You may be interested to know that in the 1800s there was a politician named Robert Potter, who, after losing an election bid for the North Carolina House of Commons, challenged the victor to a duel. Failing to bait the winner into a fight, Potter’s supporters subsequently brawled with the victor’s supporters, leaving one dead and several injured. And he won the election the next year!
But wait, it gets better. While later serving in Congress, Potter suspected a Methodist preacher and a cousin of being “too familiar” with his wife, and he kidnapped and… castrated them. (“Potterize” is still used as a slang term for castration in some parts of the country)
Potter subsequently ran a successful House of Commons campaign from prison, but was eventually expelled for cheating at cards — I mean castrate people, yes, but DON’T CHEAT AT CARDS. But Potter was not finished. He moved to Texas, where he was one of the original signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence and was appointed secretary of the Texas Navy. He was finally assassinated in 1842.
THIS IS A TRUE STORY!!
Also, did you also know that George Washington was the subject of a sex scandal? That Ulysses S. Grant was allegedly issued a ticket for driving his horse and buggy too fast?
All of this and much much more (including an indispensable list of American politicians killed in duels) can be found in THE ALMANAC OF POLITICAL CORRUPTION, SCANDALS & DIRTY POLITICS by Kim Long, on sale today!!
Harper’s Magazine recently featured a really fascinating interview with Kim Long in which he talks about the history of American political corruption (it predates the founding of the republic) and some of the better scandals. Definitely check that out.
One thing that strikes me every time I crack open THE ALMANAC OF POLITICAL CORRUPTION is the sheer massiveness of the task of researching the misdeeds and compiling the vast amount of information (and pictures, charts, newspaper articles, etc.) that went into THE ALMANAC OF POLITICAL CORRUPTION. On Thursday we’ll have a guest blog from Kim Long on how he approaches the task of research just in case you are wondering how nonfiction writers do it.
Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy THE ALMANAC OF POLITICAL CORRUPTION, SCANDALS & DIRTY POLITICS!! It’s quite delicious.
Also, I should note that today is also the publication day for friend-of-the-blog John Elder Robison’s LOOK ME IN THE EYE, his memoir of living with Asperger’s Syndrome and Maya Reynolds’ BAD GIRL has been out a few weeks. Check those out as well.