28 March 1861
MARINE COURT IN CHAMBERS, MARCH
MARINE COURT IN CHAMBERS, MARCH
Who is Dr. Tumblety? Francis Tumblety vs the Chemical bank. This is an application on the part of defendants for a commission to obtain evidence in relation to the character of the plaintiff. The plaintiff, who has been represented as an Indian quack Doctor, alleged that his name, Dr. Tumblety, had been forged on two occasions and money obtained from the bank. On the other hand, the defendants averred that no forgery was committed, and that the checks are genuine and were signed by the "Doctor" himself. This he denies. Mr. John Q. Jones, of the Chemical bank, in his application, says that the plaintiff will likely be called as a witness in this action. In that event it would be necessary ti enquire into his career. From information received by the defendants, it appears that the plaintiff has assumed a false name, that his real name is Sullivan, that he was a menial servant of Dr. Tumblety and on the death of the latter he assumed his name and has been travelling about the country getting money under false pretences as a physician.
"St. Johns, N.B., Feb. 23 1861
I can say however with regard to Dr. Tumblety, that he resided for some time in St. Johns, that he is an arrant quack, and realized a very large amount of money from poor persons in the city and vicinity, making them pay down large sums before he would undertake to promise cures, which were not always performed. His career could not last very long, and was brought to a rather summary conclusion, by a coroner's jury returning a verdict of manslaughter against him, in consequence of which he found it convenient to retire from the Province last summer. He boasted to a gentleman who met him at Eastport of the large sums which he carried away, and from my connection with the Commercial bank, I knew he took a large amount of specie from that institution. He also talked loudly of coming back to stand his trial, but never did so.
The Mayor of Toronto, J. G. Bowes, Esq., was written to, and he applied to the Police Magazine for information. The following is the reply:-
"Toronto, Feb. 8, 1861.
My dear Mayor,
The man Tumblety formerly resided in this city, and was universally regarded as a quack and impostor. He was charged before me on one occasion of having extorted a watch from a farmer under false pretences, and sent for trial. He was also tried and convicted of practising medicine without a license, and sentenced to a fine of $100. Prior to his coming here to dispense physic, he was here with a strolling company of concert or menagerie folks. A few months ago he was indicted at the assizes, and in a court in Nova Scotia, for some serious crime, and made his escape from the hands of justice.
G. S. Gurnett"
Letters of similar import have been received from other parts of the country. When the case comes up for trial it promises to be exceedingly interesting if not spicy. The application for a commission, which has been granted, is to examine Wm. F. Ruby of Boston; G. W. Lefavor, paying teller of Revere Bank; G. B. Wetherbel, G. Gurnett of Toronto, Geo. Henson of Buffalo, Gaines Robinson of Buffalo and William Champ of Detroit.
For plaintiff, A. D. Russell. For defendant, Robert B. Rosevelt and Wm. MacKellar.