Here's a description of Gilbert Campbell from an Australian newspaper written at the time of his conviction in the literary frauds case.
Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic. : 1869 - 1954), Sat 8 Oct 1892, Page 11
Sir Gilbert Campbell
Sir Gilbert Campbell, Bart., who has
just been sent to prison for 18 months
in England in connection with the literary
and art frauds, was pretty well known in
London to a member of our staff. Tne latter
says: I met Sir Gilbert Campbell
under amusing circumstances. I
was doing the editorial work for a paper
which belonged to a needy aristocratic
gentleman, Colonel A--, a man who had
"plenty of social influence, but no hard
cash," as he once confessed. One day a
card was brought in to me, inscribed
"Sir Gilbert Campbell, Bart." Contributors
with titles were not very common
in Fleet street, and when the office boy
showed him in I conceived no
wish that they should be. He
was a shabby genteel man, with
a bottle-green frock coat, buttoned
across his chest; a tall hat with a
reminiscence of nap still lingering upon it;
and boots that revealed a gape between
the sole and upper of each. He looked
like a bookmaker down on his luck
or a publican deprived of his license. His
face was puffy and flushed.
He sat down and said he had called to
see whether the paper could take a series
of sporting stories from him. I said we
should be glad to consider any contributions
received from his pen. He wanted
a definite promise; but no journalist
would be likely to invite contributions
from a man with whose work he was
not acquainted. He said he would send
something in, and stipulated a very high
price—-more than we were in the habit of
paying. I said we should not pay that
figure. "Oh," said he, but you must
pay something extra for my name." I
replied that a name was not worth as
much as good copy to any paper.
Then he became angry, and his puffy
face became more puffy and more red.
He went on to tell me about his ancestry
and the departed glory of his race. I
asked him how it was that a baronet with
such an illustrious pedigree should be
seeking for work in Fleet street. "Oh,"
he said, in a loud voice, "what the
blankety blank can a blank man do in
these biank times? A man must blank
well live, and if he can't live on his blank
income, he must make money by writing
blank stories for biank papers."
I remarked that if his literary style was
anything like that, I was afraid it was a
trifle too ornate for our columns. He let off
more steam, swore a lot, and
took his departure. He never sent
anything in. I saw him several
times afterwards in Fleet street, looking
seedier each time. He pressed me to have
drinks, but I never happened to be thirsty
and he sought the classic shades of the
Cheshire Cheese, Moonie's [sic], and the ****,
unaccompanied. Later on I saw him
finally arrayed in broadcloth and fine
linen. 1 supposed he had commenced his
literary and art agency then. He found it
more profitable than writing stories—-only
the police stepped in! Poor Sir Gilbert
The year after "Mandeville Square," Beeton's Annual featured another story by Sir Gilbert Campbell.
The Literary World, Volume 40, December 13, 1889, Page 504
CHRISTMAS NUMBERS AND ANNUALS
Beeton's Christmas Annual (Ward, Lock, and Co.), contains 'A Wave of Brain Power,' by Sir Gilbert Campbell, and a short musical play 'Minette's Birthday,' by Mr. R. Andre. Speaking of the book as a whole, the latter, though pretty, may be disregarded. The former is a highly sensational, oftentimes gruesome, narrative. Occult forces, exercised by Craddock Lipthwaite alias Revolver, chief dynamitard of a London gang, subject David Acland, a true-hearted young author, to the villain's will, and make him an active agent in a series of crimes. Rhoda Harding, David's betrothed, discovers his misery and exerts her ownspiritual and mental powers to combat the will and eventually to triumph over his cruel taskmaster. Human interests are not wholly absent from the working out of the plot, but many of the details are ghastly in the extreme, and more than one passage we wish we had never read.
This story was also later serialized in an Australian newspaper, under a different title.
Chapter XXIII. -- (Continued)
Chapter XXXIV. -- At the Police Court
The prisoner, who, in the exuberance
of his drunken spirits had
simply knocked down his wife, and
trampled upon her face, thereby totally
disfiguring her for life, was, by the
Draconic severity of the English law,
sentenced to six weeks' imprisonment
with hard labour, during which time the
wife had the option of starving or applying
to the Union for relief.
Like "Mandeville Square," "Grill-Street" features a scene of disturbing violence that ends in the obliteration of the victim's indvoduality.
The villain of the story, Craddock Lipthwaite, flees justice and seeks refuge in Whitechapel. Finding the atmosphere of a rooming house too repellent,
he returns to the streets where an argument with a woman results in an angry mob mistaking him for Jack the Ripper.
FICTION. THE GREAT GRILL-STREET CONSPIRACY. By SIR GILBERT CAMPBELL.
CHAPTER XXVI.--THE FULFILMENT OF THE PROPHECY.
