Edward Renehan, Biographer of Jay Gould and John Burroughs, to Speak at the Zadock Pratt Museum

The Zadock Pratt Museum presents “Jay Gould, Zadock Pratt, and That Annoying Thing When a Ruined Partner Commits Suicide,” a lecture by Edward Renehan, author of Dark Genius of Wall Street: The Misunderstood Life of Jay Gould, King of the Robber Barons (2006), and John Burroughs: An American Naturalist (1992). The event will take place Saturday, May 27, 2023 from 1 to 3 pm.  

Joseph Pulitzer once called robber baron and Roxbury native-son Jay Gould “one of the most sinister figures that have ever flitted bat-like across the vision of the American people,” as relayed in Renehan’s Dark Genius. In his lecture at the Zadock Pratt Museum, Renehan will explore the tangled and calamitous tale of Gould’s first large business venture of the 1850s, a venture transacted in league with Prattsville’s founder, the inimitable Zadock Pratt.

Pratt (1790 – 1871) was by far one of the most fascinating, egocentric, and innovative men to make his home in the Catskills. A master businessman, he made a fortune in the tannery trade – establishing numerous tanneries, including what was in his time the largest tannery in the world at Prattsville. Pratt was also a soldier in the War of 1812, a prominent banker and did a stint serving as a Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Renehan is a master of combining lively anecdotes with the rich social tapestry of the Gilded Age to portray some of the most notorious characters of the era. He is the author of more than twenty books published by such imprints as Crown, Doubleday, Oxford University Press, The Chicago Review Press, and the Catskills’ own Black Dome Press. A former New York City publishing executive, he now lives near Newport, Rhode Island and is the founder of illume Media/New Street Communications, a publishing and editorial consultancy. Recently he has written Introductions for the New York Classics series published by the State University of New York Press, this including a reprint of History of Delaware County and the Border Wars of New York, written and originally published by the 20-year-old Jay Gould in 1856, and also In The Catskills and My Boyhood by John Burroughs.

Learn more about this event at zadockprattmuseum.org.