Henry Theodore Titus (1822–1881) was once the fundamental adventurer, soldier of fortune, and small-time entrepreneur, a guy for whom any frontier—geographical, cultural, social—was a chance for development. even if born in Trenton, New Jersey, and raised in big apple and Pennsylvania, Titus bore no allegiance to his local soil or the yank values of his ancestors. within the 1850s he turned a staunch defender of southern slavery, usa expansionism into the Caribbean Basin, and finally the Confederacy’s conflict of disunion. In Colonel Henry Theodore Titus, the 1st full-length biography of Titus, Antonio Rafael de l. a. Cova finds a guy whose lifestyles and adventures provide glimpses into nineteenth-century the US infrequently tested; those point out the level to which own and collective violence, racial prejudice, and ethical ambiguities formed the rustic on the time.
Belligerent, intemperate, egomaniacal, and of implementing stature, Titus was once the bête noire of the abolitionist press. regardless of his northern roots, he turned a cartoon of the southern braggart and frontier opportunist. nationwide newspapers his reckless exploits in the course of such a lot of his grownup lifestyles. Titus fought brawls within the saloons of luxurious lodges and narrowly escaped the hangman’s noose as a Border Ruffian chief in Bleeding Kansas, a Nicaraguan firing squad as a filibuster, and loss of life in a Comanche ambush in Texas. He approximately triggered a world incident among the us and nice Britain while he was once arrested in Nicaragua for threatening to shoot a British naval officer and disparaging the queen of britain. The colonel used to be jailed in ny urban for disorderly behavior and attempting “to arrange the determined periods for a riot.”
During his lifetime Titus held greater than a dozen occupations, together with sawmill proprietor, postal inspector, soldier of fortune, grocer, planing mill salesman, farmer, slave overseer, turtler, bartender, land speculator, and resort keeper. He pursued silver mining within the Gadsden buy component of the Arizona Territory the place his brother used to be killed and their hacienda destroyed through Apaches. regardless of his violent personality and his pro-Confederate values, Titus was once politically savvy. He didn't absorb fingers in the course of the Civil struggle. After a quick stint as assistant quartermaster within the Florida armed forces, he again to civilian existence and bought foodstuffs and slave hard work to the Confederacy. Florida Reconstruction governors later appointed him as notary public and justice of the peace.
Rheumatism and gout stored Titus sure to a wheelchair over the last few years of his existence whilst he turned an avid civic chief. His maximum legacy used to be sarcastically his so much benign. Borrowing today’s identical source of revenue price sum of part 1000000 funds, he verified a supermarket and a sawmill in a hardscrabble Florida frontier cost that grew to become the town of Titusville, the county seat of Brevard County and vacationer gateway to Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy area Center.