As these thoughts passed through his brain he walked slowly along until he came to the line of iron railings which enclosed some large public building, of the name of which he was ignorant. He leaned against them for a moment, and pulling, out his pipe, was proceeding to light it, when one of the wretched outcast women who infest the neighbourhood came up to him, and pulling him roughly by the arm, suggested the propriety of his paying for some refreshment for her of a liquid and spirituous nature. The unceremonious grasp which she laid upon his arm caused him to burn his fingers with the match, and with an angry oath he pushed her away with more violence, perhaps, than be had intended. The woman staggered back, and, losing her balance, measured her length upon the pavement, uttering at the same time 'a dismal shriek for help. Half a dozen other women of a similar unfortunate class hurried up, a violent altercation ensued, and as Craddock Lipthwaite strove to disengage himself from them and proceed on his way, the woman who was still prostrate on the ground uttered a loud cry of “Murder!”
Murder! how the dread word rang out through the silent night; how it seemed to fly from house to house and be carried by the breeze over the roofs and down into the cellars. Murder! it seemed as if the word had a magic spell in it, which roused the whole neighbourhood from its slumber. No more rest, no more repose; half-dressed men stumbled out of doorways, pronouncing it in sleepy accents. Women, with their hair hanging down, and clasping their clothes with one hand to their bosoms, shrieked it out in accents of alarm and dismay. Children caught it up and lisped it out in awestruck accents. The very dogs, who barked and howled as the turmoil swelled louder and louder, appeared to be uttering the same dread word in their canine language. The sound of hurrying feet echoed along the pavement; lights appeared at the windows, doors opened and slammed again, and al Whitechapel was on foot to hunt down the mysterious murderer who had filled the locality with panic and affright.
The men who had followed Lipthwaite now came up to where he was standing, and one of them seizing him roughly by the collar, inquired with an oath what he was doing to the woman.
“He tried to murder me,” screamed the half-intoxicated woman, who still lay upon the pavement, “he is out on his devilish work again to-night, and I have barely escaped with my life.”
“Do you hear what the woman says?” asked the man, accompanying his demand with a rough shake of Lipthwaite's collar. “What have you been a doin' to her, you bloodthirsty villin? “
“Take your hands off me,” answered Craddock calmly, for he did not yet see the full horror of his position, “you have no right to detain me in this manner.”
“Come, stow that gab,” exclaimed another man, coming up and pushing with much violence against Lipthwaite, sending him staggering against the iron railings.
Craddock's hat was knocked off, but in an instant he recovered himself, and springing forward, caught his assailant by the throat, and held him with a grip of iron. “You insolent dog,” cried he, his face blazing with the intensity of his wrath. “How dare you venture to lay a hand on me?“
For a few seconds the man struggled stoutly enough, and strove to strike his assailant, but Craddock Lipthwaite's long arms held him at such a distance that he was unable to do so, and as the strangling clutch began to tell upon him his face grew black and his tongue commenced to protrude, whilst a hoarse, rattling sound gurgled from his throat.
A large crowd had by this time collected, and was increasing every moment. Those on the outskirts could see nothing of what was going on, but hearing that the man who had committed the terrible murders, which had overshadowed that quarter of the town with a mist of blood, were loud in their menaces and their calls for vengeance. “Lynch him!” shouted they, “Lynch him!” and the boys, who ever hover on the verge of popular outbreaks, as the stormy petrel skims over the wave at the approach of the tempest, took up the cry with shrill vehemence.
The tumult that had arisen, as if by magic around him, at length warned Lipthwaite of the perilous position in which he was placed, and letting the half insensible man drop to the ground, he endeavoured to force his way through the ring which had now formed around him, the prostrate woman, who was still raving wildly, and her female companions. But his attempts were vain, no one offered to make way for him, and darker, and darker, and darker grew the scowl upon the faces of the bystanders, and fiercer the yells for vengeance that went from the crowd. For the first time Craddock Lipthwaite realized the real danger of his position. “Great heaven,” muttered he, “the fools take me for the mysterious murderer who has half frightened them out of the small amount of wits they possess; and in their blind, unreasoning panic, they are as likely as not to tear me to pieces.”
“Listen, my friends,” cried he aloud, throwing all the calmness and persuasion of which he was capable into his voice. “You are completely in error. I am quite a stranger in Whitechapel; indeed, this is the first time I ever entered it in my life. 1 am an honest, hard-working man like yourselves, and look with as great horror as you upon the infamous crimes that have been committed in your midst.”
He spoke with such an air of truth and candour, that those who stood nearest to him were impressed with his statement, but his voice did not penetrate far, and from the more distant portions of the crowd rose a few faint cries, of “Hand him over to the police,” which were speedily drowned by the savage roar of “No police ! no police ! lynch the cowardly devil, and make an end of the thing once and for all.”
In spite, however, of these threatening suggestions, Craddock Lipthwaite might have induced, those standing around him to hear reason, had it not been for a strange unforeseen incident, which entirely changed the face of the whole affair.
