Bag of Bones: The Sensational Grave Robbery of the Merchant by J. North Conway

By J. North Conway

From the well known chronicler of law-and-order in Gilded Age manhattan urban, the sensational grave theft of A. T. Stewart, “The service provider Prince of Manhattan,” one of many wealthiest males in American history


Praise for J. North Conway’s

The colossal Policeman: the increase and Fall of Thomas Byrnes, America’s First, so much Ruthless,

and maximum Detective

“Creating interval surroundings by way of quoting generally from newspaper money owed of the sensational crimes Byrnes solved, Conway portrays his subject’s cleverness and excesses with a flawed-hero taste that are supposed to attract true-crime fans.”


“An crucial learn for these attracted to police paintings, detective tales, and manhattan urban history.”

Library Journal

“A attention-grabbing, fast-moving account of 1 of the main polarizing and influential figures of 19th-century manhattan.  Conway brings ‘the tremendous policeman’ to life.”

—Daniel Stashower, writer of The appealing Cigar woman: Mary Rogers, Edgar

Allan Poe, and the discovery of homicide

“A treasure trove of knowledge not just on larger-than-life pioneering detective Thomas Byrnes but in addition on law-and-order in wide-open nineteenth-century Manhattan.”

—David Pietrusza, author of Rothstein: The lifestyles, instances, and homicide of the

Criminal Genius Who fastened the 1919 international Series

Praise for J. North Conway’s

King of Heists: The Sensational financial institution theft of 1878 That surprised America

“Engrossing . . . Conway skillfully paints a backdrop of fierce and flamboyant personalities who paraded around the Gilded Age, from Brooklyn Bridge engineer John Roebling to Marm Mandelbaum, ‘queen of the criminals.’ . . . [H]e capably recounts his tale opposed to a historical past of glitter and greed.”

Publishers Weekly

“A page-turning account of 1 of the main brazen crimes of our time.”

Reader’s Digest

“Conway, a faculty prof and ex-newspaper guy, covers this historic story in a fashion that makes it consider like a scorching information story.” 

New York Post

From the interior Flap

In 1878, years after the demise of mogul A. T. Stewart, his physique used to be stolen from St. Mark’s Churchyard. The ghoulish crime, the bumbling chase for the culprits, the years-long ransom negotiations, and the dying of the Stewart retail empire fed a media frenzy. whilst his widow finally exchanged $20,000 for a burlap bag of bones on a rustic street, no longer everybody was once confident that “The service provider Prince of new york” was once rather home.

A. T. Stewart have been a pioneer of the dep. shop company, a guy who rose from the flood of Irish immigration to a spot along names like Astor, Vanderbilt, and Rockefeller. handled because the black sheep of latest York’s prosperous Gilded Age society, the Stewarts relied seriously on their pal and confidante, the conniving pass judgement on Henry Hilton, for entrée into elite social circles. As writer J. North Conway information the futile strategies utilized by police to spot the grave robbers, he additionally unveils the villainy of pass judgement on Hilton, who not just interfered within the case again and again but additionally dismantled a once-great enterprise empire piece via piece . . . all of the whereas profiting fairly well. via the top of this attention-grabbing slice of heritage, one is left to ask yourself who displayed the better evil: the grave robbers or Judge
Henry Hilton.

Completing J. North Conway’s greatly acclaimed trilogy of Gilded Age manhattan urban Crime—following King of Heists and The significant PolicemanBag of Bones combines the era’s affluence, decadence, and corruption with a ugly deed healthy for the tabloids of today.

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Additional info for Bag of Bones: The Sensational Grave Robbery of the Merchant Prince of Manhattan

Sample text

Stewart was dead to begin with—dead as a doornail. Alexander Turney Stewart died on April 10, 1876, at seventy-two years of age in his palatial home, dubbed the “Marble Mansion,” located on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Thirty-fourth Street, in the heart of New York City. At the time of his death, Stewart was one of the wealthiest men in America. He left behind a fortune worth approximately forty million dollars. His real estate holdings in New York alone were assessed around four million dollars but were more likely to bring in more than ten million dollars.

James G. Bennett, New York Herald, 1846 When we visited the store … we found a line of carriages drawn up in front reaching from Chambers to Reade streets. Crowds of fashionable people were passing in and out, and all were warm in their expressions of gratifications of all the beautiful and tasteful arrangements and architecture of this whole building. T. Stewart & Co. has lately been enlarged, and it is now probably the most spacious and the handsomest store of the kind in the world. With its dimensions thus extended, it is 175 feet deep and 165 feet wide.

Box 480, Guilford, CT 06437. Lyons Press is an imprint of Globe Pequot Press. Text design: Sheryl Kober Layout artist: Justin Marciano Project editor: Kristen Mellitt Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available on file. ISBN 978-0-7627-7812-6 Printed in the United States of America E-ISBN 978-0-7627-8513-1 This book is dedicated to my mother and father. TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION Bones of Contention 1. COUNTER CULTURE In which Alexander Turney Stewart, New York City’s “Merchant Prince of Manhattan,” dies, leaving his widow, Cornelia, a forty-million-dollar fortune and naming Judge Henry Hilton as the executor of his estate.

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