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Tag Archives: Criminal Justice System – America

In the Media: Recent Crime-Related Blog Articles

Some notable crime-related blog articles have appeared over the last week or so. Ben Ruset of the NJPineBarrens has written a fascinating article on Captain John Bacon, a notorious outlaw who took advantage of the American Revolutionary War to commit robbery and burglary in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. ExecutedToday.com notes the execution of Thomas […]

Crime and Prison Songs: “John Henry”

“Take My Hammer” is a work song that possibly has roots going back to the time of slavery and was sung by convicts who were leased to dig tunnels through the Appalachian Mountains: Take my hammer, Carry it to the captain, Tell him I’m gone, Tell him I’m gone. If he ask you was […]

Early American Criminals: Mistaken Identities in the Robbery of John “Ready Money” Scott

George Burns made one last desperate attempt to save himself: he wrote to the Attorney-General and named Ephraim Jones and Arthur Sykes as accomplices in a robbery that he had actually helped to pull off with three different men on July 29, 1766. The victim of the robbery, John “Ready Money” Scott, had mistakenly fingered […]

Crime and Prison Songs: “Prettiest Train”

From the 1870’s to the 1920’s, some Southern states contracted their convicts out to private landowners and companies to perform heavy labor, such as timbering, mining, railroad work, and farming. Little to no concern was given to the prisoners’ safety or health, and they received inadequate food, shelter, and clothing. Because the convicts belonged […]

Crime and Prison Songs: “Jumpin’ Judy”

In 1933, John and Alan Lomax visited prison farms in the South in the hope of recording African-American songs that dated back to the time of slavery. Their visits were based on the theory that the best places to find songs of slavery preserved in their purest form were in prison camps, with their […]