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Tag Archives: Maryland

Early American Criminals: Francis Burdett Personel and the Liberty Pole

Constable Mr. Van Gelder was just about to abandon his search. He had recently been sent to New Haven, CT to find Francis Personel by New York City mayor Whitehead Hicks, who had learned that Personel was possibly hiding out in that city. But what Van Gelder did not know was that at the same […]

Jeremiah Swift, Convict and Child Murderer by Robert Barnes

Note: This week Early American Crime welcomes historian and genealogist Robert Barnes as a guest author. Even though Robert’s guest post is a first for him on this website, it is not the first time his work has appeared in this space, since his book, Colonial Families of Maryland: Bound and Determined to Succeed, served […]

Special Announcement: My New Book on Convict Transportation Is Now Available

My new book, Bound with an Iron Chain: The Untold Story of How the British Transported 50,000 Convicts to Colonial America, has just been published by Pickpocket Publishing and is available for purchase. I hope you enjoy reading it. Amazon.com: Paperback ($16.99) and Kindle ($4.99). Smashwords: All e-book formats ($4.99). The book will soon be […]

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 […]

Early American Criminals: Arthur Nottool’s Escape

Sometime around midnight on June 10, 1664, Arthur Nottool, a tailor by trade and a servant living in Abington Cliffs, broke into the house of John Hunt of Eltonhead Manor in Calvert County, Maryland. Poking around in the dark, Nottool spotted an open trunk and removed a shirt from it. He also spied a gun, […]

The End of Convict Transportation: One Last Gasp and the Australian Solution

Note: This post is part of a series on Convict Transportation to the American colonies. The American Revolution brought an abrupt end to the British practice of transporting convicts to America. Back in England, the supposedly temporary solution of housing convicts on prison hulks in the River Thames to relieve prison overcrowding only had a […]

The End of Convict Transportation: Ex-Convicts Who Succeeded in America

Note: This post is part of a series on Convict Transportation to the American colonies. In a letter to the Maryland Gazette on July 30, 1767, one writer defended importing convicts from Great Britain by citing how many of them reform their ways: [A] few Gentlemen seem very angry that Convicts are imported here at […]

The End of Convict Transportation: After Servitude

Note: This post is part of a series on Convict Transportation to the American colonies. Most transported convicts did not make it back to England. Escape was difficult, and the passage back to England was expensive. Even if some convicts were able to return to England after serving out their 7- or 14- year term, […]

Transported Convicts in the New World: Samuel Ellard’s Return to England

Note: This post is part of a series on Convict Transportation to the American colonies. Samuel Ellard grew up in Spitalfields and was apprenticed to a butcher. He completed his time as an apprentice and worked in the Spitalfields Market for various people until he was arrested on March 9, 1741 for robbing a cheese […]

Transported Convicts in the New World: Convicts Who Returned to England

Note: This post is part of a series on Convict Transportation to the American colonies. Most of the convicts who were sent to America from Great Britain stayed in America, but some made it back to their home country, legally or illegally. Convicts who escaped, ran away, or purchased their freedom soon after landing in […]