Bag of Bones

The Sensational Grave Robbery of the Merchant Prince of Manhattan

By J. North Conway
(Lyons Press, Paperback, 9780762787821, 336pp.)

Publication Date: June 2013

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover

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From the renowned chronicler of law-and-order in Gilded Age New York City, the sensational grave robbery of A. T. Stewart, “The Merchant Prince of Manhattan,” one of the wealthiest men in American history

About the Author

J. North Conway is the author of nine non-fiction books, including, The Big Policeman and King of Heists (both from Lyons Press); The Cape Cod Canal: Breaking Through The Bared and Bended Arm; and American Literacy: Fifty Books That Define Our Culture and Ourselves. He teaches at the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth. 

Praise For Bag of Bones

Praise for J. North Conway’s

 The Big Policeman: The Rise and Fall of Thomas Byrnes, America’s First, Most Ruthless,

and Greatest Detective


“Creating period atmosphere by quoting extensively from newspaper accounts of the sensational crimes Byrnes solved, Conway portrays his subject’s cleverness and excesses with a flawed-hero flavor that should draw in true-crime fans.”



“An essential read for those interested in police work, detective stories, and New York City history.”

             —Library Journal


“A fascinating, fast-moving account of one of the most polarizing and influential figures of 19th-century New York.  Conway brings ‘the big policeman’ to life.”

 —Daniel Stashower, author of The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar

Allan Poe, and the Invention of Murder


“A treasure trove of information not only on larger-than-life pioneering detective Thomas Byrnes but also on law-and-order in wide-open nineteenth-century Manhattan.”

—David Pietrusza, author of Rothstein: The Life, Times, and Murder of the

Criminal Genius Who Fixed the 1919 World Series


Praise for J. North Conway’s

King of Heists: The Sensational Bank Robbery of 1878 That Shocked America


“Engrossing . . . Conway skillfully paints a backdrop of fierce and flamboyant personalities who paraded across the Gilded Age, from Brooklyn Bridge engineer John Roebling to Marm Mandelbaum, ‘queen of the criminals.’ . . . [H]e capably recounts his story against a background of glitter and greed.”

             —Publishers Weekly


“A page-turning account of one of the most brazen crimes of our time.”

             —Reader’s Digest


“Conway, a college prof and ex-newspaper man, covers this ancient tale in a way that makes it feel like a hot news story.” 

             —New York Post

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