Welcome to tales of Nineteenth-CenturySalem. 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!
I suffered typhoid poisoning as Speaker of the House defending Andrew Jackson’s Bank War after he visited Stephen White of Salem. White was the banker behind Senator Daniel Webster who was Secretary of State for President Harrison who died one month into office of typhoid. In my presidency I was against a third national bank and created an Independent Treasury governed by Congress. For this I will be assassinated 3 months after leaving the presidency by typhoid by Daniel Webster and Henry Clay. A doctor who was at the death of Harrison of typhoid was on the river boat where I caught my own dose.
For more read Sub Rosa by Chris Dowgin published by Salem House Press.
Available at Barnes & Noble, Remember Salem, Jolie Tea, and Amazon.com.
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.
It all started with the election of William Harrison against Martin Van Buren. The election was the first to use propaganda, slogans, and songs. Two slogans have made it into everyday speech. ‘Keep that ball rolling’ was one of them. Harrison supporters made a large leather and tin ball plastered with slogans they would roll from city to city saying… Another is Booze. Edmund G. Booz had made a whiskey bottle shaped like a log cabin that Harrison supporters handed out. At 67 Harrison was the oldest president ever to be elected until Reagan who was 71. It was said of him, “Give him a barrel of hard cider, and … a pension of two thousand [dollars] a year … and … he will sit the remainder of his days in his log cabin.” So the Whig’s spun it to their side and commissioned E.G. Booze to make the bottles.
“Tippee Canoe and Tyler Too,” was the campaign slogan. Harrison was riding on the fame of the battle at Tippee Canoe where the Indian leader who was called the Prophet was killed. The Prophet, Tenskwatawa, was the brother of Tecumseh. It was Richard Mentor Johnson who was running against Harrison as Van Buren’s Vice President, before he was dropped form the ticket, who many believed was the man who killed Tecumseh. Johnson’s common law wife was Julia Chinn, a slave which he was brought up with. She died 7 years before the election, but the country was not ready for one who was proud of his interracial wife. James Knox Polk would also be dropped from the Van Buren ticket. In the end Van Buren ran with no Vice President. Even though many thought Johnson killed Tecumseh, “Rumpsey Dumpsey, Rumpsey Dumpsey, Colonel Johnson killed Tecumseh”, Harrison would be the first to befall Tecumseh’s Curse.
William Harrison started the election as an Anti-Masonic Party candidate with Daniel Webster. The Anti-Mason Party was absorbed in the campaign by the Whigs and Webster was supplanted by Tyler. Webster was Salem’s candidate with the support of Stephen White who had a personal grudge against Jackson for not renewing the charter on the Second Bank of the United States. White ran Associate Superior Court Justice Joseph White and Webster by the purse strings through a series of political marriages. Story and Webster were directors in the bank. The Anti-Masonic Party was anti-Jackson and the Whigs were even more anti-Jackson who absorbed the party. Henry Clay founded the party based on English supporters of the Bank of England for the sole purpose of restoring a new national bank after Jackson destroyed the last one.
Tecumseh in his native tongue meant shooting star. Then in 1811 during the War of 1812 a great comet was seen which rose Tecumseh to stardom literally. He was to bring the largest confederacy of natives together that had a training camp at Tippee Canoe. After a defeat they were forced to make ties with the British. During this time Tecumseh led the battle of Detroit by fooling the Americans that he had a force 3 times the size they did by circling the same troops on the fort. At the Battle of the Thames he would be killed, it is believed for they never confirmed his remains or the person who would have killed him.
So what is with his curse? William Harrison, was the oldest president elected at the time, was the first to die from the curse and the current oldest president ever elected was Ronald Reagan who was the last. Harrison died a month in office and Reagan survived 2 terms after a failed assassination. So let’s start closer to the present with the history of the curse.
