Bag of Bones: The Sensational Grave Robbery Of The Merchant Prince Of Manhattan

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9780762778126: Bag of Bones: The Sensational Grave Robbery Of The Merchant Prince Of Manhattan

From the renowned chronicler of law-and-order in Gilded Age New York City, the sensational grave robbery of A. T. Stewart, “The Merchant Prince of Manhattan,” one of the wealthiest men in American history

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From the Back Cover:

Praise for J. North Conway’s previous books on Crime in Gilded Age New York City King of Heists: The Sensational Bank Robbery of 1878 That Shocked America

“Engrossing. . . . Conway skillfully paints a backdrop of fierce and flamboyant personalities who paraded across the Gilded Age, from Brooklyn Bridge engineer John Roebling to Marm Mandelbaum, ‘queen of the criminals.’ . . . [H]e capably recounts his story against a background of glitter and greed.”—Publishers Weekly
“A page-turning account of one of the most brazen crimes of our time.” —Reader’s Digest
“Conway, a college prof and ex-newspaper man, covers this ancient tale in a way that makes it feel like a hot news story.”—New York Post King of Heists has been optioned for film adaptation by Black Bear Pictures and The Combine, with Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner attached to star.   The Big Policeman: The Rise and Fall of Thomas Byrnes, America’s First, Most Ruthless, and Greatest Detective
“Shows us what it took to bring some degree of order and safety to New York City’s streets in the Gilded Age.” —California Literary Review
“A fascinating, fast-moving account of one of the most polarizing and influential figures of 19th-century New York. Conway brings ‘the big policeman’ to life.” —Daniel Stashower, author of The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Invention of Murder
 “A treasure trove of information not only on larger-than-life pioneering detective Thomas Byrnes but also on law-and-order in wide-open nineteenth-century Manhattan.” —David Pietrusza, author of Rothstein: The Life, Times, and Murder of the Criminal Genius Who Fixed the 1919 World Series

From the Inside Flap:

In 1878, two years after the death of multi-millionaire A. T. Stewart, his body was stolen from St. Mark’s Churchyard. The ghoulish crime, the bumbling chase for the culprits, the years-long ransom negotiations, and the demise of the Stewart retail empire fed a media frenzy. When his widow eventually exchanged $20,000 for a burlap bag of bones on a country road, not everyone was convinced that “The Merchant Prince of Manhattan” was really home.
A. T. Stewart had been a pioneer of the department store business, a man who rose from the flood of Irish immigration to a place alongside names like Astor, Vanderbilt, and Rockefeller. Treated as the black sheep of New York’s affluent Gilded Age society, the Stewarts relied heavily on their friend and confidante, the conniving Judge Henry Hilton, for entrée into elite social circles. As author J. North Conway details the futile tactics used by police to identify the grave robbers, he also unveils the villainy of Judge Hilton, who not only interfered in the case repeatedly but also dismantled a once-great business empire piece by piece . . . all the while profiting quite nicely. By the end of this fascinating slice of history, one is left to wonder who displayed the greater evil: the grave robbers or Judge
Henry Hilton.
Completing J. North Conway’s widely acclaimed trilogy of Gilded Age New York City Crime—following King of Heists and The Big PolicemanBag of Bones combines the era’s affluence, decadence, and corruption with a gruesome deed fit for the tabloids of today.

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