The Adventuress: Murder, Blackmail, and Confidence Games in by Virginia A. McConnell

By Virginia A. McConnell

The attractive story of a nineteenth-century black widow

Intrigue, deception, bribery, poison, murder―all play a vital function within the tale of Minnie Walkup, a tender lady from New Orleans who started her lifetime of crime while she was once in simple terms 16 years old.

Born in 1869 to Elizabeth and James Wallace, Minnie used to be a ordinary attractiveness and attended convent university the place she realized social graces and the way to play the piano. After the divorce of her mom and dad, she was once raised in a number of boardinghouses owned through her mom, and at one in all them, met her first husband, James Reeves Walkup. At 16, she married Walkup, a forty-nine-year-old winning businessman and appearing mayor of Emporia, Kansas. One month later, Walkup died from arsenic poisoning and his younger spouse used to be accused of murdering him. Her trial turned probably the most sensational situations in Kansas heritage and was once coated by means of newshounds around the nation.

The Adventuress info Minnie Walkup’s amazing lifestyles and legal actions. utilizing newspaper articles, census and probate documents, and descendants’ studies, actual crime author Virginia A. McConnell depicts an enthralling tale that's choked with scandal, gossip, robbery, and homicide and that incorporates occasions occurring around the South and Midwest. McConnell finds a desirable solid of characters revolving round Minnie Walkup, together with a former Louisiana governor and senator, a in demand Ohio banking family members, the associate of a well-known railway magnate, and a sleazy district court docket pass judgement on from New Orleans. The Adventuress bargains a Gilded Age cleaning soap opera that turns out too far-fetched to be what it is―true.

A vast contribution to crime historical past, The Adventuress is a great addition to any real crime reader’s collection.

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Extra resources for The Adventuress: Murder, Blackmail, and Confidence Games in the Gilded Age (True Crime History)

Sample text

The Wallaces When Minnie Wallace was born at 83 North Rampart Street in New Orleans on January 14, 1869, a temporary peace reigned in her family. Her parents, thirty-nine-year-old Elizabeth and forty-one-year-old James E. Wallace, had been married since July 1865, after Elizabeth’s divorce from her first husband, Irish native Dr. Patrick Kirby. S. 11 A couple of years after Minnie’s birth, the family welcomed another addition: three-year-old William “Willie” Willis, the son of Elizabeth’s niece, who had just died of consumption.

The man never seemed to slow down. Walkup had first married back in West Virginia, and when his wife Annie died a few short months after giving birth to their first child, William, in 1857, he waited exactly one year and then married Welsh-born Hannah Maddock. Their daughter Martha (called “Mattie”) came along in 1861, followed by Elizabeth Ann (“Libbie” or “Lizzie”) in 1866. In Kansas, Walkup had Hannah and the girls working hard for his various enterprises, primarily cooking for the men who worked for him on the railroad and keeping the books.

James was drinking more and more, and funds were at a premium. An energetic and ambitious woman, Elizabeth began taking in boarders to support the family. She harped at James for his drinking, and he retaliated by accusing her of sleeping with the boarders. In 1873, the two separated. Possibly as a result of her husband’s position as commissioner, Elizabeth Wallace became acquainted with New Orleans district judge William T. Houston. Judge Houston was a married man, but he found himself increasingly drawn to the blooming and beautiful Dora Kirby, now a teenager.

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