“Then what did the woman mean by saying that you had tried to murder her?” asked one of the men who had first accosted him, speaking in a more civil manner than he had yet done. “She swears I don't know what, and makes out a black case against you, guv'nor.”
“Pshaw,” returned Lipthwaite, scornfully, casting a look of bitter contempt upon the outcast, who was now sitting up on the pavement rocking herself to and fro, and muttering a farrago of nonsense with drunken volubility. “Are men's lives to be placed in jeopardy by the statements of such cattle as those?” and, taking a step forward, he pushed the woman roughly with his boot. His contemptuous manner, more than the actual brutality of his behaviour, seemed to goad the unhappy creature to madness. She uttered a scream like a wild beast, and springing to her feet, lacerated his face with her nails, and tore his hair before he could make an effort to defend himself.
Furious both at the pain and at the ignominy of the assault in such a place, and by such a creature, Lipthwaite swore a deep oath, and raising his right arm, struck the woman a savage blow which felled her to the earth. Even, however, this cowardly act upon his part might not have injured him with the crowd which surrounded him, the members of it being for the most part perfectly accustomed to see the weaker sex cuffed and kicked, without any feeling of disgust arising in the hearts of the lookers on, but as the unfortunate woman fell backwards, she caught hold of her assailant's coat, and tearing it open, the long keen knife, which Lipthwaite had secreted, fell with a clang upon the ground. With a cry of triumph, the outcast darted upon it, and waving it high above her head, shrieked, “Now, who is the liar, he or I? He says he ain't the cove wot does the murders; why, 'ere is the very knife with which he cuts our throats and rips us open. Now, am I right or I not? Curse you all, are you going to let him slip through your fingers, now that you have got him?”
The tide had now turned and Craddock Lipthwaite would have been safer in the midst of a pack of famished wolves than in the centre of the howling crowd which now set up one long yell to heaven for his blood.
In an instant the unfortunate man saw that all was over, and at the same time the ghastly vision of David Acland recurred to his mind. He was the object of universal execration--all were crying out against him, all were thirsting for his blood. Death was very near to him now, and what a death, one by inches, one by kicks and blows, a death amidst the mud and mire of a crowded thoroughfare, with not one pitying eye to look upon him or one heart to feel sorrow for his untimely end. “Better the convict prison,” he muttered to himself, “at least, that gives me a chance of life.” Then lifting his voice he shouted with all the force of his lungs, “Police!” “Police!” A roar of execration and hatred greeted this appeal, and the answering shout came swiftly back “To hell with you, you murdering dog, we want no police to do our work.”
Wildly he glared round at the ring of smiling faces which was narrowing round him, and read in them that his fate was sealed. “At any rate,” he thought, “I will have blood for blood, and those who attack me shall not escape unscathed.”
As these thoughts passed through his mind he sprang at the woman who was still flourishing the upturned knife, and endeavoured to wrench the weapon from her grasp. With a wild shriek she sprung backwards into the crowd which opened to give her passage, and at the same time a small urchin, who had crept between the legs of the bystanders, cast a handful of mud in the hunted man's face. From that moment he felt that it was all over with him, for the flashing eye which had to some extent kept back the crowd was now temporarily hidden, and the infuriated mob closed around their victim.
As he strove to clear the foul mud from his face a man struck him a heavy blow upon the back of his head with a wooden shovel which he was carrying, causing him to fall upon his knees, but saving him from many other blows which whistled harmlessly over his head. In an instant, however, Craddock Lipthwaite was on his feet again, and having partially cleared his eyes attempted to grapple with his nearest assailants, at the same time shouting loudly for the police. Blows now rained upon him like hail, the blood streamed from his face, and his shouts and cries grew more and more feeble. Now he was down again upon his knees, whilst his assailants kicked savagely at his back and ribs, and once again he was on his feet, only kept erect by the pressure of the crowd, and a target for every blow that could be aimed at him. His shouts had now died completely away, and only a hoarse gasping sound issued from his throat. For an instant the crowd drew back a little, as though to gather strength for a fresh onslaught upon the wretched man who was standing alone in its midst.
His aspect was so terrible that a thrill of horror passed for an instant through every heart. Hardly a feature was visible, nose, lips, eyes, and forehead seemed to have been mashed into one unrecognizable pulp, his right arm hung broken and helpless by his side, a few tattered shreds of garments hardly covered his body, his boots were nearly ground to powder. He stood erect amongst them, an image of life in death, a low moaning sob breaking at intervals from the mutilated lips. It was a sight that might have moved a heart of stone, but the hearts of the rough crowd were made of some harder materials, and as the wretched creature stood swaying unsteadily backwards and forwards a stout man of the East End bully type stepped up to him, and with a tremendous left handed blow felled him to the ground. Craddock Lipthwaite fell with a sickening crash upon the flagstones, and the crowd, as though their appetite for murder had been freshened, looked upon the prostrate form with more inveterate ferocity than ever.
