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William Preston Taulbee's murder in 1890

William Preston Taulbee's murder in 1890

Posted: 1168467096000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Taulbee, Hinds, Burton
I am the great granddaughter of Congressman Taulbee. NPR has contacted me about doing a story on his murder in the Capitol in 1890. The reporter has promised me that it is not going to be one of the ghost-in-the-capitol stories that ABC news did every Hallowe'en, nor is its focus going to be gossip about the so-called "Patent Office Scandal." If anyone has copies of the articles in the Washington, DC Evening Sun or the Louisville Times that Kincaid published, I would like to have a copy. I am also interested in any other documents pertaining to the murder.
Virginia Hinds Burton

Re: William Preston Taulbee's murder in 1890

Posted: 1168781229000
Classification: Query
Here's the article I found in my mother's files. I have transcribed it line for line so it's long and skinny!


Friday, March 7, 1890


After Two Hours of Cool Delibera-
tion Chas. E. Kincaid Attempts
to Murder Hon. W. P. Taulbee


Mr. Taulbee Receives a 38 Calibre
Pistol Ball Near the Eye, In-
flicting a Dangerous

Kincaid Arrested and Locked Up.

The Trouble Arises Over the
Patent Office Scandal

Hatched Up By Kincaid and Telegraphed
to the Louisville Times a Year
or More Since

Attitude of Louisville Papers--Taulbee’s
Condition, Etc.

Dr. J. B. Taulbee of this city re-
ceived a telegram last Friday night
from Washington City stating that
his brother, Hon. W. P. Taulbee, ex-
member of Congress from this district,
had been shot and dangerously, if not
fatally wounded by Chas. E. Kincaid,
the Washington correspondent of the
Louisville Times. He and Jimmy
Taulbee (eldest son of Hon. W. P.
Taulbee) who is attending Prof. M
J. Goodwin’s school here, at once pre-
pared to start for Washington City
where the shooting occurred, on the
evening express. Before the train ar-
rived he received another telegram
saying “come at once, he’s dangerous-
ly shot.” They left on the express
for Washington and after their de-
parture, about 10 p. m., another tele-
gram came which said he was resting
easy. The facts of the shooting as we
have been able to gather them are as
(missing text)
hatched up that “Patent office scan-
dal” with which our readers are fa-
miliar, and wired it to the Louisville
Times, charging Mr. Taulbee with be-
ing too intimate with a young lady em-
ployee in the Patent office. The Pat-
ent office took no stock in the story
and only one paper in Washington
City noticed it at all.
We read a letter from Hon. Geo.
M. thomas soon after the slanderous
publication in the Times, in which he
said he had taken the pains to inquire
into the matter and that there was
nothing in it. It was a funnel-shaped
scandal with the little end in Wash-
ington and the being end in the Louis-
ville Times office. Be that as it may,
we only refer to it as being the origin
of a grievance which Mr. Taulbee held
against Kincaid, and which Kincaid
had aggravated by the publication of
frequent little mean, dirty flings at
Mr. Taulbee, in the Times, up to the
difficulty in which the jackal spilt the
lion’s blood
Shortly after noon Friday Mr.
Taulbee and Kincaid met at the east
door of the hall of the House of Rep-
resentatives and some words passed
between them, (Mr. Taulbee having
begun it) relative to Kincaid’s shabby
treatment of the ex-Congressman. The
latter unable to restrain his temper,
having been stung by that little jour-
nalistic nit-fly for two years, pulled
Kincaid’s ears and went in doors, to
the Capitol restaurant. Kincaid went
away and in about two hours returned
armed with a 38 calibre pistol, and
meeting Mr. Taulbee on the stairway
leading to the basement, shot him down
without warning. The bullet entered
the left cheek near the eye. Mr.
Taulbee was taken to the hospital and
Kincaid to jail.
The time that elapsed between the
ear pulling and the shooting (about
two hours) argues coolness and delib-
eration on the part of Kincaid, and if
the shooting was not with malice and
murderous intent, it belies every cir-
cumstance attending it. Like the
copper-head snake he struck without
warning, being afraid to disclose his
hellish purpose. The rattle-snake,
loathsome and hideous as it is, with
its belly in the dust and unseen by the
passer-by, gives warning of it intend
ed attack and has more regard for
humanity than this journalistic rep-
tile who has attempted to destroy both
the character and life of Hon. W. P.
As might have been expected, the
Courier-Journal and its evening edi-
tion, the Times, are solid for Kincaid,
he being the Washington correspond-
ent of the latter paper, and the Post
just sits on the fence and takes a
whack at creation. (Its?) “A Trifle
Gossipy” edition praises Kincaid’s bra-
very and intimates that he is a man
of undoubted courage--a dangerous
man we take it. He says he went to
school with him at Danville and saw
him “in many trying circumstances,”
and then he tells about a “little street
fight” he saw him have with another
school-boy, in which he, Kincaid, took
a stick from his antagonist and hit
him on the head. This was indeed
a “trying circumstance.”
The “Post Gossiper” jumps on “O.
O. S.,” the Courier-Journal’s Wash-
ington correspondent with both feet
and gives him (?) for again obtrud-
ing his personality upon a long-suffer-
ing public. He says:
“O. O. S. has so long and so thor-
oughly nauseated the public in this
section that each recurring efferve-
scence of conceit is received without
surprise. It is generally conceded
that whenever there is a chance for
him to obtrude his personality upon
the public, he will do so. It does not
need any great occasion for O. O. S.
to put his conceit on tap, neither does
it matter to him how little other peo-
ple may care for his opinion. Since
the time that he telegraphed the glad
assurance that he ‘had seen Grover
Cleveland and thought he would do’
up to the present moment the people
of this region have read A. S. S. in-
stead of O. S., S. as the signature to
the Courier Journal’s Washington
O. S. S., or perhaps more properly
A. S. S., shows the narrow, contract-
ed, one-sided stand he takes in the
matter very plainly in his letter to
Saturday’s Courier-Journal. Read
some extracts from it:
“I deem it a clear case of self-defense.”
He deems it a clear case of self-de
fense in the face of the fact that after
two hours deliberation, Kincaid (con-)
cluded to murder Mr. Taulbee, and
shot him without a word of warning.
“Your correspondent may likely be called
to the stand as an important witness (??)
(missing text)
portant witness for the defense.
“The entire newspaper fraternity is on his
(Kincaid’s) side.”
Then how can we rely upon any
report they may give?
“My relations with Mr. Kincaid have been
that of a brother. He is my friend and co-
laborer, and I propose to stand by him in
his misfortune in any way necessary.”
He proposes to help him in “any
way necessary,” and that means fair
or foul.
“Your correspondent engaged Mr. Morris
Smith, a bright and well-known Washington
criminal lawyer, to defend him, and in the
event of the death of Mr. Taulbee Senator
Voorhees will appear for the defendant.”
Truly O. O. S. is making himself
quite conspicuous in the case, judging
from the big I’s he is making at the
Courier-Journal; but we hope he will
not go so far as to undertake to pack
a jury.
One criticism on the Courier-
Journal’s head-liner and we enter upon
another phase of the subject. In its
headlines Saturday, referring to the
bullet, is the following:
“True to The Mark It Enters the Eye
of Its Victim,”
Between the lines of which may be
read something like this: “Isn’t our
dude Chawley a crack shot? Hurrah
for Chawley!”
“O. O. S.” quotes Mr. Taulbee as
saying at midnight of the day of the
“You know all about the origin of this
difficulty. You know that at the time Kin-
caid made his scandalous charges against
me that I would have resented them only
for your advice. You know that a meeting
of the Kentucky delegation was held in your
office, and upon your motion it was decided
to let the matter drop. The publication
however, in a great measure ruined me and
I could not dismiss it from my mind. I
met Kincaid to-day and told him that I
wanted to talk with him. H refused my
request. I took hold of the lapel of his
coat and pulled him out of the crowd, near
the door. I told him that he had published
a lie on me, and pulled his ear. At this
point we were separated. About two hours
later, going down the steps to the restau-
rant with Sam Donelson, I met Kincaid face
to face. It was dark, but he fired directly
at me. You know the rest.”
Mr. Taulbee is not, in my opinion and in
the opinion of the physicians, seriously
Mark you, the great O. O. S. con-
curs in the opinion of the physicians
or rather they concur in his opinion,
in regard to Mr. Taulbee’s condition.
According to the Louisville-Times,
Kincaid thus hides his cowardice be-
hind the feeble form of his invalid
“Taulbee has been dogging me for more
than a year. I am almost ashamed to ac-
knowledge it, but he has assaulted me six
times. The fact that I have an ill mother,
whom I did not wish to cause trouble, is the
sole reason why I did not resent his insults.
Every time I have met Taulbee for a long
time past he has insulted me, and as I said
before, I could not resent the insults be-
cause of my mother.”
Impartial newspaper reporters say
that Kincaid has been “guyed” so
much by the wags about Washington,
who would tell him to “look out for
Taulbee,” that he (Kincaid) was in
danger, etc., that he was scared half to
death, and many times was afraid to
go to the Capitol.
There is a newspaper correspondent
in Washington named J. F. Durham,
who states that he heard Taulbee

threaten to kill Kincaid some time
ago--not only once, but in “numerous
instances.” Quite a likely story,
indeed! A man of Taulbee’s sense,
and being a lawyer himself, would
hardly hunt up a penny-a-liner
and make such a threat even once,
much less in “numerous instances.”
Friday the court accepted bond in
the sum of $2,000 and Kincaid was
released. Count Von Stamp was ac-
cepted as security.
The “newspaper crowd” at Wash-
ington is almost solid for Kincaid,
and he has numerous friends through-
out the country. the Louisville
Times’ correspondence of Saturday says:
Judge Kincaid has received about a hun-
(missing text)
the country, offering assistance. Judge (??)
ham and other neighbors of Danville are
among those who telegraphed their sym-
pathy. Up to 12 noon today, Mr. Kincaid had
also received several scores of notes from
friends in this city, all of whom expressed
the greatest sympathy for him, coupled with
offers of financial assistance if that should
be necessary.
Physicians probed for the bullet
Monday, and located it in the throat.
Dr. J. B. Taulbee writes as fol-
“Washington, D. C. Mar 2, ‘90.
“Editor Sentinel-Democrat:
“Pres. may recover. He is in fair
condition at this writing . Believe
nothing you see in the press, for Kin-
caid’s connections and popularity with
the press holds most every paper.
“The papers have published lies
every issue, even knowing they must
retract in the next.
The Sun’s statement of yesterday
that Blackburn, Caruth, Stone, etc.,
had volunteered their services to Kin-
caid, was a base falsehood.
“I have conversed with four or five
who saw it, and they all say it was
an attempted, cowardly assassination.
“Pres. was unarmed and did not
know for half an hour who shot him.
Kincaid was in the act of shooting
him in the back, when Pres. turned
his head and received the shot under
his left eye. This occurred about
two or three hours after the little
episode in which the papers say,
Pres. pulled his nose. Pres. tells
me, and I believe him, that he did
not pull his nose. Congressman Wil-
son and others were searching for
Pres. at the tie he was shot, to noti-
fy him that Kincaid was looking
for him with a pistol.
“Hastily yours,
The latest news in regard to Mr.
Taulbee’s condition etc., will be found
on our second page.

Re: William Preston Taulbee's murder in 1890

Posted: 1169583794000
Classification: Query
On Sunday 1/28/07 I have a last meeting with the NPR reporter who is doing the story on the murder of William Preston Taulbee. He is interested in how it affected the family. Could you please let me know how your family handled the incident? Was it ever mentioned? Was the "Patent Office Scandal" part of the story? (I am W P Taulbee's great granddaughter and never heard the scandal part until six years ago.) Perhaps you could ask the oldest member of your family if he or she has any particular memories of how the story was told to them.

I look forward to hearing from you any time, but in order to give it to the reporter, I have to have your story by this weekend.
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