In the weeks that followed, the killing resounded throughout the squalid, verminous city that one resident described as the "most miserable place in the world." Stephen L. Hardin's suspenseful and witty narrative reads like a contemporary page-turner, yet all is carefully documented history. He entwines the murder into the story of the sordid city like the strands of a hangman's rope.
It is an astonishing tale peopled by remarkable characters: the one-armed newspaper editor and political candidate who employs the crime to advance his sanctimonious agenda; the Kentucky lawyer who enjoys champagne breakfasts and collecting human skulls; the German immigrant who sees rats gnaw the finger off an infant lying in his cradle; the Alamo widow whose circumstances force her to practice the oldest profession; the sociopathic physician who slaughters an innocent man in a duel; the Methodist minister horrified by the drunken debaucheries of government officials; and the president himself—the Sword of San Jacinto— who during a besotted bacchanal strips to his underwear.
Skillfully conceived and masterfully written, Texian Macabre: A Melancholy Tale of a Hanging in Early Houston will transport readers to a lost time and place.
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Published by State House Press