No. 499
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
November 25, 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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"York Dispatch," November 28, 1905.  (All clippings via Newspapers.com) When normal people think of Thanksgiving, they picture large family dinners, a relaxing day watching football in front of the TV, a general atmosphere of comfort and contentment.Me, I picture turkeys being used as lethal weapons and guided missiles.  The "Passaic Herald-News," November 23, 1956:This inventive lady celebrated
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Strange Company - 11/25/2020

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A CHAMPIONSan Francisco ChronicleOctober 12, 1898(Click image to enlarge)     ASCOMB IS A CHAMPION    Guess Bascomb Smith wasn't all bad. The texts of the newspaper appear below.  Miss Hall finds a champion. Brother of  “ Soapy” Smith claims her as his wife.There is another side to the pathetic story told to the police by Minnie Hall, the Vaudeville actress to jump into the bay from Howard
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 9/25/2020

It’s been a good century or so since New Yorkers celebrated Evacuation Day. But in the late 18th and 19th centuries, this holiday—on November 25—was a major deal, marked by festive dinners, parades, and a deep appreciation of the role the city played in the Revolutionary War. Evacuation Day honors the day in 1783 when […]
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Ephemeral New York - 11/23/2020
Colorization can sometimes add another whole dimension to vintage black and white photos. We’ve done this one of the crime …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 8/31/2020
 Old Cap. Collier, the fictional dime novel detective, tries his hand at solving the murder of Dr. Cronin.The real murder of Dr. Patrick Henry Cronin was stranger than fiction, with the good doctor found naked and dead in a Chicago sewer after confronting the corrupt leaders of an Irish secret society. As Edmund Pearson said, “It was one of those murders over which men nod their heads and look
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Murder By Gaslight - 11/21/2020

Youth With Executioner by Nuremberg native Albrecht Dürer … although it’s dated to 1493, which was during a period of several years when Dürer worked abroad. November 13 [1617]. Burnt alive here a miller of Manberna, who however was lately engaged as a carrier of wine, because he and his brother, with the help of […]
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Executed Today - 11/13/2020
[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.