Sunday, August 22, 2010
Riverboat Gamblers Bound To Lose
Born in Ohio in 1829, George Devol ran away from home and hired on as a cabin boy on a riverboat heading south. At the outbreak of the Mexican-American War in 1846, Devol took a steamboat to the Rio Grande to join the American troops in battle. However, while on the ship, an older gambler taught young George how to cheat at cards. Instead of going into battle with the American troops George ended up making $2,700 off of them and returned to New Orleans with his winnings.
In fights, Devol preferred headbutting, however, he kept a pistol called Betsy Jane for backup.
Devol's servant, Pinckney Pinchback learned his employer's tricks and became so good at gambling and winning, he quit his employ with Devol, entered politics and was elected Governor of Louisiana and in so doing, became the first non-white Governor in U.S. History.
Devol died penniless in Arkansas in 1903.
Soundtrack provided by The Holy Modal Rounders, Bound To Lose (taken from the old tune Walking Boss).