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Monthly Archives: June 2010

EAC Places and Events: The Old Jailhouse Tavern, Cape Cod

If you are vacationing on Cape Cod and want to add some early American crime to your dining experience, visit the Old Jailhouse Tavern in Orleans, MA. The current restaurant and bar is in the former house of town constable Henry Perry. Early in the nineteenth century, Perry used his spare front bedroom to hold […]

The American Malefactor’s Dictionary: bazaar

bazaar – a shop counter (as in the bazaar-like display of goods). Sources Matsell, George W. Vocabulum: Or, the Rogue’s Lexicon.. New York: George W. Matsell, 1859. Partridge, Eric. A Dictionary of the Underworld. New York: Bonanza Books, 1961. Note: See “Cant: The Language of the Underworld” to learn more about the background of the […]

The American Malefactor’s Dictionary: bat

Image by Quimbaya via Flickr bat – 1. a prostitute who only goes out on the street at night (in the way that bats appear at dusk); a low prostitute; 2. to be, or to work as, a prostitute. Sources Barrère, Albert and Charles G. Leland. A Dictionary of Slang, Jargon, and Cant. [London]: The […]

Early American Criminals: John Dixon, the Recalcitrant Burglar

On August 21, 1784, a man entered the house of Capt. James Dagget of Reheboth, MA in the middle of the night and took several valuable items. He was soon caught and committed to the Taunton Gaol, where he gave his name as Abiel Brigs. The authorities knew better. They easily recognized him as John […]

The American Malefactor’s Dictionary: barnacles

Image via Wikipedia barnacles – 1. a good booty (as in “things worth sticking to”); 2. a pair of spectacles (a possible corruption of binoculi); 3. handcuffs. Sources London Antiquary, A [Hotten, John Camden]. A Dictionary of Modern Slang, Cant, and Vulgar Words. 2nd ed. London: John Camden Hotten, 1860. Matsell, George W. Vocabulum: Or, […]