Kentucky Tragedy

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Celebrated crime known also as the Beauchamp case. Ann Cook, after having been seduced by Colonel Solomon P. Sharp, solicitor-general of Kentucky, married an attorney, Jeroboam O. Beauchamp (1824), making him swear to Kill Sharp. Several times challenged, Sharp refused to fight, and Beauchamp's murder plans were equally unsuccessful. Finally Beauchamp, in disguise, stabbed Sharp to death (Nov. 5, 1825). He pleaded not guilty after his arrest, but was convicted after a long trial marked by corruption on both sides. Beauchamp was refused a pardon by the governor, and the night before the execution, Ann joined him in his cell, where both took laudanum. When this did not kill them, they stabbed themselves. Ann died, but Beauchamp was hanged. The affair has been written about in Beauchamp's Confession (1826), containing poems by Ann, in plays by Chivers and Charlotte Barnes, R. P. Warren's World Enough and Time, and Poe's Politian, Hoffman's Greyslaer, and Simms's Beauchampe.

Subjects: Literature.

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