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My Evil Family

How to Get Rich Using Evil

The Wrong Side of the Civil War—That Would Be the Evil Side

Another branch of my family are the Norrises. They also came to Baltimore from Ireland. Wilbur Norris got rich by ripping off poor people. He bought their farmland cheap, then sold it to the B&O Railroad for a fortune. Soon he was on the board of directors of the railroad, raking it in.

It's pretty hard to get rich without ripping off somebody. That's the point I'm trying to get across here.

When the Civil War came, Wilbur Norris sided with the South. He didn't own slaves (but some of my ancestors probably did—nobody wants to talk about it, but they must have. Hello? Tobacco farm?), but he was really into business, and he had business interests in the South (based on slavery, no doubt).

I would like to pause here and point out that we are talking about the SLAVERY of human beings. What is more evil than slavery? Nothing, except maybe genocide.

Wilbur Norris built the house my evil family lives in now. His daughter, Evangeline, lived in the Tower Room, the very room my sister is sleeping in at this moment. My sister's name? Norrie—short for Norris. And the beat goes on . . .

During the Civil War, Baltimore was occupied by Yankee soldiers, but the Confederate army was camped just outside the city in Anne Arundel County. The Confederate soldiers could see the light from my sister's room if they used a telescope. Evangeline had a crush on a boy who was spying for the Confederates. So this boy, Russell Pinkney, sneaked into Evangeline's tower at night and sent secret spy signals to the Confederate troops in Anne Arundel County. Eventually the Yankees caught him and put him in jail in Fort McHenry for a while, so he missed the last half of his senior year and graduated late. He's lucky that's the worst that happened to him.

My ancestor helped a Confederate spy. My house was used to advance the Confederate cause. Even the very house I live in has a history of evil. I can't get away from it. I hope it's not somehow seeping into my skin through evil air molecules.

Coming up: Evil? Welcome to the 20th Century.

JANE OUT
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