Place Published: Hamilton
Date Published: 
Binding: No binding
10 x 8 inches flat, folded to 4 x 2-3/4 inches and now 8 x 5 inches and with 4-7/8 x 2-3/4 inch envelope addressed to Henry J. Morgan, Quebec. 9 page letter signed by Madeline Wharton Hogan, wife of John Sheridan Hogan (c1815-1959). Hogan was elected to Parliament in for Grey (Independent Liberal) December 1857 to June 1861 Madeline Wharton Hogan married John Sheridan Hogan (c1815-1959) at Christ’s Church (Anglican) in Hamilton on 18 Nov. 1847. Hogan at the time however was apparently was living alone and he resided at Toronto’s Rossin House hotel and intermittently supported a Mrs Laurie and her children. His movements were often erratic and his absence caused no alarm for two months, when an unsuccessful search for him was launched in the United States. More than 16 months after his disappearance, his body was found in Toronto’s Don River. A police informer said she had seen Hogan attacked and robbed by James Brown, Jane Ward, John Sherrick, and two other members of the notorious “Brooks’ Bush Gang,” terrorizers of east end citizenry. The melodramatic trial of Ward and Sherrick revealed that Hogan had left Mrs Laurie on 1 Dec. 1859, stopped in at the Colonist office, and then proceeded east on the Kingston road. Flashing an unusually large roll of money on the Don bridge, Hogan was beaten when he offered to pay a usual “toll” to the gang members. Unfortunately he recognized one of the attackers, whom he called by name, whereupon a member of the gang “put a stone in a handkerchief and brained him.” Ward and Sherrick were acquitted but at a later trial James Brown, though he swore his innocence to the end, was convicted; despite a retrial, he was executed at a public hanging on 10 March 1862.
John Sheridan Hogan (c1815-1959) printer, newspaperman, lawyer, and politician. Ardent and loyal yet reform-minded, Hogan had in his life as a journalist and politician helped direct Canadian hopes of maintaining, while liberalizing, the British connection. Like McGee, he contributed a controversial note to political and literary life in the 1840s and 1850s but, unlike his distinguished compatriot, he was murdered not by a political assassin but by a gang of roughnecks. His death, like the minor columns of his papers, revealed the seamy life on the edges of Toronto society in the mid 19th century.