Her name was Anna Cook, and in her youth she had been a real Southern Belle from Bowling Green; educated, witty, flirtatious, with a passion for men and gambling. Like all gamblers, the more Anna gambled the more she lost. By 1825 she was a spinster approaching forty, and her rose had withered a bit. A critic described her as short, with dark hair and eyes, a few missing teeth, stoop shouldered and “in no way a handsome or desirable woman.” But inside Anna there still burned a passion, which had metamorphosed into a burning fierce hatred of Solomon Sharp. It is impossible to say with certainty how she came to obsess on the up and coming politician, but when Anna’s young husband, Jereboam Beauchamp, had proposed to her, Anna had accepted on the single condition that he first promised to kill Mr. Sharp.
Frankfort, was a wooden town of just 1,500 souls when Jereboam arrived in November of 1825. It had been established at a ford across the Kentucky River, and was named for Stephen Frank, an early settler killed in an Indian attack. The village became the state capital because local boosters contributed $3,000 in gold to the state treasury, and property for public buildings. Frankfurt was in 1825 (and remains) one of the smallest state capitals in the Union. There were few brick structures in town, and fire was constantly updating the architecture. Earlier in 1825 Frankfort had burned down its sixth state capital building, and was currently renting a Methodist Church for that purpose. Directly across the street from this temporary cathedral of democracy was the rented abode of Solomon Sharp and his wife and children.
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