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This Day (Swarthily Handsome Edition)


On this day in 1864, the Confederate spy Belle Boyd married Samuel W. Hardinge in England. Interestingly, he was one of the Union naval officers who, the year before, had helped to arrest Boyd at sea.
She escaped, in case you want to put two and two together.
Post-wedding and back in the U.S. of A., Hardinge was arrested for complicity in Boyd’s disappearance. After serving time in jail, he was released and then died mysteriously. But did he really die? (Chung, chung!) Some folks think he actually returned to England and joined his bride there. Others, like Roger Austen, biographer of the writer Charles Warren Stoddard, argue that he neither died nor returned to England. Austen has written that Hardinge instead traveled to San Francisco, where the “swarthily handsome” New Yorker had an affair with Stoddard that was immortalized in that writer’s autobiographical novel, For the Pleasure of His Company (1903).
IMAGE: Charles Warren Stoddard

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