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!
So will Joseph Knapp Jr. Hang as the New Year Tolls?
This is the exciting climax of Murder on the Common. History books say he did, but what really happened? How did this infamous 19th-century murder that kept the country riveted at the time really end? Did he die? For that matter our star, Henry Sinclair, nobody is sure of when his death happened as well…
If you didn’t get to read this exciting free serial of Murder on the Common, it will be in print on April 7th for the 290th anniversary of the Captain Joseph White murder which inspired Edgar Allan Poe to write the Tell-Tale Heart and the Parker Brothers to alter the game Cluedo. Did you know a relation of the Parker Brothers was the judge in the real case who died on the night of the first trial and the lead pipe in Clue was mentioned as the murder weapon in two blackmail letters written to the man who got away with murder? Buy your copy of Murder on the Common on April 7th, 2020.
Next week we will bring you a sample of the next tale from The Sinclair Narratives called Summer Cottage from Hell presented in the Winter edition of Arkham: Tales from the Flipside. A tale about the mysterious death of the man who rented President Taft a home in Beverly MA that became the summer White House for two years. A tale featuring Henry alongside Teddy Roosevelt, Nikola Tesla, Rough Rider Frank “Keno” Crowninshield, and Mark Twain going up against Lovecraftian monsters, Bohemian Grove, and the Illuminati.
Welcome to the Salem Tunnel Report. Every Monday we will post new and old tunnel finds along with those who built them. In our posts you will learn how Salem has shaped American history from the profits of the smuggling that happened in these tunnels; sometimes for the good, but more often not.
Gardner Pingree House 128 Essex Street
Built in 1804-1805 for John Gardner Jr. by Samuel McIntire. Jeremiah Page provided bricks, David Robbins was the mason, Joseph Fogg the lumber, Epes Cogswell was housewright, and William Luscoomb III painter. Gardner had owned 6 ships. All but 2 had different captains and co-owners. He never captained any of his ships. The only economic venture he went on twice with anyone was with his relative Simon Gardner who had owned two ships with him and captained both.
Next door was the site of the Captain Joseph Gardner home where the Plummer Hall now stands that houses the Essex Institute. The Captain was killed by Narragansets in 1675 at the Great Swamp Fight. At the Captain’s death his wife Anne inherited her father’s Emmanuel Downing’s house which was west of Plummer Hall and married Gov. Simon Bradstreet and lived there. This house was torn down in 1750 and Francis Peabody built his mansion. This book was written across the street from where the first American poet wrote her books, Anne Bradstreet.
In 1811 John Gardner Jr. ran into financial problems and sold the house to Nathaniel West. Could he have received a bribe from Russell Sturgis as well? Nathaniel West was a captain who owned many ships with Nehemiah Andrews, Crowninshields, Derbys, Benjamin Pickman, and Francis Boardman. Nathaniel West bought the John Turner mansion, next to the Peter Palfrey House to the right, opposite Central Street in 1833 and opened it as a tavern called “The Mansion house” in time for President Andrew Jackson’s visit. Later it would be called the “West Block”. Nathaniel West sold the Gardner-Pingree House three years later to Captain Joseph White. He was murdered in this house.
“It’s raining, it’s pouring.
The old man is snoring.
He went to bed bumped his head,
and he couldn’t get up in the morning.”
Captain Joseph White who bought the Come Along Patty from Elias Haskett Derby with the Cabot brothers and renamed it the Revenge became the first privateer from Salem. He was in the slave trade. He was heavily invested in The Second National Bank of the United States. He had questionable feelings towards a young niece who lived with him. He hated the man whom she would marry and made a fortune of $3 million dollars before 1830, which he was not going to give her any. In the winter of 1829-1830 Captain Joseph White was feeling ill and had his lawyer Joseph Waters draft him a new will. In 1830 someone snuck through the tunnel and murdered him.
This murder would inspire Edgar Allen Poe’s to write the Tell Tale Heart. It is reminiscent of Agatha Christies’s Murder on the Oriental Express. The intrigue of the murder and the sudden death of Judge Parker might of led Parker Brothers to buy the U.S. rights to the 1949 Cluedo/Clue game because it reminded them of the strange tale that happened in this Salem house! I wonder if it was a literature fan who moved the Crowninshield-Bentley House to the right from its old home in the Hawthorne Hotel’s parking lot. That house was in H.P. Lovecraft’s story The Thing on the Doorstep. Also Rev. Bentley wrote his memoirs of Salem in the Crowninshield-Bentley House.
Captain Joseph White was not kind to his relations that had worked for him in his house. He only showed a special form of kindness to his young attractive niece. The announcement of her engagement to a captain that was just released from Joseph Jr. & Stephen White Co.’s employment just sent him into a furor.
At 82 he has been abandoned by his niece for 3 years and is ill during a hard winter. His favorite nephew has been dead for some years but his brother is still at the old captain’s side. Was Stephen jealous of the attention his uncle gave to his female cousin or the attention she deprived him? Did Stephen foster some hatred towards his uncle for favoring his dead brother over him? Did the old Captain plan a mercy killing that would blame the Knapps and Crowninshields of murder to remedy the capture of a ship he once owned and a public insult? Remember Joseph J. Knapp Jr. was born the same year his father had lost the captain’s baby the ship Revenge.
We will not know, but we do know who ever snuck into to kill the old man knew of the tunnels. The tunnels connect the White/Story compound to the old man’s mansion. The old man bankrolled Joseph Jr. & Stephen White Co. and the construction of his nephews houses with the tunnels attached to them. I have been in the White brothers homes and seen the sealed up entrances to the tunnels and I have friends who have played in the tunnels attached to Judge Story’s House.
Many secrets in Salem!
For more read info Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City and its sequel Sub Rosa by Chris Dowgin published by Salem House Press. Available at Barnes & Noble, Remember Salem, The Witch House, Jolie Tea, 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!
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. It is said the father tried to hang himself as well, but was found before it was too late. 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 http://www.salemtunnel tour.com and book a tour with the Salem Smugglers’ Tour today.
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.
To read more about how Salem shaped American history read Sub Rosa by Chris Dowgin published by Salem House Press.
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