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Richard Spottiswoode Blennerhassett
Birth: 1810, Ireland
Death: 1857

Literary Figure. He was a distinguished criminal lawyer. He married a possible great-granddaughter of Jean Jacques Rousseau, and came to St. Louis in 1841. In 1849 he prosecuted a murder case in which John Wise shot, pistol-whipped and stabbed Thomas Hart in full view of more than a dozen witnesses. Hart and Wise's wife were having an affair and it was an uncomplicated case, but much interest was generated because Blennerhassett had the lovers' passionate and explicit letters read into the court record. Samuel Clemens was serving his printer apprenticeship at the Missouri Courier which reported on the trial. The letters must have had a deep impact on Clemens because years later he would use the name "Blennerhassett" as an emotional indicator for sexuality and violence. In "Villagers" Twain states that Hannibal has one professed "unbeliever," whom he called by the name of Blennerhassett; "a young Kentucky lawyer and a fascinating cuss." When the Clemons family lived in Elmira, New York at Quarry Farm, one of his daughters said that her father even named all the pet red squirrels "Blennerhassett." (bio by: Connie Nisinger) 
Family links: 
  Therese Martina Byron Blennerhassett (1799 - 1886)*
*Calculated relationship
Bellefontaine Cemetery
Saint Louis
St. Louis City
Missouri, USA
Plot: Block 124/125, Lot 705
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Connie Nisinger
Record added: Mar 09, 2003
Find A Grave Memorial# 7247188
Richard Spottiswoode Blennerhassett
Added by: Connie Nisinger
Richard Spottiswoode Blennerhassett
Added by: Connie Nisinger
Richard Spottiswoode Blennerhassett
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Added by: Connie Nisinger
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 Added: Feb. 2, 2011

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