No. 458
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
January 27, 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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As regular readers of my blog (all three of you) may have noticed, I have, without really intending to, built a subcategory of stories of people who are found strangely, inexplicably dead. All these cases are puzzling, but there are few that top the end of an otherwise completely normal man named Zigmund Adamski. In fact, some will tell you his death was positively otherworldly. Zigmund
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Strange Company - 1/27/2020

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(Click image to enlarge) new quote attributed to bad man "Soapy" Smith Discovered in an edition of the Alaska Mining Record, April 5, 1899. ______________________ The sensational press of the east are now engaging in some real pipe dreams of their own, and allow a column or two of Canadian and American fights on the Atlin and Porcupine border to creep into their paper. One
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 1/16/2020

Never heard of “Raisin Street” in Greenwich Village? If you lived in the nascent city of New York in the early years of the 19th century, you might have traversed it. The rise and demise of this little street has a curious backstory. “Raisin Street” was a corruption of “Reason Street,” the name given to […]
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Ephemeral New York - 1/27/2020
Beginning on January 1st, W&W will begin featuring fascinating short clippings from the Fall River papers and other newspapers from …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 12/29/2019
The Rogers family were early settlers in Blue Lick Springs, Kentucky, having fought a bloody battle with Indians to secure their homestead. They never lost their frontier zeal for violence as a tool for solving problems, even for family disputes which, apparently, were frequent and quite intense. In the 1880s, Willis Rogers had eight children, five boys and three girls. In the heat of an
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Murder By Gaslight - 1/25/2020

Blood accumulates upon us. Verily, it does seem that the reins of justice have been loosely thrown to the devil, and that we are all driving at breakneck speed in the same direction. -Nashville Banner (via) On this date in 1866, four youths employed as teamsters in the Army corrals of Union-occupied Nashville were hanged […]
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Executed Today - 1/26/2020
[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.