Efter att ha hängt ut andra familjer kan det vara läge att sopa rent framför den egna dörren. Då jag släktforskat en del så finns det ett och annat öde värt att nämna. Exemplet nedan är en släkting från en gren på min mormors sida som emigrerade till USA under 1800-talets senare hälft.
Familjebild precis innan flytten över Atlanten
När min mormor växte upp var kapitlet John Stadig inget man diskuterade vid släktmiddagarna. Faktum är att få ens kände till historien, då den tystades ner av släktingarna i USA. I dag är klimatet annorlunda och vi kan förhoppningsvis se alla de mångskiftande och intressanta detaljerna i det förflutna utan att förfasas. Jag menar vem vill inte ha en legendarisk falskmyntare i familjeträdet?
Boken, som tyvärr är svår att få tag i.
Alcatraz Eel The John Stadig Files
Author: Darrell McBreairty
Nonfiction account of the legend and career of counterfeiter John Millage Stadig who was one of the first civilian prisoners on Alcatraz. Drawn from hundreds of pages of prison records, newspaper clippings and transcripts, Alcatraz Eel is an attempt at demythologizing the life of John Millage Stadig - a young man from Northern Maine - who, through his own genius and daring, became a folk hero and legend in a decade of criminals comprising the likes of Al Capone, John Dillinger, Ma Barker, Bonnie and Clyde, Roy Gardner and Machine Gun Kelly. With the Feds and media scrambling after him, John Millage Stadig established himself as the counterfeiter and escape artist to watch in 1930's America. When Stadig was recaptured from an escape at MCNeil Island Penitentiary in April 1934, Federal Authorities decided to transfer him to Alcatraz. But even after his arrival at Alcatraz in August 1934, Stadig did not give up. Tricking authorities by volunteering to return to Oregon and plead guilty to counterfeiting charges in December 1934, John Stadig managed to escape from Federal Marshalls on the trip back to Alcatraz. Since the opening of Alcatraz as a Federal Penitentiary, Warden James Johnston had kept photographers and reporters at bay. When Stadig was finally recaptured, after more than a week of frantic maneuvering by Federal Agents, (with a hungry press virtually in his palm) Stadig defied Johnston's rules and spoke freely. He told of the unbearable code of silence, the isolation and of the dehumanizing of prisoners at Alcatraz. Once known as "The Collegiate Counterfeiter," the press now labeled him "The Alcatraz Eel" and quoted every nuance and implication in regard to his conversation about fellow inmates as notorious as Al Capone, Machine Gun Kelly and Roy Gardner.
Sida om transporterna till Alcatraz: alcatrazhistory.com
Tidningsartikel: Bangor Daily News.
John Stadig fånge nr 46 på Alcatraz med ett uppmätt IQ på 124. Han begick självmord den 24 september 1936 efter förflyttning till Leavenworth.
“To another segment of the population in the Depression, John Stadig was a hero, especially in Northern Maine’s St. John River Valley. For a while he rode the crest of infamy. Even today, there are people who argue the fine points of his legend. Any newspaper clipping or magazine article about John Stadig disappears, and those that own such material refuse to even acknowledge that they have such things in their possession.
In the midst of the Depression, John Stadig started counterfeiting American Bank Notes in his family home just across the border in Connors, New Brunswick, Canada. He was a handsome and well-liked young man from two prominent families. His mother was a Jones. The Jones family owned a large lumbering concern, mills, stores and farms. His father was from the Stadig family, who were among the early pioneers of Maine’s Swedish Colony. The Stadigs were mechanical geniuses and leaders in their community. John’s Uncle Olof Stadig was a highly successful businessman and Trial Justice. Other Stadig family members owned successful businesses. After a series of arrests and escapes, John Stadig, in 1934, ended up at Alcatraz in the newly established Federal Penitentiary there. The record of his incarceration at Alcatraz and his spiral into suicidal depression is haunting. His loneliness and futile attempts at getting himself deported to Canada are heartbreaking. Alcatraz Warden James A. Johnston in his book Alcatraz Island Prison, p. 267, maintains “crime is a habit that takes root early and grows by repetition.” Perhaps this is true, but, despite his crimes, John Stadig comes across as an innocent caught in an alien world of hardened criminals in a penitentiary system that destroyed him.
When I was a child growing up in Allagash, Maine, people in my community always maintained that John Stadig was a brilliant young man who had chosen the wrong path. For hours they would talk of his exploits: He was the man who studied the feeding habits of the sharks in San Francisco Bay and swam from Alcatraz Prison when the sharks were occupied or at least satiated. Supposedly, his counterfeit bills were nearly perfect, and he and his mother traveled all over Canada passing these bills. It was said that Carrie (Jones) Stadig MCLellan put the bills in her shoes to age them, and she would alert John when strangers were approaching their home in Connors, New Brunswick. Some people said that John created his counterfeit bills in the basement, while others were convinced it was in the attic. There were stories of an electrical device positioned along the road leading to the MCLellan house. Supposedly, this device would alert the Stadig/MCLellan family of approaching vehicles. Just recently, someone told me that John, in order to bring his counterfeit money across the Canadian border, had dug a tunnel beneath the St. John River from his house in Connors, New Brunswick, to a house in St. Francis, Maine. In the past few years, most of the people who knew John Stadig have died. Thankfully, I was able to record some of these people. I have used transcripts of these recordings as a basis for discovering the roots of the Stadig legend. I have also utilized the hundreds of pages of prison records and the substantial collection of newspaper files dealing with John Stadig. In the pages that follow, I have attempted to let the reader discover the truth or at least come to his own conclusion of what may be the truth about John Stadig.”- Darrell McBreairty, author of Alcatraz Eel: the John Stadig Files.
Källa: The Stadig family genealogy
Alcatraz 1895 Mer historik.
Leavenworth (Kansas) ca 1910 Foto: Wikipedia.
Leavenworth (Kansas) ca. 1918-1919 Foto: Eichel Family Photograph
Leavenworth ca 1910 Foto: Script House Productions.