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AfriGeneas States Research Forum

Re: [FL] Legend of "outlaw" Edgar Watson killed 1910

Date: June 24, 1990, Sunday, Late Edition - Final Section 7; Page 7, Column 1; Book Review Desk

"...''Killing Mister Watson'' is Peter Matthiessen's sixth and most impressive novel, a fiction in the tradition of Joseph Conrad...

The book is based on the historical Edgar J. Watson (1855-1910), a hard-working, ill-educated, jolly and jingoistic American farmer and entrepreneur who lived on the western coast of the Florida Everglades roughly a hundred years ago. He talked drunkenly now and then of having killed 57 men, but was arraigned just once, in Fort Smith, Ark., in 1889, for the murder of Belle Starr, the ballyhooed ''Queen of the Outlaws.'' ... one week after the great hurricane of October 1910 wreaked havoc in the Ten Thousand Islands region of the southwestern Florida coast, Edgar J. Watson returned to his home on Chokoloskee Bay at the helm of the first motorboat ever seen in those parts and was greeted by a crowd of 20 or more island men holding shotguns and rifles. Words were exchanged, and then gunfire, and Watson ''was pretty well shot to pieces.'' "

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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