A Halloween Posting:The Mysterious Skull of William Wirt

William Wirt was born on November 8, 1772 at Blandensburg, Maryland and died February 18, 1834. He was a prominent lawyer in the early days of the republic, a statesman, and an author.

Wirt acted as prosecutor in the conspiracy trial of Aaron Burr in 1807 and served as United States Attorney General from 1817 to 1829. Over the course of his career, he argued over 170 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1832 Wirt was the unsuccessful nominee of the Anti-Masonic Party for the Presidency of the United States….His head, apearantly, has been sitting on a shelf in D.C. Council member Jim Graham’s office for a year and half.

A Washington Post article of October 20, 2005 outlines how Doug Owsley, reknowned forensic anthropologist at the Smithsonian and famous skull measurer, had to climb down into the Wirt family crypt and confirm that the skull was indeed that of the Honorable Mr. Wirt.

“The mystery of the missing skull is a macabre tale that includes grave-robbing, an eccentric collector, a Washington politician, a former attorney general and a mysterious skull sitting in an old tin box. It all began around Christmas of 2003, when Bill Fecke, then manager of Washington’s Congressional Cemetery, got a phone call from a man who wouldn’t identify himself. “What do you know about William Wirt’s skull?” the mysterious caller asked…”

Sounds like a movie trailer, doesn’t it? Read the whole article at:

Tags: , , , , ,

Categories: anthropology, history, news


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: