Additional articles about this case are available in the following Chronicling American Newspapers in the the New-York daily tribune., February 23, 1854, Page 7, Image 7 and the Nashville union and American., April 01, 1854, Image 2.
The courtroom was full of curious onlookers on February 15th but they did not get to observe Cordelia's testimony as she was too ill to testify. The case was postponed until February 22nd.[v]
Cordelia's testimony on February 22nd matched the affidavit that had been published[vi]and the case was scheduled to continue on March 2, 1854 for the cross examination. On Mar 2nd, the courtroom was again full with curious onlookers, but neither Cordelia Grant, her counsel, nor Mr Shackford appeared.[vii] Two hours after the scheduled start time, Judge Stuart stated that Cornelia Grant, the complainant was not present, nor in his control. He inferred that she had been convinced to not appear in court after being influenced by Mr Shackford and one of his attorneys, Mr Young. The judge did exonerate Mr Shackford's other attorney ex-Recorder Tallmadge from any suspicions in the disappearance.
On March 9th, it was reported that the case was again postponed until March 22nd. Rumors appeared in newspapers that Cordelia was drowned[viii]followed by articles containing a copy of a letter Cordelia sent to the judge on March 10, 1854 stating she had voluntarily withdrawn from the state and didn't intend to renew her criminal prosecution against Mr Shackford. The letter went on to state that she would not return because "of fear of falling under the influence of others, who have deceived and misled her in this most unfortunate affair"[ix]
On March 23, 1854, it was reported that Judge Stuart was dismissing the case and releasing the prisoners after using his best efforts and every means within his power to find Miss Grant. He reiterated his belief that she had been paid to leave the city by those accused before being subjected to cross-examination. [x]
Newspapers also reported allegations that Cornelia had stated that she also believed she would become the wife of George R Shackford, that he was planning to desert her and she was pursuing redress through the criminal suit.[xi]. Articles also reported that she also had initiated a civil suit against George R Shackford, for breach of promise of marriage, "with damages set at $35,000"[xii]
GEORGE R SHACKFORD (????-1871)
George R Shackford, the son of John E Shackford and Jane S Smallcorn, the 4th great grandson of WILLIAM SHACKFORD (John E (6), John (5), John Josiah (4), Paul(3), John (2), and WILLIAM (1)) was born in New Hampshire or St Louis and lived in St Louis before moving back to the Northeastern United States.
In March of 1837, George's father, John, who had been working for the Senate as the Sergeant-At Arms and Doorkeeper in the District of Columbia took a leave of absence and returned to his home in St Louis.[xiii] In June of that year, John wrote a will mentioning that he has been in infirm health for several years[xiv]and in August John died.[xv] In accordance with the will, John's wife, Jane's took the family to Portsmouth, New Hampshire to live with John's mother, Amelia Shackford at 55 Daniel, corner of Mulberry, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.[xvi] It took about five years to sort out the details of John's large estate which included stocks and bonds from multiple states and was valued at $172,100[xvii](about $5M in today's dollars). John left each of his children including George $10,000 ($249,000 in today's dollars) and appointed Jane, William M (John's brother) and George trustees of a $99,000 trust account which was to pay an income to each of his children [xviii][xix].
On May 14, 1841, George married Margaret E Robinson in Brentwood, New Hampshire.[xx] She died in New York four years later on Jan 23, 1845[xxi][xxii]The newspaper obituaries did not mention the cause of death, only stating that she was 23 years old. In May of that year, George went before the court to obtain guardianship for their young child David R Shackford[xxiii]. Tragedy struck again in 1848, when this son disappeared from the ship Lemuel Dyer while son and father were traveling from Portland to New Orleans. Newspapers state that George R Shackford, woke up at 3 am, went for a walk on the deck and returned to his room to find his berth empty and his son
gone. Because the son could not be found, it was assumed he fell out a cabin window.[xxiv] (The child is referred to as Daniel in the newspaper account but David in the guardianship case)
George's name appears in the multitude of 1854 newspaper describing the Restell case, and in a letter to the editor in February 1854 clarifying that he was not interested in a Woolhouse on Pearl Street.[xxv] George is also listed in the 1860 Morrisania, Westchester, New York census with no occupation, real estate valued at $20,000 and personal items valued at $1,000. He is not found in the 1870 census even at the home of the family to whom he left a large bequest in his will.
