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Reprobates Renegades Rebels

Detail. Georges de La Tour, The Fortune Teller. Click to see the entire painting at Wikipedia.

Detail. Georges de La Tour, The Fortune Teller. Click to see the entire painting at Wikipedia.

databaseflagBenjamin Tuttle (1629-1676) murdered his sister Sarah with an axe.  The Tuttle family was socially prominent, but plagued by mental illness and violence. See the Tuttle family wikipage.

databaseflagCarlo Lippi (1766-1826) killed a political rival outside of the village of Stella Cilento in southern Italy. The description of the crime is from a family history written by Luigi Alfonso Lippi. The crime did take place, but the circumstances are likely not quite so dramatic, or so florid as the translation from Italian would indicate:

Carlo rendered himself notorious through his killing of the signore of Stella Antonio Cesare Ventimiglia. The said incident occurred during the rule of Giuseppe Buonaparte1The older brother of the more ambitious Napoleon Bonaparte, you can read about his short-lived career as King of Naples at Wikipedia.  over the kingdom of Naples [about 1807], inasmuch as it is said that as he was about to deliver the fatal shot he exclaimed “Signore, Giuseppe Buonaparte sends you this!” Although this killing occurred in the presence of others, the said Carlo received no punishment from the law, perhaps largely due to the political powers in control at the time, and also perhaps due to the assistance received from the public.

databaseflagEvert Pels immigrated to New Amsterdam as a brewer, and expanded in entrepreneurial fashion to become a landlord, mill owner, ship master, major player in the fur trade, bully and troublemaker.  He was summoned before the court multiple times in late 1648 for what seems to have been an escalating series of thefts and beatings.

He was ordered to pay  Claes Tyssen, for the great damage and loss he incurred when Pels beat him, and to pay Tyssen for the field of peas that Pels mowed. Added to this there was a fine for his wife’s abusive language when the director of the company served the complaint.  About the same time Pels was brought up on charges for beating Tomes Jansz, specifically hitting him in the head with a piece of wood and drawing blood.  He also absconded with a cow that wasn’t his,  ordered his servant to take a canoe belonging to Thomas Jansz, and failed to pay the fines imposed by the court in the matter of Claes Tyssen and the peas.  His wife again slandered the  director and the other members of the court.  A great deal of money was demanded, and Pels was ordered to pay all court costs. Whether he did and how all of this ended is something I haven’t been able to determine.

databaseflagBenjamin Schoonmacher was  a soldier in the wars fought to appropriate tribal lands and, ironically in the Revolutionary War. He owned slaves, as established by  his  Last Will and Testament:

“I leave to my grandson, Benjamin Schoonmaker, my negro Wiet and my wench Jin. I leave to my wife Janneke the use of one room in the west end of my house, and one cellar; also two bedsteads, with everything belonging thereto, and so much household goods as she has need of, and my negro wench Buta.”

Benjamin and his sons also had a role to play in a large-scale land grab that divested more than one of the Iroquois tribes of their land in Pennsylvania. More on that here.

Notes   [ + ]

1. The older brother of the more ambitious Napoleon Bonaparte, you can read about his short-lived career as King of Naples at Wikipedia.