Huntington in Suffolk County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Kelsey Outrage 1873
G. Kelsey was tarred and
feathered before being
murdered by persons unknown.
Erected 1992 by Town of Huntington.
Location. 40° 52.34′ N, 73° 25.277′ W. Marker is in Huntington, New York, in Suffolk County. Marker is on Platt Place west of Spring Road, on the left when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Huntington NY 11743, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Old Burial Hill (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Fort Golgotha (about 800 feet away); Sewing & Trade School (about 800 feet away); Huntington World War I Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Declaration of Rights (approx. 0.2 miles away); “The Forgotten War” (approx. 0.2 miles away); Patriots of Long Island (approx. 0.2 miles away); Nathan Hale (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Huntington.
Also see . . . Huntington's Horrible "Tar Town" Murder. (Submitted on May 29, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
1. Background on the Kelsey
The marker refers to an incident involving a wealthy schoolteacher and poet named Charles G. Kelsey and his involvement with a young woman named Julia Smith, a former student. Since it was believed that the romance started when Julia was a student of Kelsey’s and because he was 10 years older than her, many in the community of Huntington objected to the relationship, especially Julia’s grandmother. On the night of November 4, 1872, Kelsey was returning from a late night political rally when he was ambushed by a group of masked men who stripped him before covering his body with tar and feathers and presenting him to Julia and her grandmother. Kelsey managed to escape his captors, but was never seen alive again. On August 29, 1873, fishermen discovered the lower half of Kelsey’s body in Cold Spring Harbor. The rest of his body was never found.
The incident split the town of Huntington into two camps: those who supported the ambush and those who condemned it. Julia Smith admitted to luring Kelsey into the ambush and later married a man suspected of taking part in it, but none of the masked men were ever identified and this case was never solved.
— Submitted May 29, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.
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Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 810 times since then and 97 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.