Joe Goodbody Introduces a Book About a Barracuda: Con-Man Named Parker Hardin French (1826-1878)

, 2023-03-17 18:12:03,


“Kentucky Barracuda: Parker Hardin French” Subtitled: “The Notorious Scoundrel and Delightful Rogue of Antebellum and Civil War America.” The book is a “Catch Me If You Can” historical biography of an infamous rascal of the mid-19th Century, a quirky history featuring a crafty, charismatic, cunning, and charming Machiavellian. It is also a pathologically intriguing profile of a barracuda–con man, crook, hustler, and swindler.

Based on well-documented research the author reveals that: “Parker Hardin French (1826-1878) was infamous in his time and well-known to political leaders, the press, and casual newspaper readers alike. Nonetheless, he was almost lost to history and relegated to a minor footnote. But through the 1850s, the Civil War, and into the 1870’s he contributed far more to period history than previously documented.” Parker H. French was certainly an adventurer and entrepreneur who engaged in elaborate, bold, and ambitious exploits but he was also a magnificent con-man. Those who followed his exploits were variously exasperated, captivated by his audacity and nervy cheek, or humored by his latest escapade. He was judged an incorrigible scoundrel, labeled a chronic megalomaniac, or peddled as a misunderstood victim of his enemies. Many believed him a hero; many just thought him insane.

While working on his genealogy, Joe found that his great-grandfather had been scammed as a member of…

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