Myth Blaster: Senator Harry Reid Descendent of Horse Thief


The email concerning Senator Harry Reid’s presumed ancestor is circulating again …

Judy Wallman, a professional genealogy researcher in southern California , was doing some personal work on her own family tree. She discovered that Congressman Harry Reid’s great-great uncle, Remus Reid, was hanged for horse stealing and train robbery in Montana in 1889. Both Judy and Harry Reid share this common ancestorThe only known photograph of Remus shows him standing on the gallows in Montana territory:

REmusReid_HorseThief


On the back of the picture Judy obtained during her research is this inscription: ‘Remus Reid, horse thief, sent to Montana Territorial Prison 1885, escaped 1887, robbed the Montana Flyer six times. Caught by Pinkerton detectives, convicted and hanged in 1889… .’
Believe it or not, Harry Reid’s staff sent back the following biographical sketch for her genealogy research
Remus Reid was a famous cowboy in the Montana Territory. His business empire grew to include acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the Montana railroad. Beginning in 1883, he devoted several years of his life to government service, finally taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroad. In 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the renowned Pinkerton Detective Agency. In 1889, Remus passed away during an important civic function held in his honor when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed.”

Myth Blaster Verdict:

FALSE. The photo is of Thomas Edward “Black Jack” Ketchum, a train robber who was executed in New Mexico in 1901. The photo comes from a   souvenir post card.
However, the humor accompanying the made up story is pretty much depicting what the Democrat Party has become , in which Harry Reid has contributed in scandal and corrupt actions. …
It is not required to make up anything about Senator Reid – his real life story tells it all. Most likely this email myth was meant to be satiric humor.

Bar_FiringCannon_animated

References:

Snopes
Legends of America
Fact Check
David Emery’s Urban Legends Blog
Urban Legends [ScamBusters]
Truth or Fiction
YouTube Video
Genealogy Blog

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