days after saying he never felt better and never missed a day on the bench. It was 3 months since Joseph White was murdered and Parker died the night before the trial. Three days later Daniel Webster came to Salem to be the prosecutor in the murder. Parker was despised by Webster for a hang jury verdict on a libel case resulting from accusations of Webster being a traitor during the Hartford Convention.
Isaac’s cousin William Parker lived off the Salem Common and so did Joseph White who was the victim. William was the Parker Brother’s grandfather and smuggler in Salem. White’s nephew Stephen committed the crime and had others hanged for the murder, under his uncle Joseph’s orders who was dying already.
To find out more book a tour on the Salem Smugglers’ Tour of the historic Salem Common today! Also read the books Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City and Sub Rosa by Chris Dowgin your tour guide.
More Than Witches!!!
It all starts with salmonella and a good game of Clue
Around August 12th, 1849 in Meadville, Pennsylvania on a northern tour of the country President Zachary Taylor would suffer from typhoid for 3 days and recover. In April 1850 he would dine with William H. Prescott who he tried to convince to write a history of the Mexican-War. Out of spite Prescott would write the Conquest of Mexico…about Cortez and his friends instead.
I wonder about Prescott. He had dined with Polk before he died. Polk had been sick afterward, but survived. Prescott would be a great spy. He had access to John Quincy Adams, James Polk, Arthur Wellington, Prince Albert, and Zachary Taylor. Prince Albert would die of typhoid as well. Two years after Prescott’s death though. Taylor would become sick 3 months after meeting Prescott, I believe typhoid incubates for a week or two? Can it lay dormant longer? Zachary Taylor would be the second of the only two Whig candidates who were elected president, and the second to die early in their term of Typhoid. The first was William Harrison who died within a month of his inauguration, and under 2 months of his son’s death.
Now Stephen White was the power behind Daniel Webster who was 1 of 3 of the most powerful senators in the country. Webster was the prosecutor in the Joseph White murder, the uncle of Stephen. Stephen got away with the murder and then engineered the assassination of William Harrison with Daniel Webster and Henry Clay. The Joseph White murder is the basis of the Parker Brother’s choice to purchase the American rights to the English game Cluedo and rename it Clue. What spur this? A grand uncle of the Parker Brothers was the judge in the murder case who dies the night before the trial started.
Now as Prescott was leaving Boston for Washington to dine with Taylor the famous Webster-Parkman trial was happening. Lemuel Shaw was the State Superior Court Justice on the case. He was the man Webster appointed to the position of Chief Justice after he possibly murdered Chief Justice Parker. Parker previously presided over a hung jury libel case Webster brought against someone who claimed he was a traitor during the Hartford Convention. Since Shaw heard the case for Selman and Chase who were acquitted in the White murder previously he could not hear the murder case against the Knapps. He was also married to a Knapp. So it proved a horrible choice for Webster to make. Also the Knapp’s attorney was the same defense attorney from the libel case.
Now the suspect in the John Parkman murder was John White Webster. Daniel Webster was asked to prosecute the case. Did Daniel Webster refuse the case because to many memories of the Captain Joseph White murder case in Salem? The suspect had White and Webster in his name. The judge, Lemuel Shaw, was his first choice for the White murder, after the Parker murder that was.
Parker. Parkman? It does sound eerily familiar. Was Webster hearing the tell tail heart? Especially if he was sending his youthful friend to poison a president. Prescott’s father was another traitor during the Hartford Convention with Daniel Webster. This would be the first assassination after the mysterious death of Stephen White after an accidental poisoning, second if you include Polk who had left office already. Stephen White was behind the assassination of Harrison with Webster and Clay.
Now Prescott had just spent time with Parkman’s son at the time of the murder. Also Prescott’s aunt was married to John White Webster. Parkman and John White Webster were teachers at Harvard.
Parkman helped create the McLean Asylum which is now in Belmont, MA. He would also testify at the Abraham Prescott murder which tried using sleepwalker as a defense in the murder. He was testifying that insanity can be genetically passed along, since Abraham Prescott close family were all nuts. It was Daniel Webster’s friend Rufus Choate who first successfully used sleepwalking as a defense in American history in 1846. Choate convinced a jury that the accused, Albert Tirrell, did not cut the throat of his lover, or, if he did so, he did it while sleepwalking, under the ‘ insanity of sleep’.
John White Webster had murdered Parkman and dismantled his corpse and tried burning him in the Harvard’s incinerator.
Trivia. Lemuel Shaw’s daughter Elizabeth marries Herman Melville. He presided over Cobb Vs Cobb in which Brigham Young was having affair with Augusta Adams and Henry Adams wins a divorce. Brigham Young will be at Nathaniel Felt’s house in Salem when he hears news of Joseph Smith’s death. Felt was married to John Quincy Adam’s cousin. Shaw was married to Elizabeth Knapp who was the daughter of Josiah Knapp. George Parkman’s sister married Robert Gould Shaw, grandfather of 54th regiment Robert Gould Shaw (the general Matthew Broderick played in Glory). Also Nathaniel Russell Sturgis was married to Susannah Parkman. Maybe they all bought to much opium from Sturgis.
Sturgis was in the employment of Thomas Perkins’ opium empire which made his Forbes nephews a fortune andthe drug empire was later sold to the Russells, the family who founded the Skull & Bones.
McLean Asylum later would house Ray Charles, James Taylor, and John Nash. Ray Charles and James Taylor would be addicts of a form of opium…
I bet you had no clue…
For more information on tunnels in Salem and how the city shaped American history read Sub Rosa and Salem Secret Underground: The HIstory of the Tunnels in the City. Available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, and anywhere books are sold! Also eBooks available at www.salemhousepress.com. Also take the Salem Smugglers’ Tour when in Salem MA to learn this all first hand from the author.