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Minnesota's Oldest Murder Mystery: The Case of Edward Phalen: St. Paul's Unsaintly Pioneer Paperback – November 16, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
The case in hand would certainly be classified in contemporary terms as a "cold case." After all, the death in question occurred more than 173 years ago -- the murder of John Hays, a respected soldier at Fort Snelling discharged earlier in 1839 to claim one of the prime early holdings at what would become the heart of downtown St. Paul (from present locations Eagle St. on the west, Minnesota St. on the east, between Kellogg Blvd. and the river, thus including Irvine and Rice Parks, the Xcel Center site and Upper Landing). That claim and the adjacent one were actually filed by Edward Phelan, using Hays' money, who had been discharged in 1838 and was therefore eligible to file land claims.
Phelan was described as an "immoral, cruel, revengeful and unscrupulous ruffian who boasted that he had led a lawless and criminal life"; in the course of Brueggemann's narrative we also see him as sly and clever, and quick-thinking in the face of many challenges to his claims of innocence. Hays, at least a dozen years older, was known as honest, courteous and clever, and found himself in a partnership with Phelan that was certainly unlikely to last. That it ended with his death provides Brueggemann with his historical and detection tasks.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There is a lot of great historical detail here about the St. Paul area and in particular, about St. Paul's founders and how they interacted with each other and with the native... Read morePublished 15 months ago by LindaBee