Skip to content

Tag Archives: Forgery

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 […]

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: Owen Syllavan’s Bunker

After one week, hunger finally drove Owen Syllavan out of his hiding place in the Connecticut woods and forced him to seek refuge with an acquaintance. Syllavan cut open a plank in the floor of his friend’s house, dug a large cavity that went under the hearth of the fireplace, and rigged a vent so […]

The American Malefactor’s Dictionary: Attleborough

Attleborough – 1. fake, not genuine, made to imitate; 2. sham jewelry. The town of Attleborough, Massachusetts was known for producing imitation or trashy jewelry that was either made from base metals or were alloyed so as to fool those who were not good judges of the real thing. Sources Barrère, Albert and Charles G. […]

Early American Criminals: William Linsey and the Telltale Candle

Even though William Linsey was orphaned at a young age, this rough start did not appear to have any negative impact on him. Linsey was originally born in Palmer, MA in 1746, but at the age of two he went to live with Phinehas Mixture in Dudley, MA. By Linsey’s own account, Mixture raised him […]

Transported Convicts in the New World: Committing Crime in America

Note: This post is part of a series on Convict Transportation to the American colonies. On July 15, 1751 the New-York Gazette, or Weekly Post-Boy reported that Onesiphorus Lucas was executed in Annapolis in a follow-up to a newspaper story that appeared two weeks earlier about how Lucas was found guilty of burglary and sentenced […]