Skip to content

Tag Archives: Maine

Places and Events: Old Jails in Maine

I had to duck my head as I passed through the low doorway that led into the dungeon of the Old Gaol in York, ME. The sole electric lamp trying to replicate what the lighting would have been like in the jail cell in the 1700s and the musty smell resulting from a lack of […]

Early American Criminals: The Cuckolded Soldier

Around 1764 or 1765, Bryan Sheehen returned home to his wife in Casco Bay, ME after serving in the regular army for a long six and a half years. But the joy of his homecoming turned into rage when he learned that his wife had remarried during his absence to a Frenchman. Sheehen made preparations […]

Early American Criminals: Joseph Quasson’s Repentance

When Native American, Joseph Quasson, learned that he would spend eight or nine months in prison before he could face trial for murder, he secretly believed that he could properly repent in a quarter of the time. After all, he had once regularly attended church when he was young. But as the time for his […]

Early American Criminals: The Conversion of Esther Rodgers

The night before the special event, Esther Rodgers exclaimed to the group of people who had gathered in her cell, “Oh! I have had the joyfullest day to day that ever I had in my whole life. I bless God that ever I came into this Prison.” Rodgers’s exclamation is remarkable. She had little exposure […]

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 […]

Early American Criminals: The Wicked Oath of Patience Boston

The Native-American servant Patience Boston developed, in her words, “some groundless Prejudice” against her new master, so she tried to come up with ways to take action against him. She thought about poisoning his food, but she did not have access to a toxin that would kill him. She tried to burn down his barn, […]

Early American Criminals: Henry Tufts in the Castle

Note: This post follows “Henry Tufts’s Partners in Crime.” While living in Massachusetts in 1793, Henry Tufts purchased a silver tablespoon and five teaspoons from John Stewart, who said he found them while clearing out a cellar. Tufts used the spoons until a neighbor recognized them as stolen and reported Tufts to the authorities. […]

Early American Criminals: Henry Tufts’s Thanksgiving

Note: This post follows “Early American Criminals: Henry Tufts’s Bill of Goods, a Preamble.” Over the last year or so, Early American Crime has focused on burglars in early America, and Henry Tufts was one of the most prolific. He committed burglaries throughout New England for a good part of his life before retiring […]