Dull heavy thuds were heard as fists and boots rained a hail of blows and kicks upon the motionless body, which now did not gratify its murderers by the utterance of a single groan.
All at once a cry was heard, "Here's Joe the Knacker, make way for him, and let him treat the devil as he treated the poor women."
Once more the crowd drew back a little from the bruised and disfigured mass of humanity, and a tall young fellow, whose thigh boots and linen vest were marked with huge patches of grease and mud, was pushed forward to the front rank. He held a long shining knife in his hand, and amidst the shouts of "Rip him up as he did the poor girls," he bent over the motionless form.
"Now then, Joe, show us a sample of your handiwork," was the cry that arose, mingled with peals of brutal laughter.
The man looked upon the still breathing body before him, and then glared helplessly at the threatening crowd. "I can't do it," exclaimed he, with an oath, and casting the knife aside he elbowed his way out of the ring.
But the woman who had been the primary cause of Craddock Lipthwaite's terrible fate was close at hand. During all that terrible scene of Lynch Law she had contrived to retain a front place, and more than once had had the inexpressible felicity of administering a blow or a kick upon the unhappy victim.
With a cry of exultation she darted upon the knife which the horse slaughterer had let fall, and kneeling beside the prostrate form gashed the abdomen with hideous transverse wounds. As if the excruciating pain had once again aroused Craddock Lipthwaite to a sense of agony he uttered one long ear-piercing shriek, which for a long time haunted the slumbers of the listeners, rose to his knees and endeavoured to compress the gaping wounds with his hands, then fell back heavily, a dead man.
When the police, by the merciless use of the batons, forced their way to where the body was lying, they found it entirely unrecognisable, and no one could trace in that battered fragment of humanity either the intellectual features of the Apostle of Brain Power or the crafty lineaments of the dreaded Revolver.
In "The Great Grill Street Conspiracy," Sir Gilbert Campbell mentions that one of the characters, Rhoda, read a story by Bulwer Lytton, "The Haunted and the Haunters," which inspired her to try her own hand at exercising mental powers.
The Haunted and the Haunters, or, The House and the Brain
Later a truncated version was published in a book, which a note explaining the reason for the abridgement. I'm not sure which version Campbell was familiar with.
A Strange Story; and The Haunted and the Haunters (London: Routledge, Warne, and Routledge, 1864), Pages 325-343
This tale first appeared in Blackwood's Magazine, August, 1859. A portion of it as then published is now suppressed, because encroaching too much on the main plot of the "Strange Story." As it stands, however, it may be considered the preliminary outline of that more elaborate attempt to construct an interest akin to that which our forefathers felt in tales of witchcraft and ghostland, out of ideas and beliefs which have crept into fashion in the society of our own day. There has, perhaps, been no age in which certain phenomena that in all ages have been produced by, or upon, certain physical temperaments, have excited so general a notice,-—more perhaps among the educated classes than the uneducated. Nor do I believe that there is any age in which those phenomena have engendered throughout a wider circle a more credulous superstition. But, on the other hand, there has certainly been no age in which persons of critical and inquisitive intellect-—seeking to divest what is genuine in these apparent vagaries of Nature from the cheats of venal impostors and the exaggeration of puzzled witnesses-—have more soberly endeavoured to render such exceptional thaumaturgia of philosophical use, in enlarging our conjectural knowledge of the complex laws of being—-sometimes through physiological, sometimes through metaphysical research. "Without discredit, however, to the many able and distinguished speculators on so vague a subject, it must be observed that their explanations as yet have been rather ingenious than satisfactory. Indeed, the first requisites for conclusive theory are at present wanting. The facts are not sufficiently generalized, and the evidences for them have not been sufficiently tested.
It is just when elements of the marvellous are thus struggling between superstition and philosophy, that they fall by right to the domain of Art—-the art of poet or tale-teller. They furnish the constructor of imaginative fiction with materials for mysterious terror of a character not exhausted by his predecessors, and not foreign to the notions that float on the surface of his own time; while they allow him to wander freely over that range of conjecture which is favourable to his purposes, precisely because science itself has not yet disenchanted that debateable realm of its haunted shadows and goblin lights.
Some items related to the Mary Rogers ("Marie Roget") case.
