a slur upon the name of Thompson
gcohen at MST.EDU
Sun Apr 5 15:31:47 UTC 2009
In reply to George Thompson's question below, here's a possibility. I
quote now from my monograph _Origin of the Term "Shyster": Supplementary
Information_ (Frankfurt a.M.: Peter Lang), 1984,
"THOMPSON, WILLIAM H. -- often referred to by his nickname 'one-eyed
Thompson.' He was indicted on six counts of larceny but was somehow released
on a nolle prosequi. In spite of repeated editorials in the _Daily Herald_,
Thompson remained free; (a detailed article appears in the Sept. 21, 1843
_Herald_. The failure to prosecute underscores the corruptness of District
Attorney Whiting, who was repeatedly denounced as a shyster by Walsh. Cf.
the Walsh-like outburst from the normally mild-mannered _Herald_ (Aug. 30,
1843): 'That notorious thief and scoundrel known as William H. Thompson, or
Btw, a picture of One-Eyed' Thompson appeared in the National Police
Gazette, March 27, 1847, reproduced in my above-mentioned monograph, p. 11.
The connection of this fellow with the Thompson mentioned in the Herald
item of Feb. 6, 1843 seems clear: The other newspapers are allegedly
stealing the Herald's material in a manner similar to the larceny of
On 4/4/09 8:55 PM, "George Thompson" <george.thompson at NYU.EDU> wrote:
> [James Gordon Bennett was the publisher/editor of the New York Herald. Here,
> he is boasting that because he publishes an issue on Sundays, his Herald gets
> reports of events of Saturday to his readers before the Sabbath-observing
> papers do. The Herald's reports will be copied and garbled by the other city
> papers on Monday, but his readers will already know the stories]
> It will be "Thompson's news" to the majority of the public. . . .
> New York Herald, February 6, 1843, p. 2, col. 2
> So who was this Thompson, and how does his name come to be synonymous with
> stale news? As you all well know, some of us Thompsons provide our readers
> with only the freshest advices.
> George A. Thompson
> Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern Univ.
> Pr., 1998, but nothing much lately
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