John Warnock Hinckley Jr. was released on September 10th 2016 from St. Elizabeth in Washington D.C. Garfield’s assassin, Charles Julius Guiteau, and Andrew Jackson’s attempted assassin Richard Lawrence were interned here as well. Lawrence tried killing Jackson in support of the Second National Bank of the United States. Garfield was a supporter of the Gold Standard and investigated the Black Friday Gold Panic Scandal, could someone delude Guiteau to serve their purposes? St. Elizabeth was founded by Dr. Miller who was present at William Harrison’s death of typhoid. For most of its history it has served as the mental asylum for military officers. Augustus Owsley Stanley III was also placed in St. Elizabeth who was The Beatles and Ken Kesey LSD dealer. The hospital will in the near future become the new headquarters for Homeland Defense which came about after September 11th. Hinckley would have been the last assassin to be involved in the curse, but he failed.
The full list of presidents who befell Tecumseh’s Curse:
William HarrisonPoisoned March 26thdied April 4th 1841
Zachary Taylor Poisoned July 4thdied July 9th 1850
Abraham Lincoln Shot Good Friday April 14th died April 15th 1865 ?
James A. Garfield shot July 2nd died September 19th 1881
William McKinley shot September 6th died September 14th 1901
Warren G. Harding Poisoned, Suicide, or Heart Attack died August 2nd 1923
Franklin D. Roosevelt Cerebral Hemorrhage March 29th died April 12th 1945
John F. Kennedy November 26th Shot dead
Ronald Reagan Shot March 30th 1981 Survived
Reagan brought the curse to an end. At the time Russia was sending submarines to invade Poland in response to their Solidarity Movement. Was Reagan thinking of supporting the Poles? The Greatest American Hero just premiered with the main character Ralph Hinckley, later renamed Ralph Hanley. Around the assassination attempt Neil Bush of Standard Oil and Winston Partners ate dinner with Scott Hinckley of Vanderbilt Oil in Denver and brother to the would be assassin. The Hinckleys and Bushs grew up together in Texas.
Another look at the list:
Five were shot.
Four killed by Doctors.
Four were dying in April.
Three were hospitalized in March.
Three possibly poisoned.
Two hospitalized in July.
Two died in September.
Now it all started with Stephen White, Daniel Webster, and Henry Clay’s plan of assassinating their political candidate William Harrison for his refusal of creating a new national bank. After Stephen White’s death in the same year of Harrison, Clay and Webster would go on and kill Zachary Taylor making the second to befall Tecumseh’s Curse. They will also murder James Knox Polk 3 months after he leaves office and 13 month before Taylor’s assassination. So technically Polk does not count in the curse. Polk was murdered for supporting Jackson as Speaker of the House in his removal of the Second Bank of the United States and making an Independent Treasury while he served as president.
Along the way William Harrison lost a child 2 weeks before he became president; Webster, and Clay who did not trust each other would lose several family members mysteriously; Clay and Webster would both die in 1852 without seeing the Third Bank of the United States created. So many had died and the bank would not be created till 1913.
Was Anyone Else Suspicious?
Has anyone in our century questioned Harrison, Polk, or Taylor’s death? Clara Rising, a former University of Florida professor was studying the life of Zachary Taylor. Upon doing so she began questioning his death. Upon further study she had enough questions and historical evidence to contact Taylor’s closest living relative, John McIlhenny, to ask for his remains to be exhumed.
This would not be the first president to be exhumed. The coffin of Abraham Lincoln, another who suffered Tecumseh’s Curse, was opened 4 times. Most recently on Sept. 26, 1901 to confirm that it contained his remains. Robert Todd Lincoln would be at his father’s death and also present at Garfield’s assassination. Abraham Lincoln was shot on Good Friday…That is a totally different story about his and Booth’s survival…
Zachary Taylor was exhumed on January 17th 1991 with officials, a new flag for his coffin, and 20 onlookers. Some present were other relatives of the dead president. Louise LeBourgeois who was observing was his great-great-great-great-granddaughter.
Rising was not the first to bring his death into debate. In 1978, Hamilton Smith based his assassination theory on the timing of drugs, the lack of confirmed cholera or Typhoid outbreaks, and other material. Also after Lincoln’s death it was widely mentioned he was assassinated just like Taylor.
So that is the skippy on Tecumseh’s Curse…
To find out more read Sub Rosa and learn more about this and other amazing ways how Salem MA shaped American History up to the present. Advance Readers copies for sale on Amazon.com, Remember Salem, and Jolie Tea.