Appleton's Cyclopædia of American Biography, Volume 5 (New York: D. Appleton, 1888), Pages 308-309
ROGERS, Mary Cecilia, b. about 1820: d. in Weehawken, N. J., 25 July, 1841. She was the daughter of a widow that kept a boardinghouse in Nassau street, and was engaged by John Anderson as a shop-girl in his tobacco-store on Broadway, near Duane street, where young men of fashion bought their cigars and tobacco. No suspicion had ever been attached to her character, and much excitement was manifested when she suddenly disappeared. A week later she reappeared at her accustomed place behind the counter, and in reply to all inquiries said that she had been on a visit to her aunt in the country. Several years afterward she left her home one Sunday morning to visit a relative in another part of the city. She requested her accepted suitor, who boarded with her mother, to come for her in the evening; but, as it rained, he concluded thut she would remain over night, and did not call for her. The next day she failed to return, and it was ascertained that she had not visited her relative. Four days later her body was found floating in Hudson river, near Weehawken, with marks that showed beyond doubt that she had been murdered. Every effort was made to determine by whom she had been killed, but without success. A few weeks later, in a thicket on the New Jersey shore, part of her clothing was found, with every evidence that a desperate struggle had taken place there; but these appearances were believed, on close inspection, to have been arranged to give it that aspect. Subsequently it was shown that she had been in the habit of meeting a young naval officer secretly, and it was alleged that she was in his company at the time of her first disappearance. He was able to account for his whereabouts from the time of her leaving home until the finding of her body, and the murder would have been forgotten had not Edgar Allan Poe revived the incident of the crime in his "Mystery of Marie Roget." With remarkable skill he analyzed the evidence, and showed almost conclusively that the murder had been accomplished by one familiar with the sea, who had dragged her body to the water and there deposited it. Many persons were suspected of the crime, and, among others, John Anderson, whose last years, he claimed, were haunted by her spirit.
A brief bio of John Anderson.
Makers of New York (Philadelphia: L. R. Hamersly, 1894), Page 213
edited by Charles Morris
JOHN ANDERSON, the millionaire tobacconist, was the son of William Anderson, who came from England to this country early in the present century, his immigration being due to Robert Fulton, the celebrated inventor of the steamboat. He became an earnest and patriotic American, took part on the side of his adopted country in the second war with Great Britain, and fell in battle, as an officer, in the year 1812. His son John was born shortly after his death.
Deprived of paternal care, the son, as soon as of sufficient age to engage in the struggle of life, began a career which proved quickly successful, and rapidly led to fortune. The business into which he entered was that of tobacco dealer and manufacturer, and his history as a merchant presents no salient points on which we need to dwell, other than to say that he won honor and respect among his fellow-merchants of New York, and eventually retired from business as one of the millionaires of the metropolis, and as one of the liberal supporters of art, science, and humanity.
Among his intimate friends must particularly be mentioned the famous Italian patriot Garibaldi, who had come to this country as an exile from his native land. Here he was forced to labor for his daily bread, but found in Mr. Anderson a warm and appreciative friend, who did much to assist him, and earnestly encouraged his patriotic views. In 1860, the year in which our own civil war was impending, the struggle for liberty began in Italy, and Garibaldi, gladly hearing the news of the patriotic uprising, was quickly upon the occan on his return to his native land. His fellow-patriot Avezzana, who was prevented from accompanying him by the fact of his having here a wife and children, was liberally aided by Mr. Anderson, and enabled to join his chief and engage with him in the great struggle for Italian liberty. A great sympathetic meeting of the citizens of New York was called, and an address to the people of Italy prepared, under the supervision of Mr. Anderson, whose earnest tones warmed the hearts of the friends of liberty in all lands.
Mr. Anderson was as warmly interested in the defense of his native land against rebellion as he had been in the liberation of Italy from tyranny. In the carly days of the war, when the State proposed to raise a fund for the families of drafted men by the issue of bonds, and its legal right to do so was questioned, Mr. Anderson solved the difficulty by immediately heading the subscription, an example which quickly brought in the requisite funds. Later, when Jersey City found itself unable to provide, in a legal manner, for putting its contingent into the field, Mr. Anderson cut this knot also by sending to the mayor a gift of $60,000, a sum which fully sufficed to send the regiments on their way to the seat of war.
In 1870, Mr. Anderson, having retired from business, went to Europe with his wife, and while there had the pleasure of meeting again his old friends, visiting Avezzana, then residing in Florence, and remaining for a time as the guest of Garibaldi in his island home. On his return to New York he purchased a tract of land at Tarrytown, and built there the handsome brick mansion which remained his home during the rest of his life. This beautifully situated dwelling, with its well-kept grounds, is among the ornaments of that locality.
In 1873, Professor Louis Agassiz, who desired to establish a school for the instruction of teachers in natural history, applied to the Legislature of Massachusetts for a grant of money for that purpose. His appeal failed, but when the news of the failure of this highly worthy project came to the attention of Mr. Anderson, he immediately resolved to furnish the desired sum. The well-situated and beautiful island of Penikese was placed by him at the service of the great naturalist, and with it the sum of $50,000 as an endowment for the proposed school, to which was justly given the title of “The Anderson School of Natural History."
Mr. Anderson was twice married. By his first wife he had six children. His second wife was a descendant of the same family as Washington Irving, and had one son by a former marriage, Stanley Conner, a well-known sculptor. In the fall of 1880 Mr. Anderson made another visit to Europe, intending again to visit his old friend, the liberator of Italy. But soon after reaching Paris he was taken suddenly ill, and died there on the 22d of November. His remains were brought home and interred in the family tomb at Greenwood.
