LaHISTORY: A Senator With Two Artificial Arms

In 1876 the ultra-conservative Redeemer Democrats were only one vote away from having control of the Louisiana Senate.

As a means to bringing about that majority, the most radical members of that faction targeted for assassination then-Sen. Marshal Harvey Twitchell, a Republican and former Union Army soldier.

Twitchell was a carpetbagger from Vermont who represented Red River Parish in the upper chamber. He was elected largely because of strong support from the black community in his district; Twitchell considered many free men of color his personal friends.

The assassin hired by the Redeemer Democrats went after Twitchell with a rifle and put six rounds into the senator. His brother was murdered during the attack, but Twitchell managed to play dead so convincingly that the assassin made his exit without firing another shot.

Twitchell’s two arms took on most of the bullets somehow, and both had to be amputated above the elbows. Surprisingly he finished his term with a pair of wooden artificial arms, both of which were fashioned to hold a pen or a fork.

Twitchell eventually returned to his home state of Vermont and married his second wife, who was also his childhood sweetheart.

He also went on to be appointed by both President Rutherford B. Hayes and President Grover Cleveland as the American consul to Kingston in Canada, where he died at the age 65.

His memoir, “Carpetbagger From Vermont,” was published in 1989.

***This story was originally published in The Tuesday Tracker one year ago this week…

SPONSORED: Working Together To Revive A 40-Year-Old Educational Program

Another win for Lafayette and UL Lafayette! After closing 40 years ago, UL Lafayette’s lab school is another step closer to being

WEEKLY: Senate Isn’t Only Chamber Facing Change

This story was originally published for Weekly subscribers on June 21, 2018. Wish you had read it then? Become a part of our elite community

WEEKLY: Know Your Congressional Districts

This story was originally published for Weekly subscribers on June 21, 2018. Wish you had read it then? Become a part of our elite community

Alford: A Memorandum From The Other Side

A MEMORANDUM FROM THE OTHER SIDE We hope this edition of The Tracker finds you rested and peaceful. If not, hurry and catch up. Because we

PolitiSigns, Adam Chapman & An Industry Update

Nothing declares election season is underway in Louisiana like campaign signs. And they're starting to sprout up everywhere, from country

Alford: Assumptions Are Dangerous In Governor’s Race

With 2018’s session-palooza out of the way (hopefully), Gov. John Bel Edwards can begin focusing on re-election. He’s not on the ballot

Q&A With Bob Livingston: “Republicans Are Going To Keep Control”

LaPolitics staff writer Mitch Rabalais: You were in the House leadership during Ken Starr’s investigation of Bill Clinton. What is your take

Rabalais: Louisiana’s First Congresswoman

On October 16, 1972, the political orbits in both Louisiana and Washington, D.C. were shocked by the sudden disappearance of then-House

POLITICAL CHATTER

— Special Assistant to the Governor Micah Cormier (@micahjcormier): “@LouisianaGov and @Coach_EdOrgeron spent the afternoon together in NOLA

Gamard: Hellish Helsinki & What Your Congressmen Said

If you need a refresher: President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met behind closed doors in Helsinki, Finland to discuss

#HBD TRACKERS!

— Tuesday 07/17: Keith Courville and Anthony Sanchez — Wednesday 07/18: Rep. Tony Bacala, Margo DuBos and John DeSantis — Thursday 07/19:

Social Media & Dan Claitor

For our season finale of Hashtag Louisiana, LaPolitics staff writer Mitch Rabalais interviews Dan Claitor, Louisiana's state

PEAS IN A POD: Pastors & Politics

Gene Mills of the Louisiana Family Forum thinks a rather holy wave may be building for the 2019 election cycle. (Not only for the House and

LOWDOWN: The Price of Politics & Politicians

   What would you do for $16,800? Would you take a stressful, full-time job for $16,800 annually? Probably not. But guess who would? If you

SPONSORED: Louisiana Primary Care Association Announces Positive Step Forward In Healthcare

The Picard Group client Louisiana Primary Care Association (LPCA) recently announced an impressive step forward for healthcare in Louisiana.

POD: Politics According to Alton

He’s a staple of Capitol life and an influencer in Louisiana politics. He's lobbyist Alton Ashy of Advanced Strategies, and he's our guest

LOWDOWN: How A Podcast Gets Made

Here at LaPolitics, we like to use our videos and podcasts to teach you something you don’t already know. So in this week’s Lowdown, we’re

Ronnie, Riverboats & Re-Election Campaigns

His father pitched for The New York Yankees before gaining his political chops in Bunkie, Louisiana, just like his son did. So who is it

SPONSORED: Celebrating 25 Years Of Burkenroad Reports

Twenty-five years ago, Professor Peter Ricchiuti founded a unique learning opportunity for Tulane University graduate students that has not

PRE-SINE DIE Q&A WITH SEN. BRET ALLAIN

LaPolitics: That final Finance vote in HB 1 was such a break from the session rhythm. Quick, unemotional and transactional. Was that

ALFORD: The Capitol’s Dirty Little Secret

The governor of Louisiana is not politically omnipotent. (I’m referring to the storied position of governor, not the man or the woman who

RABALAIS’ POLITICAL HISTORY: John Breaux’s Last-Minute Win Over Henson Moore

U.S. Sen. Russell B. Long’s announcement that he would retire after 36 years in the upper chamber was unexpected, as he had been building

PHOTO GALLERY: The Final Four Hours Of The Special Session That Never Was

   

“Members, It Is 12 a.m.”

It’s called a photo finish for a reason, not that the House, Senate and Edwards Administration would need photographic evidence to help sort

VIDEO: Who’s The Man Behind The Tree?

When politicians want your money, the idea is bound to come up. "Don't tax you. Don't tax me. Tax the man behind the tree." But who is