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Murder and Madness – The Myth of the Kentucky Tragedy - Kentucky Scholarship Online
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Murder and Madness: The Myth of the Kentucky Tragedy

Matthew G. Schoenbachler


The “Kentucky Tragedy” was early America's best known true crime story. In 1825, Jereboam O. Beauchamp assassinated Kentucky attorney general Solomon P. Sharp. The murder, trial, conviction, and execution of the killer—as well as the suicide of his wife, Anna Cooke Beauchamp—fascinated Americans. The episode became the basis of dozens of novels and plays composed by some of the country's most esteemed literary talents, among them Edgar Allan Poe and William Gilmore Simms. This book peels away two centuries of myth to provide a more accurate account of the murder. It also reveals how Jereboam a ... More

Keywords: Kentucky Tragedy, Jereboam O. Beauchamp, Solomon P. Sharp, Anna Cooke Beauchamp, Edgar Allan Poe, William Gilmore Simms, murder

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780813125664
Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011 DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813125664.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Matthew G. Schoenbachler, author