In 1871, George's name appeared again in newspapers around the United States sensationalizing his fall from the top of a load of hay that resulted in a broken neck and paralysis.[xxvi] One article was titled "A Living Head on a Dead Body" and stated that he was able to describe his feelings in his "awful condition"[xxvii] Local newspapers mention that he was "largely known and respected in this vicinity.[xxviii] After the accident and before his death, George updated his last will and testament leaving $1,000 to Miss Ada Crooks who was 20 yrs old, $250 to her mother Margaret Crooks and $250 to her 17 year old sister, Mary Crooks. He left a watch to a friend, $1,000 to his brother in law Nathan Ranney, $1,000 to his brother-in-law J T Tucker, a watch to his sister Ann Tucker and $500 to his uncle William M Shackford and split the remainder of his estate between his three sisters, Amelia, Ann, and Cornelia[xxix]. His will appointed his sister Ann Deborah Tucker and her husband Joshua Thomas Tucker as executors. Both Ann and Joshua renounced the executorship for "divers good cause"[xxx]. George's death certificate listed his occupation as "gentleman", an occupation often describing upon one's wealth.
Note: There were a few other George Shackford's living in the New England area in 1854 when the articles about this trial were published. I can only imagine what their lives were like during this time.
[i] The New York Times February 14, 1854
[ii] The New York Times February 14, 1854
[iii] The New York Times February 14, 1854
[iv] New-York daily tribune., February 14, 1854, Page 7, Image 7
[v] The New York Times, February 16, 1854
[vi]New York daily tribune., February 23, 1854, Page 7, Image 7
[vii] New York Times, March 3, 1854
[viii][viii] Daily Free Democrat March 22, 1854 p. 3
[ix] New York Daily Times March 24, 1854, page 8
[x] New York Times, March 23, 1854
[xi] The New York Times February 14, 1854
[xii] New York Times, February 23, 1854
[xiii] Journal of the Senate of the United States of America, 1789-1873, MONDAY, March 6, 1837
[xiv] New Hampshire County Probate Estate Files, Rockingham, Case 13495, www.familysearch.org, Image 780-781)
[xv] Missouri Argus. April 12, 1839, Page 1, Column 1
[xvi] New Hampshire County Probate Estate Files, Rockingham, Case 13495, www.familysearch.org, Image 780-781
[xvii] New Hampshire, County Probate Estate Files, 1769-1936 Rockingham Case no 13449-13514 1837-1838; www.familysearch.org, New Hampshire, County Probate Estate Files, 1769-1936 Rockingham Case no 13449-13514 1837-1838, Image 798
[xviii] Daily Missouri Republican, Friday, July 2, 1841
[xix] Daily Missouri Republican, Thursday, November 18, 1841
[xx] New Hampshire Marriage Records 1637-1947." Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2011. “New Hampshire Statewide Marriage Records 1637-1947,” database, FamilySearch, 2009. New Hampshire Bureau of Vital Records. “Marriage Records.”New Hampshire Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics,
[xxi] Deaths from the New York Evening Post, 1801-1890, www.newenglandancestors.org
[xxii] New-Hampshire Gazette, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Tuesday, January 28, 1845
[xxiii] New Hampshire, Country Probate Estate Files, 1769-1936, Rockingham Case; www.familysearch.com, no 14896-14955 1845, Image 563
[xxiv] Troy Daily Whig, Thursday Morning, April 13, have copy of paper from http://fultonhistory.com/Newspaper --year is not obvious but heading of referral to article says 1848
[xxv] New York Daily Times (New York, New York, Feb 17, 1854
[xxvi] New Philadelphia Ohio Democrat May 19, 1871, p 2, Lincoln County herald (Troy, Mo), April 20, 1871, p. 1; e-paper, The State Historical Society of Missouri
[xxvii] Port Jervis Evening Gazette (Port Jervis, NY) Tuesday April 18, 1871, page 1 of 12
[xxviii] New Philadelphia Ohio Democrat May 19, 1871, p 2, Lincoln County Herald (Troy, Mo), April 20, 1871, p. 1; e-paper, The State Historical Society of Missouri
[xxix] New Jersey, Probate Records, 1678-1980. Images Family Search://family search.org, Page 617; www.familysearch.org, New Jersey, Probate Records, 1678-1980; www.familysearch.org, Passaic, Wills 1865-1874 vol C-D, Image 366
[xxx] New Jersey, Probate Records, 1678-1980. Images Family Search://family search.org, Page 617; www.familysearch.org, New Jersey, Probate Records, 1678-1980; www.familysearch.org, Passaic, Wills
1865-1874 vol C-D, Image 366