No. 484
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
August 12, 2020

A Successful Trip.

William Leland, of Buffalo, N. Y., takes a pleasurable dive over the Horseshoe Falls and still lives
June 5, 2016
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Via Newspapers.com I always say, nothing completes a library quite like a ghost. And if it’s a “nice, gentlemanly” one, all the better. From the “Great Bend Daily Item,” July 25, 1908: New York.--Columbia University holds that ghost stories may be dismissed with a laugh, until an educated, nice, old gentlemanly ghost gets to hovering 'round Columbia's library building of nights. In other
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Strange Company - 8/12/2020

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There are so many questions and things to ponder when considering the Borden case in its entirety, but let’s just …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 8/8/2020

On this date in 979, a Saxon lord won a trial by combat at the cost of his head. You’re not supposed to call this period the “Dark Ages” but it’s fair to say that our sources don’t throw a comprehensive illumination on the story. Our date’s principal is a count named Gero, possibly/presumably the […]
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Executed Today - 8/11/2020
The Web of Arachne by Fernand Le Quesne (1856 - 1932) Colorized by Curtis Byrne (Click image to enlarge) HE WEB OF ARACHNE COLORIZED. It's great to see what this painting may have originally looked like.      As I recently hung my framed print of The Web of Arachne, by Fernand Le Quesne (1856 - 1932), in my new place, I wondered why the artist didn't colorize it? Then I
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 8/4/2020
John Dilleber was a wealthy 28-year-old wholesale liquor dealer who lived and worked in New York City. In June 1975, he divorced his wife, left his home, and took up residence at the Westminster Hotel on 16th Street.  It was Dilleber’s habit, after dinner, to wander the halls of the hotel while smoking a cigar. Romaine Dillon, another of the Westminster Hotel’s outcast residents, was much
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Murder By Gaslight - 8/8/2020

As a social realist painter, William Glackens often depicted scenes of day-to-day life he witnessed in city parks, particularly Washington Square Park. (Makes sense; he lived on Washington Square South in the early 1900s.) This time, he took his inspiration from Central Park. “The Drive, Central Park” was completed in 1905 and likely shows the […]
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Ephemeral New York - 8/10/2020
[Editor’s note: Guest writer, Peter Dickson, lives in West Sussex, England and has been working with microfilm copies of The Duncan Campbell Papers from the State Library of NSW, Sydney, Australia. The following are some of his analyses of what he has discovered from reading these papers. Dickson has contributed many transcriptions to the Jamaica Family […]
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Early American Crime - 2/7/2019
They Ran a Snide Game. | Ought to be Ashamed of Herself.

A Successful Trip.

A Successful Trip

William Leland, of Buffalo, N. Y., takes a pleasurable dive over the Horseshoe Falls and still lives to be written up.[more]

William Leland of Buffalo, N. Y., went over the Niagara Horseshoe Falls on Nov. 3, with the aid of a cork life preserver and a parachute. The parachute is an invention of his own. At 5:55 Leland dressed in black tights, started for the center of the stream in a canvas boat. Before starting, Leland had strapped on his life preserver and placed the parachute in the boat. By the pressure of a spring the parachute is made to expand. At 6:10 Leland was at the brink of the Falls, standing up he opened the parachute, and, as the boast was about to topple over, jumped straight out from the falling water. A strong wind that was blowing caught the parachute and carried Leland about 150 feet before he landed in the water. He then swam to the shore, where Messrs. Steward and Bell put warm clothes on the swimmer. Leland was in no way injured by his swim. The trip was the result of a wager between Messrs. Clark and Steward and Bell and Tyre. Clark and Steward bet $1,000 that Leland could not go over the falls and live. Bell and Tyr were of the opposite opinion. Leland received $500 and expenses.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, November 23, 1889.