Accoltellatori

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EricRJones
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Accoltellatori

Postby EricRJones » 17 Oct 2007, 20:03

If anyone has a copy of one of the following books and look up to see if the name surname Biancani (poss. Bianconi) appears in the index, I would be most appreciative:

Romagna 1849-1874 : leggende, fatti e misfatti
by Attilio Milandri

Gli "accoltellatori" a Ravenna (1865-1875) : un processo costruito
by Claudia Bassi Angelini

Gli accoltellatori
by Francesco Mario Agnoli

Il Processo agli "accoltellatori"
by Gaetano Ravaldini; Gaetano Berardi


Thanks,
Eric Jones

P.S. I suspect my G-G-G-Grandfather Ercole Biancani was sentenced to hard labor for his involvement in a criminal organization known as the "Accoltellatori" which terrorized the Ravenna area in the 1860s and 1870s. The trial in late 1874 generated a good deal of press in the United States.

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EricRJones
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Re: Accoltellatori

Postby EricRJones » 31 Oct 2007, 17:52

I don't know what anyone's level of interest in this is, but I was able to borrow the Milandri and Agnoli books from Harvard. Harvard also has a copy of the transcript of the 1874 trial of the Accoltellatori (which I was only able to skim).

My GGGGrandfather Ercole Biancani was not part of the 1874 trial. However, two of his sons were setenced to life in prison for their activities. Angelo Biancani seems to have had a leadership role. Attilio Biancani was described as "piu sanguinario" (more bloodthirsty) and appears to have directly particpated in some assassinations. Of course, I'm just working my way through the Italian, so there is much I don't know.

Meanwhile, I still don't know how/why Ercole Biancani ended up dying on Lampedusa. He was present in Ravenna on 28 Feb 1874 (when he was a witness to his granddaughter's birth). He died on Lampedusa on 11 Jan 1876.

Angelo Biancani did his time on Portolongone (on Elba) where he died 21 Dec 1903. I'm not sure about Attilio. It's possible he was on Lampedusa, and Ercole was there visiting him. It's also possible that Ercole was sentenced to prison for some other reason or in a separate trial. It's even possible Ercole was on Lampedusa for some other reason, although it is hard to imagine what that might be.

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Maurizio
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Re: Accoltellatori

Postby Maurizio » 31 Oct 2007, 20:40

EricRJones wrote:Meanwhile, I still don't know how/why Ercole Biancani ended up dying on Lampedusa. He was present in Ravenna on 28 Feb 1874 (when he was a witness to his granddaughter's birth). He died on Lampedusa on 11 Jan 1876.

Angelo Biancani did his time on Portolongone (on Elba) where he died 21 Dec 1903. I'm not sure about Attilio. It's possible he was on Lampedusa, and Ercole was there visiting him. It's also possible that Ercole was sentenced to prison for some other reason or in a separate trial. It's even possible Ercole was on Lampedusa for some other reason, although it is hard to imagine what that might be.


Hi,
obviously it's just a speculation of mine, but I believe that your ancestor's deathplaces had probably to do with their problems with justice.
In XIX century (and even until more recent times), it was very common for the Italian Government to chose less or more remote islands to host penal colonies (for a reason easy to understand: making jailbreaks more difficult).
A quick check on the Internet reveals that Lampedusa had been a penal colony since 1872 and until a few decades ago, whereas the ancient spanish fortress of Portolongone was changed into a prison in 1858: not only it's still operating, but it's currently the larger prison in Italy.

Hope this helps.
Ciao,
Maurizio

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BillieDeKid
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Re: Accoltellatori

Postby BillieDeKid » 31 Oct 2007, 23:03

Maurizio this is really interesting. What are some other remote islands that were used to host penal colonies? Hope you don't mind me asking.

Elizabeth

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misbris
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Re: Accoltellatori

Postby misbris » 01 Nov 2007, 00:20

Eric,
Have you already seen this?

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.h ... 838F669FDE


I can't open it, but it does give you the
date and headline.

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elba
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Re: Accoltellatori

Postby elba » 01 Nov 2007, 07:49

The Isola di Capraia near Elba had a penal colony and the Isola Pianosa had a prison until at least the late 90's when I was last on Elba....

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BillieDeKid
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Re: Accoltellatori

Postby BillieDeKid » 01 Nov 2007, 10:25

Thanks Elba and thanks so much for the map showing the islands.

Elizabeth

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suanj
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Re: Accoltellatori

Postby suanj » 01 Nov 2007, 10:38

I found this on line:

-La spietata setta degli accoltellatori

-also thi documents abt the Setta are here: http://www.classense.ra.it/main/index.p ... 2&skip=226
for to read it is necessary to visit the library 8O

- THE KNIFEMEN_ FABRICATION OF A TRIAL (1865-1875) (source)
It started at 11 in the evening, 3 January, 1865, when Antonio Monghini, manager of the
Banca Nazionale's Ravenna branch, was attacked at knifepoint. Monghini got away with a
flesh wound and after twenty days' recuperation was back at work. It looked at first like just
one more act of aggression in the general atmosphere of violence and unrest which
characterized post-unification Romagna. In fact, it was the first in a string of violent exploits
by a group which was later to become known as the Setta degli Accoltellatori - the “society of
knifemenâ€
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Re: Accoltellatori

Postby BillieDeKid » 01 Nov 2007, 10:45

Thanks for posting this suanj. Very interesting.

Elizabeth

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EricRJones
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Re: Accoltellatori

Postby EricRJones » 01 Nov 2007, 14:30

Thanks everyone! I did have the New York Times article (I have a couple of others as well), and I've been trying to get my hands on Angelini's Gli "accoltellatori" a Ravenna (1865-1875). That's interesting that it says the trial ended 10 March 1875. I have a couple of other books that are clear that sentences were handed down 2 Dec 1874. I wonder if there was a subsequent trial.


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