Maritime Works from the Ten Pound Island Book Co.
Now here's the story of "Wicked Ned," or the best we can make of it. Item 79 is a collection of journals and material from David E. Marshall of Milford, Connecticut, from the 1840s-1860s. He did a lot of traveling, kept journals of his travels, wrote lengthy as well as shorter poems, drew 200 watercolor and ink drawings, and wrote some material under his alter ego, Ned Cleaveland, or "Wicked Ned." Ned evidently did the wicked things Marshall did not wish to take credit for, or perhaps things that Marshall dreamed of doing but could not. Ten Pound Island notes Marshall was a "literate, drunkard, American seaman," and "a complex and troubled individual." He also was a talented writer and artist. The archive is priced at $70,000.
If Marshall telling some of his tales in poetry seems odd today, here is a poetical practice that seems still stranger now. Item 15 is a broadside headed, Composed in Memory of John True Gordon and Louis H.F. Wagner. They were not lamented. Gordon murdered his brother, wife and child, Wagner two women. They were properly hung at Thomaston, Maine, on June 25, 1875. The broadside recounts these crimes in 24-line poems. For Wagner it says, "On the Isle of Shoals far out to sea / He went to kill these women - three / But one escaped to tell the tale / Which many a heart doth now bewail." $750.
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