Monday, December 19, 2011

Grits: O Henry's Bum Rap

Over Grits for Breakfast, a biography by C. Alphonso Smith is reviewed re the case of O Henry. Smith notes that the common view of the day was that O Henry was "a victim of circumstances," at least if they bothered to follow the trial closely. The bank involved as "wretchedly manage" and patrons frely went behind the counters, took money, and reported their behavior later. O Henry had complained to others that "it was impossible to make the books balance."  Grits also notes that an indictment charges O Henry with embezzlement, in Austin, on November 12, when it is well established that, by that point in time, O Henry had resigned from the bank and was living in Houston! Both the foreman of the grand jury and the foreman of the trial jury are reported to have regretted their votes to convict afterward. See more interesting takes on this fascinating case in the full post here.

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