George Devol

(1829 - 1903)

According to his own reckoning, George Devol was born in Marietta, Ohio, in 1829, the grandson of a Revolutionary War officer. His occasionally implausible memoir, first published in 1887, relates a rough-and-tumble life spent as an antebellum gambler. One of Devol’s favorite cons was to relieve priests of their valuables only to return them and offer the biblical advice, “Go, and sin no more.”

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