OK. Here we go for the coincidence of the year thread. I am presently researching the Mamie Stuart case and I seem to find the Hinton’s keep brushing against the case through the years.
1. When Shotton lived in Penarth the person living next door was a Henry Hinton.
2. Shotton moved to Swansea and opened an office in Adelaide chambers. My father was born in the same block.
3. Mamie’s remains were found in 1961 in a cave. One of the men who found them, Johnny Gerke, was a friend of my father’s. I can still see him in our kitchen telling dad how he found the skeleton.
4. According to the police Shotton died in Bristol in Corporation Avenue, the road running adjacent to it is Hinton Road.
5. In 1922 the house where I believe the murder took place was sold to a local businessman. When I looked up this person in the phone book the next name directly below his is my grandfather’s!
6. Last year the case was covered in my book South Wales murders – another Hinton.
So just remember when you are researching anything the naughty imp coincidence may occasionally pop his head up!
I had a similar case recently when I was researching "Garibaldi's Cannons" here in Hull, and the Local Press ran the story in the weekly free paper.
A friend of the family, and person I speak to every other day on the phone called to let me know he had seen the piece, and that the gentleman I was researching was his great grandfather!
How strange that we should talk all the time, on a wide range of topics, and the only one I didn't mention, was the one he could offer positive insight into!
Anyway, are you sure your family had nothing to do with the murder case Bob?
About two months ago,when I was researching old Philadelphia Inquirer newspapers from 1895-1900, I ran across an article which featured R.Harding Davis re-interviewing Henry Moore. It was from 1899. Davis wrote an article some years before 1899 for the Philadelphia Record ( its in the Ultimate by SPE/KS)
In the article,Moore mentions that it had been considered a seaman was involved in the WM. Up to that point, Wolf Vanderlinden had not seen this mentioned,that Moore and apparently some other officers,had envisioned a seaman being the potential culprit.
I got on a "Harding Davis" kick as a result of Wolf's follow up post on the Forums for a couple of days and decided to find out where he was buried,since he was an Episopalian ( like many of my family) and from Philadelphia.
Sure enough...I found out that for 33 years I had been driving by him every morning. He's buried less than 3/4 of a mile from my house in the Leverington Cemetery in my neighborhood.
The coincidence imp, and some comments on Richard Harding Davis.
I suspect I have noted more coincidences on these threads than most people, but we tend to forget that since all of the human race (since Adam or whoever) were on this planet only it was inevitable that people knew people knew people or were connected to people.
Harding Davis is an interesting example. He's remembered today as one of the first modern war correspondents, and the author of "Gallagher", "A Dog's Life", and the "Van Bibber Stories". He also was a very handsome man, and the model for the "Gibson Guy" who dated the "Gibson Girl". There is a good biography that I read about him five years ago called THE REPORTER WHO WOULD BE KING by Arthur Lubow. I recommend it to you.
Harding Davis career touches on many historical incidents (since he was a reporter, and his mother a prominent writer Rachel Harding Davis). He made his reputation in 1889 covering the Johnstown Flood (also in Pennsylvania). The following year he was sent to cover the execution (by electrocution) of William Kemmler, but at the last moment was sent on another assignment.
His coverage of the Spanish American War (he helped make Theodore Roosevelt THE hero of the war) brought him into contact with other figures. Now follow this carefully.
His leading rival as a war correspondent in Cuba was : Stephen Crane.
Crane had been involved (in New York City) as a witness defending a prostitute in a messy case involving a brutal police officer. The officer (in this case) was supported by then Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt - who would never think well of Crane again. Crane insisted on the stand that the prostitute was not soliciting when arrested by the officer (who was probaably trying to shake her down). Unfortunately for Crane, the court believed the officer. It did not do Crane's reputation much good. The officer that T.R. supported here was then Police Officer Charles Becker, who would rise to be Lieutenant Charlie Becker, head of the anti-gambling squad in 1912.
Becker was (by then) shaking down gamblers, one of whom (Herman Rosenthal) went to District Attorney Charles Whitman with the story. Rosenthal was shot and killed by four punks probably hired by Becker. They were executed in 1914. Becker was electorcuted in 1915 (after a second trial found him guilty again). By the way, years ago, I met an elderly lady who recalled the punks (she called them "the boys", two of whom she danced with). She said they weren't bad fellows.
Now Harding is linked to Crane and T.R. and Becker (and through the punks to me).
Now, Crane was married to Cora Crane, a former bordello keeper in Florida.
It actually was a good marriage, but he died in 1900. She eventually returned to Florida, and her old profession . In 1906 or so there was a shootout between two men for her favors that led to one of them being killed.
Crane was not the only correspondent that Harding Davis knew in Cuba. Another was one John Dunning of the Associated Press. Dunning had distinguished himself in 1889 by being the reporter on the spot at Apia Harbor, Samoa, when a typhoon hit the area sinking two flotillas of American and German battleships facing each other in a local dispute (and narrowly not sinking a British battleship, H.M.S. Calliope). Dunning's account of the great disaster was a model of journalistic reporting for decades. Stationed in San Francisco in 1898, Dunning was sent by A.P. to Cuba, and at the naval battle of Santiago Bay distinguished himself again rescuing Spanish sailors from their sinking ships.
Unfortunately Dunning's reputation is not so savory today. He had married the daughter of a Congressiman John Penington of Delaware, and had been having an affair with a woman named Cordelia Botkin in San Francisco. In 1898, while John was in Cuba, Cordelia came up with a scheme. She sent a box of chocolates to Mrs. Dunning at her current residence in Delaware. Mrs. Dunning and her sister both ate the chocolates, and both died of arsenic poisoning. A complex legal trial resulted that finally put Mrs. Botkin into prison in California (where she died in 1910). Dunning, now in disgrace, died in 1908.
But let us get back to Harding Davis. Having run around with Crane and Dunning and other reporters in Cuba, he returned to New York City as one of the highest paid reporters of the day. He hobnobbed with the wealthy and famous, one of whom was Stanford White. When White was killed in 1906 Harding Davis was appalled at the tremendous outpouring of scorn directed at the architect by the public (particularly in the Hearst newspapers) due to the revelations of his relations with Evelyn Nesbit. Harding Davis had the character to write a newspaper item about this and how White, who was well liked before these revelations, did not deserve this posthumous condemnation.
White's brother in law was William Clinch Smith, who witnessed the shooting of White by Harry Thaw at the old Madison Square Garden. Clinch Smith testified about this at the trial. Clinch Smith's own ending was somewhat sensational. He went down on the Titanic in 1912, with our old acquatintance
You can see that Harding Davis, by his career and connections, touches many lives and events.
The thing to do is take one of the Victims, and try to find connections (to other victims or whoever), just to see where they lead.
Thanks very much,JB...a very illuminating post. I will try and get ahold of Lubow's book. I think they made a documentary about Davis as well.
He's buried in a pretty rundown section of the cemetery....very little maintenence has been given to the graves there.
Two things before I forget:
1. Maybe I'm mistaken, but wasn't it Crane that was beaten up in New York before he died and found wandering around the street?
2. Have you ever heard of John Buchanan...the 19th century "bogus diploma" scam artist who lived in Philadelphia? I have a thread on the Forums devoted to the guy.
Check this out JB:
Two weeks ago, I randomly tossed three words into a newspaper archival repository search engine, "bogus" "Doctor" and "diploma" and whammo ! I came up with the Buchanan stories...in which he was responsible for disseminating 60,000 bogus diplomas,many signed by legitimate University professors, throughout the world. It was big news for a while beginning in early 1870.
Anyway...Nina,my wife,has been hunting down family members of one branch of my kin...the Brown's...and as she was doing so, I noticed she found my Great grandfather, Henry P.Brown, a Penn grad in the 1870's.....
I looked over her shoulder and whammo ! I was stunned, JB....here my great grandfather was the lead prosecutor and asst. D.A. on the Buchanan trial in 1885 ! Buchanan recieved a year...my great grandfather quit the US District Court...and went into private business.
In addition, my Great great great grandfather, Isaac Newton Brown ( shut up Linford !!) had an office in the late 1860's one block away from where Francis Tumbelty lived in downtown Philadelphia. Nina and I are still looking into whether they may have had common links at present.
Small world indeed JB...and thanks for the post reply and suggestion.
Last edited by Howard Brown : 03-09-2009 at 04:07 AM.
Reason: left off one "great"
Perhaps my most interesting coincidence happened aboard a ship.I was a customs officer stationed at the gangway,and a group of people were leaving the ship.I got into conversation with a female in the group.This I might add took place at Port Pirie,South Australia.She was curious of my accent,and asked if I came from Cheltenham,England.Noting that she had a broad northern England accent,I asked what she knew of Chelteham,and she replied she had once worked there.I told her that a boyhood friend had a photography business there,and she said her place of work there had been a photographers.Of course,as you can guess,her boss had been my friend.
First a correction: Richard Harding Davis' mother was not Rachel but Rebecca Harding Davis. I checked Lubow's book after sending he message out yesterday.
Stephen Crane had a very adventurous life, besides Cuba, and his run-in with Poice Officer Becker. He also was involved in covering the long forgotten Greco-Turkish War of 1896/97, the Yukon Gold Rush, and his experience surviving a shipwreck off Florida in 1897 led to his wonderful novella, THE OPEN BOAT. He was never beaten up by police. Edgar Allen Poe may have been made drunk or beaten in the elections in Baltimore in October 1849, and these injuries may have led to his death.
Crane by the way moved to England in 1899, and was a neighbor of Joseph Conrad, Henry James, and H.G.Wells. Had he lived longer he would have been intermingling literary ideas with them. Crane's landlord was the uncle of Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill.
It does not surprise me that Harding Davis' grave is ill-kept. Most old graves are. Davis' second wife was Vaudevillian Betsy McCoy, best recalled for her song "the Yamma Yamma Man" (Ginger Rogers does an imitation of McCoy in the film THE STORY OF VERNON AND IRENE CASTLE).
The only questionable "Buchanan" I am aware of (aside from the idiot who was our 15th President) was Dr. Robert Buchanan, who was a Nova Scotian Doctor who divorced his first wife, married a rich bordello madam in New York, and poisoned the latter for her estate with morphine, skillfully disguising the effect of the morphine on the pupils to avoid detection. Afterwards he remarried his first wife. Then his big mouth brought the story to the attention of the NEW YORK WORLD. After a trial and appeals, Dr. Buchanan was executed in 1895.
President Buchanan was related (as a cousin) to composer Stephen Foster.
Briefly,my wife Nina just located two newspaper articles from 1865 in the Philadelphia Press and another defunct paper, the Philadelphia Times, which discussed the campaign of incumbent William Mann versus my great Grandfather's brother ,Isaac Brown, for the District Attorneyship of Philadelphia.... Ike lost by 8,000 votes .
Anyway, had Ike won the D.A. position, he would have been the top cop in Philadelphia when Tumbelty appeared in 1868.