Zenner wrote:Bill Mullins wrote:Edwin S. Andrews was related (by marriage) to Louis Dalrymple.
Credit to Richard Hatch for much of this research.
I must admit that I don't remember that particular post, but I do have a copy of Erdnase Unmasked, which contains Richard's essay 'Reading Erdnase Backwards'. On page 27 we get the paragraph, "Based on what we know, Edwin was the right age, in all the right places at precisely the right times, with a history of CARD PLAYING activity and a POSSIBLE family relationship (by marriage) to Louis Dalrymple."
If you are reading this, Richard, would you mind confirming that you eventually found evidence that Andrews was actually related (by marriage) to Louis Dalrymple. If you did then I shall apologise to both Bill and yourself for suggesting that Benedict was the only candidate with a link to the name Dalrymple.
Whatever your answer is, Benedict is the only current candidate who was both a customer of McKinney and also a performer of sleight of hand with cards. To my mind, at least, those two facts indicate that he was Erdnase; all the rest is icing on the cake.
While I don't want to speak on behalf of Richard, let me point out that Erdnase Unmasked was published in 2011, and I established the relationship between E. S. Andrews and Louis Dalrymple much later; the post I mentioned it in was Oct 15, 2017, and I believe I found the final links about a week prior. But Richard found the key bits of information -- that both Andrews and Dalrymple had relatives named Seely, which is what I was specifically acknowledging Richard for -- much earlier. He first mentioned it in this thread in 2003, and there it stood, tantalizingly, until 2017.
Bill Mullins wrote: Or maybe he was an okay stage magician, but was not even the right guy:
The Kearney NE Daily Hub, 3 Dec 1891, p 3
"If Kearney people have the impression that Benedict is a second class magician they are entirely mistaken -- Benedict hails from Australia and he is making a trip east from the Pacific slope."
Couldn't find that quote. All I got on page 3 of that newspaper was "Benedict the famous prestidigitator at the opera house tonight" and "We can assure the public that Benedict is a magician of more than ordinary reputation."
I've sent that page to you by email.
I'm not as convinced as you are that the Benedict who Herrmann was not better than is the same Benedict who dealt with McKinney. The Benedict you've been advocating was born in Ohio (per the genealogy book you've linked); the performing Benedict of the 1880s/1890s may well be a different one, from Australia. It may be true that "Australia" is a bit of puffery, as you suggest, but maybe they are different guys. Hard to say right now, and as more information becomes available, it may clear the matter up.
But suppose they are the same guy. Then Benedict and M. F. Andrews are the only two candidates who have what I'd call a "good" position with respect to sleight of hand with cards -- Benedict in magic, and Andrews in cheating. That only puts Benedict in the same position as any other card magician in Chicago who knew a guy named Andrews. Which is probably a bunch.
I still don't think that his business relationship with McKinney makes him more likely than someone without one. That factor doesn't correlate in any way that I've seen with other authors and other publishers. And by the same logic, I don't think Gallaway having been employed there makes him any more likely. There simply isn't a big track record of authors who worked in the printing industry taking advantage of those relationships when publishing their own books (or if there is, no one has bothered to analyze it).