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Monthly Archives: September 2010

Early American Criminals: Thomas Mount’s Crime Tips

Note: This post continues “Thomas Mount and the Flash Company.” In his “Last Speech and Dying Words”–a subsection of The Confession, &c. of Thomas Mount–Thomas Mount offers an odd mix of contrition, advice, and rant. Along with the usual declarations of penitence and warnings to young men not to follow his idle ways, Mount […]

Early American Criminals: Thomas Mount and the Flash Company

In April 1791, Thomas Mount and James Williams were thrown in the Newport, RI jail to be held until their execution for burglary. Williams was reticent to discuss his life or the crime that the two committed, but Mount not only willingly talked at length about these topics, he divulged the inner-workings of the […]

The American Malefactor’s Dictionary: billy

billy – “A piece of whalebone or rawhide about fourteen inches long, with an oval-shaped lump of lead at each end, one larger than the other, the whole being covered with backskin or india-rubber.” Sources Matsell, George W. Vocabulum: Or, the Rogue’s Lexicon.. New York: George W. Matsell, 1859. Note: See “Cant: The Language of […]

Early American Criminals: The Final Words and Thoughts of Francis Uss, Burglar

Francis Uss handed a manuscript to a visitor a “day or two before his suffering.” The manuscript was an account of his life and crimes, and it gives a remarkable picture of a man waiting to be hanged. Back and Forth Uss said that he was born in 1761 to “reputable parents,” who lived in […]

The American Malefactor’s Dictionary: bilboa

bilboa – a pointed instrument. From Bilbao, a city in Spain known for making excellent swords and blades. Image via Wikipedia 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 […]