No. 437
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
August 22, 2019

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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(Thanks to English Presbyterian poet Robert Wild for the guest post in verse, celebrating the martyrdom of his coreligionist Christopher Love. Love died for seditious correspondence with the exiled Stuart then-pretender Charles II. Days after Love lost his head, Charles very nearly did likewise when he lost the decisive Battle of Worcester to Oliver Cromwell […]
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Executed Today - 8/22/2019

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By Jo Anne Giovino with photography and research by Barbara Morrissey and Kristin Pepe *(All rights reserved, August 2019) Although …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 7/31/2019

Via Newspapers.com In which we meet Mr. H. Wilson, Juror From Hell. The "London Standard," January 3, 1838:  Benjamin Dickenson was indicted, charged with having committed an assault on an officer of the County Court. As soon as the jury had been sworn to try the defendant, Mr. H. Wilson, one of the jury, addressing the Court, said, " I should like to know, Mr. Chairman, how I am to be
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Strange Company - 8/21/2019
Jeff and Joe Soapy Smith buries Joe Simmons The Illustrated Police News April 9, 1892 (Click image to enlarge) oe Simmons was a tall, slender gambler known to many as “Gambler Joe” Simmons, a member of the Soap Gang who managed Soapy Smith's Tivoli Club in Denver, 1890, and Soapy's Orleans Club in Creede, 1892. According to William Devere’s poem "Two Little Busted Shoes," Simmons
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 3/25/2019
(sic) Mary Catherine Anderson—Katie to her friends—was in good spirits when she went out the evening of Monday, February 7, 1887. 16-year-old Katie Anderson was a domestic servant living at the home of her employer, Stat Colkitt on his farm in Mount Holly, New Jersey. She said she was just going out for a walk, but Katie was not seen again until Tuesday morning when a neighboring farmer found
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Murder By Gaslight - 8/17/2019

The neighborhood surrounding St. Mark’s Church on Second Avenue and 10th Street owes its charm to the descendants of the Stuyvesant family. These were the great-great grandsons and granddaughters of Petrus Stuyvesant, the director-general of New Netherland from 1647-1664. In the late 1700s and early 1800s, these Stuyvesants lived in stately houses on land that […]
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Ephemeral New York - 8/19/2019
[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.