It was all because of a woman named Josie.
Fisk, who operated the Erie Railroad, was Stokes' "silent partner" in his oil refinery.
In January 1871, Fisk arranged to have Stokes arrested for embezzling funds from the refinery.
They both were seeing Josie.
Mansfield likely tried to extort money from Fisk with the threat of ending their relationship and deserting him for Stokes.
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