Judy Wallman, a professional genealogy researcher in southern California, was doing some personal work on her own family tree. She discovered that she shared a common ancestor with Senator Harry Reid — one Remus Reid, a great-great uncle of Harry Reid. Uncle Remus was hanged for horse stealing and train robbery in Montana in 1889.
The only photograph of Remus that Ms. Wallman was able to locate shows him standing on the gallows in Montana territory.
On the back of the picture Judy obtained during her research is this inscription: ‘Remus Reid, horse thief, sent to Montana Territorial Prison 1885, escaped 1887, robbed the Montana Flyer six times. Caught by Pinkerton detectives, convicted and hanged in 1889.’
So, Ms. Wallman recently e-mailed Senator Reid for information about their common ancestor.
Believe it or not, Harry Reid’s staff sent back the following biographical sketch for her genealogy research:
‘Remus Reid was a famous cowboy in the Montana Territory. His business empire grew to include acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the Montana railroad. Beginning in 1883, he devoted several years of his life to government service, finally taking leave to resume his dealingss with the railroad. In 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the renowned Pinkerton Detective Agency. In 1889, Remus passed away during an important civic function held in his honor when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed.’
Isn’t this a masterpiece of how politicians lie without actually lying?