Strange Connections: James Taylor, The Game Clue, Opium, and Presidential Assassination?

It all starts with salmonella and a good game of Clue

Around August 12th, 1849 in Meadville, Pennsylvania on a northern tour of the country President Zachary Taylor would suffer from typhoid for 3 days and recover. In April 1850 he would dine with William H. Prescott who he tried to convince to write a history of the Mexican-War. Out of spite Prescott would write the Conquest of Mexico…about Cortez and his friends instead.

I wonder about Prescott. He had dined with Polk before he died. Polk had been sick afterward, but survived. Prescott would be a great spy. He had access to John Quincy Adams, James Polk, Arthur Wellington, Prince Albert, and Zachary Taylor. Prince Albert would die of typhoid as well. Two years after Prescott’s death though. Taylor would become sick 3 months after meeting Prescott, I believe typhoid incubates for a week or two? Can it lay dormant longer? Zachary Taylor would be the second of the only two Whig candidates who were elected president, and the second to die early in their term of Typhoid. The first was William Harrison who died within a month of his inauguration, and under 2 months of his son’s death.

Daniel Webster a character in Sub Rosa.

Daniel Webster. His son marries Stephen White’s daughter and his brother-in-law marries the other daughter. Webster prosecuted innocent men for Stephen White to get away with murdering his uncle. The two would go on to assassinate President Harrison.

Now Stephen White was the power behind Daniel Webster who was 1 of 3 of the most powerful senators in the country. Webster was the prosecutor in the Joseph White murder, the uncle of Stephen. Stephen got away with the murder and then engineered the assassination of William Harrison with Daniel Webster and Henry Clay. The Joseph White murder is the basis of the Parker Brother’s choice to purchase the American rights to the English game Cluedo and rename it Clue. What spur this? A grand uncle of the Parker Brothers was the judge in the murder case who dies the night before the trial started.

Now as Prescott was leaving Boston for Washington to dine with Taylor the famous Webster-Parkman trial was happening. Lemuel Shaw was the State Superior Court Justice on the case. He was the man Webster appointed to the position of Chief Justice after he possibly murdered Chief Justice Parker.  Parker previously presided over a hung jury libel case Webster brought against someone who claimed he was a traitor during the Hartford Convention. Since Shaw heard the case for Selman and Chase who were acquitted in the White murder previously he could not hear the murder case against the  Knapps. He was also married to a Knapp. So it proved a horrible choice for Webster to make. Also the Knapp’s attorney was the same defense attorney from the libel case.

Parkman Webster Murder illustration

Now the suspect in the John Parkman murder was John White Webster. Daniel Webster was asked to prosecute the case. Did Daniel Webster refuse the case because to many memories of the Captain Joseph White murder case in Salem? The suspect had White and Webster in his name. The judge, Lemuel Shaw, was his first choice for the White murder, after the Parker murder that was.

Parker. Parkman? It does sound eerily familiar. Was Webster hearing the tell tail heart? Especially if he was sending his youthful friend to poison a president. Prescott’s father was another traitor during the Hartford Convention with Daniel Webster. This would be the first assassination after the mysterious death of Stephen White after an accidental poisoning,  second if you include Polk who had left office already. Stephen White was behind the assassination of Harrison with Webster and Clay.

Now Prescott had just spent time with Parkman’s son at the time of the murder. Also Prescott’s aunt was married to John White Webster. Parkman and John White Webster were teachers at Harvard.

Parkman helped create the McLean Asylum which is now in Belmont, MA. He would also testify at the Abraham Prescott murder which tried using sleepwalker as a defense in the murder. He was testifying that insanity can be genetically passed along, since Abraham Prescott close family were all nuts. It was Daniel Webster’s friend Rufus Choate who first successfully used sleepwalking as a defense in American history in 1846. Choate convinced a jury that the accused, Albert Tirrell, did not cut the throat of his lover, or, if he did so, he did it while sleepwalking, under the ‘ insanity of sleep’.

John White Webster had murdered Parkman and dismantled his corpse and tried burning him in the Harvard’s incinerator.

Trivia. Lemuel Shaw’s daughter Elizabeth marries Herman Melville. He presided over Cobb Vs Cobb in which Brigham Young was having affair with Augusta Adams and Henry Adams wins a divorce. Brigham Young will be at Nathaniel Felt’s house in Salem when he hears news of Joseph Smith’s death. Felt was married to John Quincy Adam’s cousin. Shaw was married to Elizabeth Knapp who was the daughter of Josiah Knapp. George Parkman’s sister married Robert Gould Shaw, grandfather of 54th regiment Robert Gould Shaw (the general Matthew Broderick played in Glory). Also Nathaniel Russell Sturgis was married to Susannah Parkman. Maybe they all bought to much opium from Sturgis.

Sturgis was in the employment of Thomas Perkins’ opium empire which made his Forbes nephews a fortune andthe drug empire was  later sold to the Russells, the family who founded the Skull & Bones.

McLean Asylum later would house Ray Charles, James Taylor, and John Nash. Ray Charles and James Taylor would be addicts of a form of opium…

I bet you had no clue…

For more information on tunnels in Salem and how the city shaped American history read Sub Rosa and Salem Secret Underground: The HIstory of the Tunnels in the City. Available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, and anywhere books are sold! Also eBooks available at www.salemhousepress.com. Also take the Salem Smugglers’ Tour when in Salem MA to learn this all first hand from the author.
Sub Rosa Book CoverSSU2

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