Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the many facets of Fool Killer lore. FOR PART ONE, INCLUDING THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT, CLICK HERE
PART THIRTY-FIVE: Taking a look at James Larkin Pearson’s version of the Fool Killer and the mythic figure’s targets in the May of 1910 Fool-Killer four-pager. (There was no April issue that year.)
*** Democrat Duncan Brown Cooper and his son Robin. Cooper, who had served in the Confederate States Army during the Civil War, shot Edward W Carmack to death on the streets of Nashville over editorials Carmack had written criticizing Cooper’s preferred politician – Democrat Governor Malcolm R Patterson.
So even THEN Democrats apparently grew violent with people who disagreed with their political opinions. Robin was granted a second trial and released. Duncan Brown Cooper was found guilty of 2nd Degree Murder … Then pardoned by Democrat Governor Patterson. Some things never change!
*** People who opposed the movement to grant women the vote.
*** Pope Pius X. Pearson and his Fool Killer – like the folks at the iconic humor magazine Puck – adored ex-President Theodore Roosevelt and sided with him in the public feud between TR and Pope Pius X over the lack of respect the Pope felt Roosevelt had paid him. Luckily for Pius X the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea kept him safe from the Fool Killer’s wrath.
*** In a fanciful and poignant vignette featuring a ghost he targeted unappreciative family members who allowed the graves of their forebears to become overgrown and neglected.
*** The political bosses of Albany, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia for their notorious corruption.
*** Cotton millionaire Jim Patten for airily proclaiming that the loss of a million dollars over the past year of a down cotton market was no worse for him than the loss of a dime would be to working class people.
*** Mary Baker Eddy, founder of the Church of Christ Scientist (NOT the same religion as the later Scientology Church). Pearson and his Fool Killer lumped Eddy in with other religious con artists. (He could not know Eddy would die in December of this same year.)
*** Mexicans who attended bullfights.
*** People who danced. Oddly enough, for someone who often attacked assorted religious figures, Pearson was a religious zealot himself and saw dancing as a sin.
*** Attorney Jim Beck, who used to lead the public movement against the Trusts, but who now had sold out and begun accepting lucrative work DEFENDING the Trusts in court.
*** Chicagoans who launched a peculiar campaign to ban bill-boards.
*** People who smoked, calling them “yellow fingered, foul mouthed brainless bipeds.”
***William Jennings Bryan for still pushing the same tired lines, even though Pearson and his Fool Killer agreed with many of Bryan’s sentiments.
*** Women foolish enough to wear whatever ridiculous hats that the fashionistas of Paris unleashed on the world each season.
*** Texans like Charles Stern who were hyping bread made from cottonseed flour as the next big thing.
As I always say, it’s fascinating to read this old publication and its odd mix of viewpoints – even the ones you disagree with.
I WILL EXAMINE MORE FOOL KILLER LORE SOON. KEEP CHECKING BACK FOR UPDATES.
FOR MY LOOK AT JOE MAGARAC, THE STEEL MILL VERSION OF JOHN HENRY AND PAUL BUNYAN, CLICK HERE
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