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Tag Archives: New Hampshire

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: 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: The Mother of the Infant in the Well

On Saturday morning, August 11, 1739, a female infant was discovered in a well near the outskirts of Portsmouth, NH. Warrants were immediately issued, and a search was conducted to find the mother who presumably had murdered the baby. By the afternoon, officers focused their attention on Sarah Simpson, a 27 year-old widow. Neighbors believed […]

EAC Reviews: Murder and Mayhem in Essex County by Robert Wilhelm

Murder and Mayhem in Essex County by Robert Wilhelm (Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2011), 128 pp. Robert Wilhelm has earned a reputation for writing compelling accounts of 19th-century murders on his blog, Murder by Gaslight. He has more recently taken on a new project, The National Night Stick, which chronicles the oddities and outrageous […]

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: 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 Partners in Crime

Note: This post follows “Henry Tufts’s Thanksgiving.” Henry Tufts returned to his family in Lee, NH after slipping away from Mr. Pickard, who in good faith had released him from the Old York jail. When Tufts arrived in his home town, though, he discovered that his reputation was as bad as ever, especially when […]

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 […]

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 […]