The Notorious John Morrissey
How a Bare-Knuckle Brawler Became a Congressman and Founded Saratoga Race Course
As time went on, Morrissey parlayed his youthful exploits into a remarkably successful career as a businessman and politician. After establishing a gambling house in Saratoga Springs, the hardnosed entrepreneur organized the first Thoroughbred race meet at what would become Saratoga Race Course in 1863. Morrissey went on to be elected to two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and two terms in the New York State Senate.
In The Notorious John Morrissey, James C. Nicholson explores the improbable life of the man who brought Thoroughbred racing back to prominence in the United States. Though few of his contemporaries did more to develop the commercialization of sports in America, Morrissey's colorful background has prevented him from getting the attention he deserves. This entertaining and long-overdue biography finally does justice to his astounding rags-to-riches story while exploring an intriguing chapter in the history of horse racing.
About the Author
"Nicholson has done remarkable research, which adds immeasurably to the standard knowledge about Mr. Morrissey."—Edward L. Bowen, author of twenty books on Thoroughbred racing
"[Nicholson] certainly does justice to all the varied aspects of a remarkable life and careersurely one of the most remarkable figures and great characters in our commercial and political history."—Washington Times
"Dr. Nicholson's interesting, informative, and well-written book takes you back to a time long ago."—Horse Racing Business
"James C. Nicholson has focused his writing on the sport of Thoroughbred racing, especially related to Kentucky. In The Notorious John Morrissey: How a Bare-Knuckle Brawler became a Congressman and Founded Saratoga Race Course, Nicholson lays out another slant on the racing world by profiling a colorful, roughhousing man of many and varied experiences from the mid-1880s."—Kentucky Monthly
"It is an excellent biography of a very entertaining, working-class politician who deserves better than to be lost to the ages."—H-Net Reviews
"Nicholson's biography is a lively account of a unique nineteenth-century Irish-American life."—The Historian
Other Titles by James C. Nicholson
Other Titles in HISTORY / United States / 19th Century