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Why haven't they made a movie about this guy????

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  • Why haven't they made a movie about this guy????

    Ever heard of Johan Eugene Leitensdorfer?

    I hadn't either, until I started reading a fascinating history of the first American war ever, the 1800's war against the Barbary "Pirates" in Northern Africa on the Mediterranean Coast.

    It was the first time we Americans tried a little regime change. Seems that while the regent of Tripoli, Yusuf, was terrorizing US shipping in the Med, he had a brother with a claim on that same throne who promised to leave US-flagged ships alone. Unfortunately, that brother was involved in a seige with some angry Ottomans in Egypt, and needed immediate rescue to join the US cause and be placed back upon the Tripolitan throne.

    Enter Eugene Leitensdorfer. He sprung our guy and delivered him, and then helped lead a couple of armed assaults on coastal fortresses. Interesting? Yeah, kind of. But just check out exactly what ol' Eugene was up to:

    QUOTE
    Leitensdorfer was born Gervasso Prodasio Santuari near Trent in the Tyrol in October 1772. He studied for the priesthood, but found it wasn’t for him. He quit, married, and went to work as a surveyor. Yet the ordinary workaday life did not suit him either, and he joined the Austrian army, acquiring the taste for adventure and the wanderlust that would dominate his life. He fought the Turks at Belgrade and the French at Mantua, where he deserted rather than be hanged for dueling. Changing his name to Carlo Hossando, he joined Napoleon’s army. The French learned of his previous service in the enemy army and arrested him on suspicion of being a spy. He escaped from prison after drugging his guards with opium and fled to Switzerland, where he became Johan Eugene Leitensdorfer. His family sent him money, which he used to buy watches and jewelry, then peddled his wares throughout Spain and France.


    Under his new name, he rejoined the French army in time for the invasion of Egypt in 1789. He assisted the French with their Egyptian agricultural and economic projects. When the British drove out the French three years later, he opened a coffeehouse, bought a home in Alexandria, and married a Coptic woman, while still married to his first wife in the Tyrol. He career as a coffeehouse proprietor lasted only until the British withdrew from Egypt in 1803. Once again feeling the pull of the religious life, he sailed to Messina and became a novice at Capuchin monastery. But he found that he didn’t want to be a friar, and soon became a street magician in Constantinople. Then he enlisted in the Turkish army and was sent back to Egypt. When the Mamelukes defeated his unit in battle, he deserted, hid among the Bedouins, and made his way back to Constantinople, where he converted to Islam, circumcised himself with his own razor, and became a dervish, adept at sorcery and tricks, with the new name of Murat Aga. He roamed the Black Sea’s south shore, peddling excerpts from the Koran written on small slips of paper, which he sanctified by rubbing them against a shaved spot on top of his head.


    While wandering rugged northern Turkey, Leitensdorfer encountered the bashaw of Trebizond, who had been struck blind. Claiming he could restore the bashaw’s sight, Leitensdorfer blew caustic lime into his eyes and washed it out with milk, then started him on a “sweat cure.” Midway through it, Leitensdorfer himself began to sweat, doubtless imagining what might happen to him if the cure didn’t work. He decided not to wait around to find out and joined a caravan bound for Persia. Bandits overtook and robbed the travelers. While plundering the caravan, the chatty thieves informed them of the bashaw’s miraculous recovery of his eyesight. Leitensdorfer hurried back to Trebizond to claim a rich reward, and then joined a Moslem pilgrimage to Mecca. At Jedda on the Red Sea, he met a Lord Gordon, a gentleman Scot who was on a tour, and became his interpreter. They traveled to Abyssinia and Nubia. Back in Cairo, Leitensdorfer quit Gordon, returned to Alexandria, separated from his second wife, and joined Eaton.


    His adventures with Eaton were by no means the final chapter. He drifted to Palermo, married a third time, but couldn’t settle down. So he sailed to the United States. He became a surveyor of public buildings in Washington D.C., under Benjamin Latrobe. Later, as a watchman at the U.S. Capitol, he lived in a room in the north wing, cooking for himself, making shoes and maps, and catching birds. Congress awarded Leitensdorfer 320 acres in Missouri for his service with Eaton, and paid him a rate for each mile he traveled with the expedition. [/b][/quote]

    That acreage in Missouri was in Carondelet, where I guess he became a more or less respected citizen until his death. Still...no way you could even make up stuff like this and have anyone believe you.
    I like cheese.

  • #2
    Damn, now that's living a full life.
    RIP Chris Jones 1971-2009
    You'll never be forgotten.

    Comment


    • #3
      QUOTE(JWB @ Oct 20 2005, 07:28 AM) Quoted post

      Damn, now that's living a full life.
      [/b][/quote]


      He's lucky he didn't have the intrawebs. He may have never left the house.
      But wait. There is something that can be done afterall. My good friend Angelo is a cop in the Tampa/Clearwater area. Since I kept all of the files from the access logs when I had the power to see them, guess what, I have everyone's IP addresses. Hmm..what can I do w/ those??
      ...

      Comment


      • #4
        QUOTE(Fred Garvin @ Oct 20 2005, 07:01 AM) Quoted post

        QUOTE(JWB @ Oct 20 2005, 07:28 AM) Quoted post

        Damn, now that's living a full life.
        [/b][/quote]


        He's lucky he didn't have the intrawebs. He may have never left the house.
        [/b][/quote]

        [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif[/img]
        RIP Chris Jones 1971-2009
        You'll never be forgotten.

        Comment


        • #5
          I live on Carondelet.
          From this day forward, I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death.

          For more than 20 years I have endeavored-indeed, I have struggled-along with a majority of this Court, to develop procedural & substantive rules that would lend more than the mere appearance of fairness to the death penalty endeavor.


          I feel morally and intellectually obligated simply to concede that the death penalty experiment has failed.

          The path the Court has chosen lessens us all. I dissent.

          Comment


          • #6
            QUOTE
            back to Constantinople, where he converted to Islam, circumcised himself with his own razor, and became a dervish, adept at sorcery and tricks, with the new name of Murat Aga. [/b][/quote]

            [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blink.gif[/img]

            Comment

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