|of the most vile|
|Ogden Harcourt Parker (1808 - 1864)|
Ogden was born to Walter and Jamie Parker on December 1st, 1808, the youngest son of a wealthy New Jersey family. He grew up in privilege and had no material wants as a youth. Though the eldest son, Kevin, was groomed to take over the family gunpowder business, he expressed no real interest in it. So, it fell to Odgen who proved himself a genuine talent at business and sales. He expanded the business to manufacture all manner of munitions including bullets and explosives. After the death of his father, Odgen took over the business completely and moved its central offices to New York. He became enamored with the power and position his place in the business community gave him.
|When the Civil War began, Parkerís company was relied on as a supplier to the Northern army. But Odgen saw the War as an opportunity to make enough money to finance a political career. He secretly arranged to sell shipments of gunpowder to the South as well. He would collect money from the Southern army reps, and then tell them where they could intercept a shipment supposedly marked for the Northern army. His scheme was successful until one night his servant, Anthony, overheard his deal with a Southern Major. Odgen attempted to bribe Anthony, who feigned agreement not to reveal what heíd seen to anyone. But that night the servant tried to sneak out of the house to warn authorities. Odgen followed him, dragged him into an alley, and stabbed him in the back. When neighbors overhead Tonyís screams, Parker was forced to leave him without finishing him off. Anthony was taken to All Hope Hospital, a color-blind institution that treated him and saved his life. After he recovered, he revealed Parkerís duplicity to the police.
Word of his servantís recovery reached Odgen just minutes before his impending arrest. He fled into Southern territory disguised as a Rebel solder, carrying a cigar-shaped fusebomb he had designed that he planned to sell to the South to help them win the war. But he was caught in the middle of a minor skirmish and shot to death on the battlefield, September 14, 1864. His brother Kevin, after learning about Ogdenís scheme, shut down the munitions factory as soon as the war ended. He converted it into a fertilizer company that ironically remains in business to this day.