Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Booknotes: Justice and Vengeance

New Arrival:
Justice and Vengeance: Scandal, Honor, and Murder in 1872 Virginia
by Arwen Bicknell (Open Books, 2016).

I can't say that I've ever heard of the trial of Lucien N. Fewell for the murder of James F. Clark, but it seem to have garnered quite a bit of national interest at the time judging from the number of newspaper articles I found about it online. Fewell shot Clark for seducing Fewell's sister. Among the actors in the trial story, there is a Civil War connection. Confederate general and ex-governor Henry Wise worked for the prosecution and former generals Eppa Hunton and William Payne were part of the defense team.

From the description: "​In Justice and Vengeance, Arwen Bicknell offers the first full account of the events leading up to the shooting of James Clark by Lucien Fewell and the sensational, headline-grabbing murder trial that followed. Set against the backdrop of Reconstruction, tumultuous Virginia politics, and the presidential election of 1872 featuring Ulysses Grant, Horace Greeley, and protofeminist Victoria Woodhull, the first female presidential candidate, Bicknell paints a vivid picture of the evolving South..."

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