The story about Anderson believing he was haunted by the spirit of Mary Rogers came out during trials contesting his will. This is a summary of the case.
A Treatise on the Medical Jurisprudence of Insanity (Albany: Mathhew Bender, 1893), Pages 181-185
By Edward Cox Mann
The Psychological Aspect of the Anderson Will Case
The last will and testament of John Anderson, the millionaire tobacconist, was executed October 25th, 1879; a codicil was added to this will on September 29th, 1881, revoking some provisions of the will. John Anderson died on the 22nd of November, 1881.
The case was commenced about May 27th, 1882, and was brought by Mary Maud Watson, a granddaughter of John Anderson, her mother's name having been before marriage Mary Louise Anderson, afterwards Mrs. Carr. The action was brought to recover one undivided fifth part of the property mentioned in the complaint, it being part of the realty belonging to the estate of John Anderson, deceased.
The plaintiff claimed that the alleged will and codicil were not, nor was either of them, duly executed; that at the time of the execution thereof respectively, the said John Anderson, deceased, was not of sound mind or memory nor capable of making a will or codicil thereto, and that the execution of said alleged last will and codicil, respectively, was procured by the undue influence, duress and restraint exercised upon him.
The only heirs-at-law and next of kin of the said John Anderson, deceased, are and were John Charles Anderson, the only surviving son of said decedent: Kate Anderson, of the city of New York, his widow; Laura V. Appleton. wife of Edward J. Appleton, of Brooklyn, N. Y., the only surviving daughter of said decedent; Fannie A. Barnard, Mary A. Wagstaff, wife of Alfred Wagstaff; Alice Barnard, George G. Barnard and John Charles Barnard, the surviving children of Fannie A. Barnard, deceased, a daughter of said decedent—-said Alice, George G. and John C. Barnard being minors, and said Alfred Wagstaff being their general guardian; Agnes Bryant and Amanda Bryant, the only surviving children of Amanda Bryant, deceased, a daughter of said decedent, and lastly, Mary Maud Watson, the plaintiff in this suit. The testimony of the appellants discloses many indications of mental disorder, the most prominent being as follows, viz: The case as developed on the trial claimed to show on the plaintiff's side that John Anderson, deceased, was not of sound mind and memory at the time of making his will, for the following reasons, viz., Mr. Anderson was a man between 50 and 60 years of age, who, by his own efforts, amassed a large fortune. He was a man of limited education, and on reaching the age of 50 or 60, he was under the impression, or stated that he began to be visited by ghosts or spirits. That he supposed his boy, Willie, then dead, appeared to him, and that he held communication with him from time to time, or with his spirit after death. That on one occasion he handed to a man, who had saved this boy's life, $100, saying that the boy, Willie, then dead, had appeared to him, and had asked him to make that gift of that $100. That the decedent supposed that he was haunted by the spirit of Mary Rogers, a girl formerly in his employ, and who had disappeared, and that her spirit gave him much trouble for some period of time, until finally he announced that it was all right with her and with her spirit, and that she gave him no more trouble. He adhered to these news and would not be persuaded that they were all delusions or imaginations. That he believed a certain investment would pay 25 per cent., because the spirit of Mary Rogers said so. That he believed the mother of the plaintiff illigitimate, and that his wife was a prostitute or had been. That, although a man of large wealth, he lived with his wife and one servant in a large house, which was but partly furnished. That the house had steel shutters, which were closely drawn at night. That he was afraid his food would be poisoned, and gave directions to keep the ice box containing food locked. That he gave directions that no brass pins should be around the house, because he was afraid of being poisoned or affected by the pins. That he gave directions never to unbolt the door unless it was first learned who sought admission, because he was afraid somebody would shoot him. That he believed there was a conspiracy on the part of his family, or some of them, to stab him or kill him, or both. That he believed his son was a thief and robbed him of a large amount of property in a house of prostitution, though his son was the residuary legatee under his will and inherited the bulk of his property. That he had exaggerated ideas of his ability to re-fashion the governments, or some of them, in Europe, or to fashion these governments into a republic. That he stated that he expected to be a man of much importance in such a republic. That he desired to go away from the world and be alone. That he was troubled with loss of sleep and severe pains in the head. That he had an intention to kill himself on that account. That shortly after making his codicil he left for Europe, with the remark that when he got away from these people he intended to make a different will. That late in life his walk was irregular; that his feet and hands shook, and left foot dropped and he walked with a halting gate [sic]. That he became weak and feeble in body, incoherent in conversation, passing from one subject to another, without apparent causes, from business to the discussion of the situation of spirits. That he made untrue and disgusting remarks about men or acquaintances. That he threatened or offered to expose his person in a public place in order to convince his friend that his physical powers were not impaired. That he had a shot gun, rifle and sword ready to do deadly injury to a son-in-law of his. That he died within about two years from the date of his will, and within a few months from the date of his codicil. That out of a fortune of several millions, he left the child of his daughter the income of $20,000. That at one time, late at 'night, he left the residence of his son-in-law, Geo. C. Barnard, in cold weather, in his stocking feet, without shoes and without a coat. and was afterwards, in that same night, discovered at the Astor House in that condition. That he refused to go to the residence of Judge Barnard because they had a conspiracy to kill him. That he tried to persuade a friend or a gentleman to go to Judge Hackett and converse with him on that account.
