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Tag Archives: Fines

Crime Poems: “That Notorious Cheat”

Crime Poems: “That Notorious Cheat” In June 1761, Jeremiah Dexter of Walpole, MA was caught trying to pass counterfeit dollars of his own making. As punishment, Dexter was forced on September 10 to stand in the pillory for one hour and pay a fine of 20 pounds. Among the crowd who showed up that day […]

Early American Criminals: Rachel Wall’s Fall From Grace

Rachel Wall knew exactly what to say and how to say it in her Life, Last Words and Dying CONFESSION, where she eloquently appealed to God and her “dear Savior and Redeemer JESUS CHRIST, who is able to save all those that, by faith, come unto him, not refusing even the chief of sinners.” After […]

Crime Poems: Samuel Cooke’s Forged Notes

In March 1765, Samuel Cooke, a yeoman from Westfield, MA, pleaded guilty to forging two promissory notes for considerable sums of money. His scheme was exposed when he tried to redeem the fake notes by sending them to an attorney in Boston. As punishment, Cooke was sentenced to stand in the pillory for one hour […]

Early American Criminals: The Fate of Joseph Atwood, Levi Ames’s Accomplice

Note: This post continues “Advice from a Condemned Burglar.” Joseph Atwood and Levi Ames both participated in the burglary of Martin Bicker’s house in 1773, although the extent to which each one was involved was a matter of debate. Both said that the other was the mastermind of the burglary, and Atwood claimed that he […]

Early American Criminals: The Stories of Levi Ames, Burglar

On August 23, 1773, Martin Bicker took out the above newspaper advertisement in the hope that it would lead to the capture of Levi Ames’s accomplice in burglarizing his house. Tucked away in the back pages of the Boston Post-Boy, the ad marks the first time that Levi Ames was mentioned in print. Soon, however, […]

Early American Criminals: Punishment of the Harvard-Educated Burglars

Note: This post is the conclusion of the story of the “Harvard-Educated Burglars.” In his History of New England, John Winthrop notes on June 5, 1644, Two of our ministers’ sons, being students in the college, robbed two dwelling houses in the night of some 15 pounds. Being found out, they were ordered by the […]

Early American Crimes: Pickpocketing

In order to settle a debate with her boss, Rebecca, a self-described “curious technical writer,” asked Early American Crime, “Were American pickpockets executed in the 1700′s and 1800′s? I know Britain was big on this, but how about America?” As far as I can tell, pickpockets were not executed in America as they were in […]