Jameson Whiskey may not be the best Irish whiskey in the world, but it is the best-SELLING Irish whiskey in the world... Eclipsing brands like Powers, Redbreast, Bushmills, and Tullamore Dew.
The now-iconic brand was founded by a Scottish lawyer named John Jameson in 1780 in Dublin, Ireland, and in 2019, annual sales passed 8 million cases purchased in over 130 countries.
That is all due to the hard work of John Jameson, and the only thing John loved more than making whiskey was having unprotected sex with his wife Margaret. The couple had 16 children in all… 8 boys and 8 girls… And with all those kids, the Jamesons also had countless grandkids and great-grandkids.
Here's where my story begins.
James S. Jameson was the great-great-grandson of John Jameson, and (as I just mentioned) was one of the heirs to the Jameson family fortune.
Like many rich heirs of his era (the late 1800s), James Jameson considered himself something of an adventurer. So in 1888, he joined a relief expedition across central Africa.
Three accounts exist of James' safari… The first was Jameson’s diary, the second was his wife's account, and the third came from a translator hired by the Jamesons for the trip. And all 3 sources agree that by June 1888, James Jameson was in command of the rear column of the expedition at Ribakiba, a trading post deep in the Congo that just-so-happened to be known for its cannibal population.
According to Assad Farran, the Sudanese translator, Jameson was dealing directly with a gentleman named Tippu Tip, who was a slave trader and also a local "fixer," and James expressed to Tip his interest in seeing cannibalism first hand.
Assad said that Tippu talked privately to the chiefs of the village on Jameson's behalf, and those chiefs soon produced a 10-year-old naked slave girl, for who Jameson then paid an agreed six handkerchiefs.
I am not sure the end of that sentence was clear enough, so I will re-type:
James Jameson paid some African tribal elders a trade-price of six handkerchiefs in exchange for a young girl.
Then, according to a translator, the chiefs said to their villagers, “This is a present from a white man, who wishes to see her eaten.”
(Posting casual GIFs of African villages can be problematic coming from a guy like me, so this is from 'Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom'.)
The girl was then tied to a tree while the surrounding natives sharpened their knives until one of them stepped up and stabbed her twice in the belly.
In Jameson’s own diary he then wrote, “Three men then ran forward, and began to cut up the body of the girl; finally her head was cut off, and not a particle remained, each man taking his piece away down the river to wash it before eating it.”
Both Jameson and his translator recounted the girl never screamed throughout the ordeal.
Jameson, in the meantime, made rough sketches of the scenes he was witnessing, and afterward went to his tent, where he finished his sketches in watercolors.
In the account in his diary AND his wife’s later account of the incident, the two attempted to play it off as though Jameson went along with the proceedings because he believed it was a joke, and could not imagine that the villagers would actually kill and eat a kid… But then why did Jameson pay exactly six handkerchiefs for something he didn’t believe would happen?… And why did he sketch the horrifying event even as the murder was taking place?… And why wouldn't he try to throw someone another dozen fucking handkerchiefs at someone to make it stop?
Later, James would render a series of illustrations and display them to others in the group. In describing them, Farran said “There were six of them, all neatly done. The first sketch was of the girl as she was led to the tree. The second showed her stabbed, with the blood gushing from the wounds. The third showed her dissected. The fourth, fifth, and sixth showed men carrying off various parts of her body.”
James Jameson never faced justice. He died shortly after the accusations of his misconduct made their way into the public eye… So no harm, no foul, I guess (except for the dead girl).
Jameson’s family, with the help of the Belgian government, were able to hush up any further investigations into the atrocities, and this mission became the last of its kind… I did not fact-check this part, but allegedly non-scientific civilian expeditions into Africa were suspended after 1890.
But the rest of the story is decidedly true… Reported throughout the ages in multiple news sources much more reliable than this one, including the New York Times, and riters who is much gooder then me.
Give it a Google or a Snopes search if you'd like, just to be sure.
I had Chief on this week's Twisted History to tell a shitload of stories like this, including the time St. Patrick was asked to suck an Irishman's breasts…
So… As you sit down at MacMurphy's tonight for a beer-and-a-shot to celebrate good old titty sucking St. Pat, I am not saying you should pass on ordering a Jameson's… This is by no means a call for cancellation because that would be silly… All I am saying is that "You're welcome." for the readily available bar-story about fine young cannibalism that might make you the most interesting man in the establishment.
Sláinte! and take a report.
The only thing hotter than the stories on Twisted History is the merch… Peep the new concert t-shirt (with all my guests' episodes listed on the back)…