On the contrary, the witnesses to the will testified that in their opinion (?) said decedent was of sound mind and memory when he made the will.
The facts we relate were testified to by several witnesses, one of whom, Mr. McCloskey, had been acquainted with the decedent for thirty-five years and had been connected with him in business.
The great medico-legal point in this case is this: Did the delusions of the decedent (Anderson) influence the disposition of the will? If so, the mental disorder was sufficient to vitiate the will in question. There, it seems to me, we are brought face to face with a will, the manifest offspring of a gross delusion.
A person to make a valid will, must understand perfectly the nature and amount of the property they are disposing of; must have a sound disposing mind and memory; must not ignore the natural claims of relationship and affection, and must be free from undue influence, duress or restraint.
The first trial was before Judge Van Brunt, but he would not give the case to the jury, but directed a verdict for defendant. An insane delusion affecting the provisions of a will must invalidate it. Now, can a belief in Spiritualism and communications from the so-called spirit land be considered an insane delusion? A very safe rule in medico-legal trials of this sort is the following: When a person entertains a belief opposed to the general experience of mankind, and incapable of being verified by human means, and such belief leads the person to disregard the ordinary obligations of duty and affection, it is to be hoped that a will based upon such conditions may never stand. Any alleged religious belief that leads a testator to commit wrong and injustice may safely be set down as a delusion.
The taking of testimony in the suit of Mrs. Mary Maud
Watson for the recovery of an interest in real estate which
formerly belonged to her grandfather, John Anderson, was
finished yesterday in the Supreme Court before Justice Lawrence
and a jury. The plaintiff recalled in rebuttal denied
that William Girod had any conversation with her mother in
which her mother admitted the validity of Mr Anderson's
will. John Charles Anderson never supported her or gave
her dresses, except some that had been worn by his daughter.
Felix McCloskey declared that John Charles Anderson's
statement that the witness did not enjoy the confidence of the
dead millionaire was untrue. Several questions asked by
ex-Judge Curtis, counsel for the plaintiff, were ruled out. Among
these were inquiries whether John Anderson had referred to
Peter B. Sweeny as a ringleader of the Tweed "ring;"
whether Sweeny had told the witness that he would not
nominate Anderson for Mayor because he was crazy and that
Anderson had offered him $50,000 for the nomination of himself
for Mayor, and $100,000 for the nomination of Justice
George G. Barnard, his son-in-law, for governor; whether
Sweeny said the Mary Roger's scandal would defeat Anderson
and that Anderson was crazy on the subject; and whether
he had been told by John Anderson that he had given Edgar
A. Poe $5,000 to write the story of "Marie Roget" in order
to divert suspicion from himself. On various points the witness
contradicted the witnesses on the other side.
Dt, Matthew D. Field, examined as an expert in insanity
cases, in reply to a hypothetical question embodying the
testimony for the plaintiff in regard to John Anderson's delusions,
said that a man entertaining such views must be insane.
Ex-Judge Arnoux asked Justice Lawrence to direct a verdict for
the defendants, which was refused. The case will be given
to the Jury to-day.
Scandal of Tweed's Day
A story that John Anderson Offered a Bribe to Peter B. Sweeney
Felix McCloskey was a witness again yesterday
in the case before Judge Lawrence in which Mary
Maud Watson is trying to break the will of her grand
father John Anderson the tobacconist. Mr Curtis
asked the witness whether Peter B Sweeney had told
him that he Sweeney would not nominate John Anderson
for Mayor because Anderson was crazy; that Anderson
had offered him (Sweeney) $50,000 for the nomination
of himself for Mayor and $100,000 for the nomination
of George C. Barnard, his son-in-law, for Governor.
The question was ruled out. McCloskey was also
prevented from telling whether Sweeney said that the
Mary Rogers scandal would defeat Anderson, and that
Anderson was crazy upon the subject. Mr McCloskey
was not allowed to answer a question as to whether he
had been told by John Anderson that he had given
Edgar Allan Poe $5,000 to write the "Mystery of Marie
Roget" in order to allay the suspicion that Anderson
murdered Mary Rogers. Judge Lawrence refused
yesterday to direct a verdict for the defendant and the
case will be summed up today.
A letter Poe wrote when he was shopping "Marie Roget."
