Last week we discussed an unusual medallic item depicting a public execution in Houston, TX. -Editor
Paul Bosco writes:
I would not class this as a fob, which would be a piece thru which one could run a leather watch strap. Based on my decades of experience with
exonumia, I think it is unlikely the piece is a non-contemporary concoction.
The linked article mentions that the presenter's brother was a watchmaker. Presumably he could have made this multi-piece medal. This further
supports the authenticity of the piece. A link to the eBay listing, and a report of the price realized, would have been nice. I found this:
It brought $760 and was listed in two categories of Historical Memorabilia (Police & Criminals). I would have have tried listing under
Criminals and Numismatic Medals. On PicClick it says there were 152 page views --not a lot, in my opinion. I wonder how many E-Sylum readers
would have bid on it.
Thanks - the original article didn't reference the eBay item, and I was unable to locate the listing in time for publishing Sunday night.
It's an odd piece even beyond its ghastly topic; part medal, part ornament, like a watch fob, but not quite. -Editor
John Byars writes:
The Henry McGee medal was of interest to me as I worked for the Houston Police Department for 37 years. One of my buddies there – Nelson Zock -
has written a book, putting together stories from research in the old newspapers, on all the Houston officers killed in the line of duty. I thought
you might like to read the story he put together on officer James Fenn.
The account is too lengthy to publish here, but here's a short excerpt. It goes into great detail on the events the day of the execution,
including McGee's discussions with family members and the crowd assembled on the streets. -Editor
On Saturday night, March 14, 1891, Houston Police Officer James E. Fenn was on duty, assigned to a Negro dance hall commonly known as the “Bill
Davis dive.” While there, he observed an individual known to him and also known to usually carry a pistol. He approached this man and upon doing so,
was shot. A key witness, Joe Walker, related the following:
“I was standing behind one of the violinists when Officer Fenn came over to me and said, ‘Hello, Joe, I thought you had gone home.’ I told him, ‘I
thought I would stay a while longer.’ Officer Fenn saw a man he thought had a pistol and started for him. When he got close the man started to shoot.
I did not notice the man closely, but I think he is a small man and wore a black hat. I afterward saw a man looking like him running towards the
International and Great Northern bridge in the direction of the Fifth Ward.”
It was learned that Henry McGee was a waiter of recent employment at both the Capitol Hotel and Grand Central Hotel in the downtown area. He was
described as being a Negro male, about five feet, six inches tall, slight build, small moustache, dark complexion, lame in the left leg from
rheumatism, and walks with difficulty. His clothing at the time was a small, stiff black hat, black pantaloons, dark sack coat, white shirt with a
handkerchief tied around his neck. He fled with what was believed to be the murder weapon, a .44-caliber Bulldog pistol.
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
HENRY MCGEE HANGING MEDAL (https://www.coinbooks.org/v22/esylum_v22n16a31.html)
Wayne Homren, Editor
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.
To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor
at this address: email@example.com
To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 1998 - 2012 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.
NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster