little big men
crabbs and carters

by Dennis E. Power


    Serena Blake married Charles Loring, a descendent of Sir Nigel Loring. One of their son George’s descendents became the magician sleuth known as Norgil. Their daughter Ruth was the second wife of the famed silversmith John Tremaine. Whose daughter, Priscilla Tremaine b. 1800 married firstly Jeremiah Hawkins, son of James Hawkins of Treasure Island fame but he was lost at sea, leaving no issue.She married secondly, Thomas Crabb of Virginia in 1825 and had issue, Caroline b.1832. William b. 1837, Sue Ann b. 1839 Thomas b. 1840 Margaret b.1841 and John b.1842

    Thomas Crabb moved the family to Indiana very early in the marriage. He was a minister who in 1852 got the notion to take the family out to Deseret to become Mormons. Elected leader of a wagon train leaving Independence, Missouri. Thomas Crabb managed to traded with group of Cheyenne warriors and got them drunk.

They slaughtered all the men in the wagon train and raped most of the women. When the Cheyenne sobered up they came to make reparations by giving the survivors horses. Mrs. Crabb thought that the Cheyenne were purchasing her eldest daughter and youngest son.

    Fearing for reprisals against her other children, she agreed to the "trade". The Cheyenne were surprised that Jack and his sister Caroline followed them back to their camp but did not stop them. Caroline escaped that night and promised to come back after him, she never did. Jack grew up among the Cheyenne until "rescued" later on.

    He had a long and adventurous life, becoming friends with western luminaries such as Wild Bill Hickok, Buffalo Bill Cody and Annie Oakley. Jack Crabb lived at least to the age of 127, perhaps even longer since appears that he faked his own death. His life and loves are chronicled in the classic western tales, Little Big Man and Return of Little Big Man by Thomas Berger.

    One reason for his incredible longevity is because of his heredity. Jack Crabb resembles Nick Carter physically but does not have his great strength.The resemblence is because they are related.

        The immortal John Carter, who had originally been named John Caldwell, aka Richard Plantagenet, aka The Outlaw of Torn aka Phra the Phonecian,  had married several times through the course of his career in America. Following the chain of his marriages is not alway an easy one despite his tendency to use the name of John Carter repeatedly.  In fact that often makes the task that much more difficult for there is a plethora of John Carters in the annals of Southern History.

    It is likely that the  mysterious detective character, "Uncle Abner," as related in the stories of  Melville Davisson Post is a grandson of John Carter, as are Sim and Martin Carter They however failed to inherit the longevity of John Carter. Sim's aunt, John Carter's daughter  married a Joshua Crabb of Virginia and gave birth to Thomas Crabb. Whether Thomas would have been long-lived cannot be certain, he certainly was not immortal. Jack was apparently the only one who inherited any sort longevity from the Carter side but the activities of his brothers are shady and shadowy so we cannot be certain how long they lived.

    Jack had at least one child who was captured by Cheyenne and raised among them but he lost track of him. I am doing some research for likely candidates as well as for other children Jack may have had but did not want to put into print.
    One possible candidate is Chickering Valentine.

       According the the pulps, Simpson Carter, a Detective also had a son who he trained to be the best Detective in the world. Despite being diminutive, Nick Carter had an amazing amount of strength and stamina. Yet Nick Carter was not Simpson's son but rather his great uncle of sorts. Nick Carter was the son of John Carter and Margaret Butler, sister of Rhett. After Margaret died in the Civil War, John placed Nicholas in Simpson's care while he went to mine for gold. John Carter was gone for ten years during which he had his first trip to Barsoom.

    Simpson Carter was a Private Detective and he took the boy under his wing. Noting his precocious gifts trained him in all manner of disciplines and athletics. This training regime would be copied and extended by James Clark Wildman for his son, who the world knows as Clark Savage. His mutant genes really showed for although he was only 5'4" Nick Carter could lift a horse with a man seated in the saddle.

        He is also a master of disguise, a linguist and well skilled in various detective arts.

    In one of his earliest cases, Nick found a young man working on a Nevada ranch who bore an uncanny resemblance to him.  This was Chick Valentine, whom I believe to be the son of Jack Crabb or one of his brothers. Chick Valentine's exact parentage is unknown however, since his mother was a prostitute who abandoned the child at the an orphanage. Parentage has been narrowed down to one of the Crabb brothers or Levy Morgan, as citing in Jess Nevins' Wold West article. Chick is adopted by Nick and becomes Chick Carter. Chick later married Leila Loring, who was as can be seen above a distant cousin to Nick and himself.  Chick and Leila had a son who also became a detective Trim Carter.

Nick discovered that he was Immortal and stopped aging around 25 he operated as a detective under the name Nick Carter until his wife Ethel was killed.  After a final showdown with his mortal enemy Dr. Quartz, Nick went on hiatus about 1923. Using the name Nick Carter jr. he once more became a detective but was not as devoted to the pursuit as justice as he had been earlier preferring to work more inside the limits of the law. After a few short years he tired of this new role and disappeared again to work for the intelligence branches of the United States government. As Nick Carter III he emerged in 1964, he is harder and deadler, having become a dispassionate cold warrior.

Still, staying with the Carters, Howard Carter was apparently a nephew of John Carters, by one of his marriages within the Carter family. Howard had a son named Randolph, who had the ability to travel to parallel words, which he did in H.P. Lovecraft’s dream realm. It must be considered then that John Carter was not merely a grand nephew also an earlier ancestor of this branch of the Carter family as well.

Although Professor Nevins has done remarkable research on the Carter family especially in the biography of Nicholas Carter, I do believe that he was mislead by his source MN in a few instances. This is especially true in the parentage of the man known as Richard Henry Benson, The Avenger. As will be seen in his article, MN has convinced Professor Nevins that Richard Henry Benson was Nicholas Carter and Princess Carma's child and was placed in the care of Isis Fogg and her husband Alvin Benson.

    As my colleague Mr. Davies has pointed out in Unexamined Lives his article on the Carter family connection, the reason for this placement seem a bit forced and the character displayed by Phileas Fogg seems a bit out of place. However it could be that despite previous accounts Fogg was still an active agent of the Eridaneans and would act out of character when necessary.

    Even if the above issues were satisfactorily explained there does remain one basic problem that remains with MN's account, it removes Richard Henry Benson from the Wold Newton Family Line as stated by the great genealogist Philip Jose Farmer. While it is quite possible that Mr. Farmer was mistaken, as he has been on other occasions, given in this instance Richard Henry Benson's similarities to the the Shadow, Doc Savage, the Spider etc, it does not appear that he is.

What then is the solution. The clue came from the text of Professor Nevins article and an examination of the life of Richard Henry Benson given in Rick Lai's A Chronology for the Avenger. Although the following passage is all pertinent, I have underlined the crucial text.

"As mentioned, some editing took place in the Library and in New York Weekly, at Nick’s behest. Some lines of dialogue were removed and/or rewritten for various reasons. Unfortunately, it seems that some elements of Nick’s personal history were also edited in a similar fashion. The exact dates of Nick’s relationship with Ethel, their marriage, and her death–these are unknown, and the Nick Carter Detective Library (NCDL) is not reliable for our purposes. MN’s search for Ethel’s death certificate in the New York City Archives did not turn up anything, and there are only two external (to the NCDL) references to her passing. The first is a two-line ad in the September 1st issue expressing sympathies to “N.C.” The second is found in an interview with Dr. John “Jack” Quartz in the Sing-Sing Beacon on July 30th, 1930. Quartz is, for the most part, incoherent and in need of heavy medication, but one statement draws the eye: Interviewer: “What can you tell us about your clashes with Nick Carter?”
     Quartz: (drools) “One wife for every conviction! One wife for every conviction!”

The only implication that can be drawn from this is that Dr. Quartz was the man responsible for the deaths of Ethel Ackermann and Nick’s second wife."

    I believe that the basic facts of a direct connection of Richard Benson to Nicholas Carter is correct but I also believe that Mr. Farmer is correct.

     It is probably not an accident that the exact dates of Nick's marriage to Evelyn Ackerman are unknown, they were hidden or  deliberately fudged. Nick Carter married early around 17 while he still in training to be a super detective. The dime novel hid this fact because a young married hero was thought not to be as appealing to younger readers as an unattached man of the world.  Nicholas may have also had a hand in this believing that once he embarked on his career against crime, those who were close to him would be targets. Nicholas may have also been deliberately hiding the marriage from Sim Carter knowing that he would disapprove of Nicholas' marriage at such an early age.

    Nicholas Carter and Evelyn Ackerman had a child in 1882. In 1891 or 1892, Dr. Quartz kidnapped Edith and the child. Edith was found dead, the child was never found. Quartz had left the child with a minion as a trump card to play against Carter. When Quartz was arrested and convicted of Evelyn Ackerman's murder, Quartz's minion panicked and left the child on a wealthy family's estate. The wealthy family saw at once that this was a superior child and being childless, claimed it as their own. Birth records being what they were this was not as difficult as it would be today. This child of Nicholas Carter and Evelyn Ackerman was named Alvin Benson. As stated in The Fabulous Family Tree of Doc Savage by Philip Jose Farmer he married Isis Fogg and they were the parents of Richard Benson.

    I do not dispute Professor Nevins' claims that Nicholas Carter married a second time in 1892 to Edith Blake nor do I find fault with his claim that he was married to Princess Carma in 1907 and had two children, I just most respectfully believe that MN has lead him astray as to the identity of one of those children.

    One of John Carter's descendants who apparently inherited not only his immortality, his ability to travel to dimensions and at least part of his ability as a swordsman--
excuse me, swordsperson, was Maureen Birnbaum.  Maureen first traveled to Mars after being injured in a ski accident, she tried to return but is evidently  directionally challenged. We do know that her father was a Civil War re-enactor, perhaps inspired to re-enact some of his ancestor John Carter's martial exploits.

    Her paternal grandmother was probably Nick Carter's daughter, begotten from a short marriage during his first hiatus.



For more speculative research on the Carter family please visit the following two websites. Although they differ in their conclusions I believe that all three articles compliment each other in many ways. As PJF said, "Debate is the heartbeat of scholarship"

The Carters of Virginia by Jess Nevins

The Mysterious Case of the Carters by by Todd Rutt & Arn McConnell. Posted on Mark Brown's The Wold Newton Chronicles

© 2000 Dennis Power