The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, Volume 17 (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1902), Pages 112-113
By Edgar Allan Poe
POE TO ROBERTS.
(From the Collection of Mr. F. R Halsey.)
Philadelphia, June 4, 1842.
My Dear Sir, —- It is just possible that you may have seen a tale of mine entitled "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," and published originally, in "Graham's Magazine" for April, 1841. Its theme was the exercise of ingenuity in the detection of a murderer. I have just completed a similar article, which I shall entitle "The Mystery of Marie Roget—-a Sequel to the Murders in the Rue Morgue." The story is based upon the assassination of Mary Cecilia Rogers, which created so vast an excitement, some months ago, in New York. I have, however, handled my design in a manner altogether novel in literature. I have imagined a series of nearly exact coincidences occurring in Paris. A young grisette, one Marie Roget, has been murdered under precisely similar circumstances with Mary Rogers. Thus, under pretence of showing how Dupin (the hero of "The Rue Morgue") unravelled the mystery of Marie's assassination, I, in reality, enter into a very long and rigorous analysis of the New York tragedy. No point is omitted. I examine, each by each, the opinions and arguments of the press upon the subject, and show that this subject has been, hitherto, unapproached. In fact I believe not only that I have demonstrated the fallacy of the general idea-—that the girl was the victim of a gang of ruffians-—but have indicated the assassin in a manner which will give renewed impetus to investigation. My main object, nevertheless, as you will readily understand, is an analysis of the true principles which should direct inquiry in similar cases. From the nature of the subject, I feel convinced that the article will excite attention, and it has occurred to me that you would be willing to purchase it for the forthcoming Mammoth Notion. It will make 25 pages of Graham's Magazine, and, at the usual price, would be worth to me $100. For reasons, however, which I need not specify, I am desirous of having this tale printed in Boston, and, if you like it, I will say $50. Will you please write me upon this point? —- by return mail, if possible.
Yours very truly,
Edgar A. Poe.
George Roberts, Esqr.
The first appearance of "Roget."
The Ladies' Companion, November, 1842, Pages 15-20
The Mystery of Marie Roget
A Sequel to "The Murders in the Rue Morgue"
by Edgar A. Poe
The Ladies' Companion, December, 1842, Pages 93-99
The Mystery of Marie Roget
A Sequel to "The Murders in the Rue Morgue"
by Edgar A. Poe
The Ladies' Companion, February, 1843, Pages 162-167
The Mystery of Marie Roget
A Sequel to "The Murders in the Rue Morgue"
An advertisement for an interesting sounding pamphlet about the Rogers case from 1841.
New York Tribune, August 10, 1841, Page 2, Column 5
Life and Murder of Mary C. Rogers, the beautiful
Cigar Girl, in pamphlet form, with a splendid Portrait, declared to be
a perfect likeness, will be published at 21 Ann-street this morning at
6 o'clock, with further particulars of the Murder, the knowledge of
which is confined to the Police and the writer of this pamphlet. Nine
persons, Broadway Gamblers, supposed to be concerned in the Murder;
State's evidence expected. The Life is full of interest: it
contains an account of several attempts at courtship aud seduction,
brought about her by manifold charms; as also of the early attachments
in which she was known to have been engaged. Price 6 cents.
Sunday Times Office, 31 Ann-st
Link to a 1904 article by humorist turned criminologist William Montgomery Clemens which critiques the views of both Inspector Thomas Byrnes and Poe. I don't know if Clemens or his editor is responsible for misspelling Poe's middle name.
The Era Magazine: An Illustrated Monthly, Volume 14, November, 1904, Pages 450-463
The Tragedy of Mary Rogers
Solution of the Mystery Made Historic by Edgar Allen [sic] Poe
by Will M. Clemens
A new wrinkle introduced by Clemens is this notice he found about a coroner's inquest on a man found drowned. Clemens argues that the man was murdered with Rogers.
In the New York newspapers of August 5, 1841, I find this obscure item: "On August 3, the body of an unknown man, about thirty-five years of age, was found floating near the foot of Barclay Street. The body had been in the water for some days and was badly decomposed. The unknown was a tall, swarthy man, and had on when found a white shirt, silk vest, dark pantaloons, 'morocco' shoes and worsted hose. The coat was missing. The coroner's jury returned a verdict of found drowned."
Here's a version of this notice from the Tribune.
New York Tribune, August 04, 1841, Page 2, Column 4
The Coroner yesterday held, an inquest
at No. 198 Front st. on the body of an unknown man aged about
40, found floating in the East River at the foot of Catharine st.
He had been in the water several days, and was clad in morocco
shoes, worsted hose, dark cloth pantaloons, white shirt and
satin vest. Verdict, found drowned.
Like to a later magazine article which mentions the Clemens article.
The Scrap Book, Volume 9, June, 1910, Pages 801-817
The Mystery of Mary Rogers
by Frank Marshall White