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Tag Archives: Theft

Now Available: Early American Criminals

My new book, Early American Criminals: An American Newgate Calendar, Chronicling the Lives of the Most Notorious Criminal Offenders from Colonial America and the New Republic, has been published and is now available for purchase! Amazon.com (Paperback and Kindle e-book) Barnes and Noble (Paperback and Nook e-book) Smashwords (All e-book formats) Amazon.co.uk (United Kingdom) Amazon.ca […]

Special Announcement: Forthcoming Book, Early American Criminals

It has been a long time since I have posted on this website, but that is because I have been hard at work writing my next book. Now, I am thrilled to announce the forthcoming publication of Early American Criminals: An American Newgate Calendar, Chronicling the Lives of the Most Notorious Criminal Offenders from Colonial […]

Crime Poems: “Cot-er’s Speech from the Pillory”

In 1768, James Cotter was convicted of making and passing several counterfeit coins. On Friday, April 22, 1768 in front of a crowd in Boston, he “stood one Hour in the Pillory, and was whip’d 20 Stripes at the public Whipping post” as part of his punishment. The following “Speech” was published by an anonymous […]

Crime Poems: Elizabeth Smith and John Sennet

On March 10, 1772, Elizabeth Smith appeared before the Massachusetts Superior Court and for a second time was found guilty of theft. Her first conviction came almost a year ago, when she received 20 lashes as punishment for the same crime. This time, Smith was sentenced to sit on the gallows for one hour with […]

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: The Three Counterfeiters

In September 1766, Richard Hodges and John Newingham Clark were convicted by the Superior Court in Boston of breaking into a shop and stealing fifty pounds worth of goods. As punishment, they were each fined twenty pounds, ordered to pay triple damages, imprisoned for six months, and bound for good behavior for twelve months. After […]

Early American Crimes: Lush Workers

The lush worker is headed to the annals of early American crime. The New York Times recently reported that, according to the New York Police Department, a specific breed of pickpocket, the lush worker, will soon be extinct. The lush worker rides the New York City subways late at night looking for a drunken reveler […]

Early American Criminals: The Curse on Joseph Lightly

Joseph Lightly relates in his Last Words and Dying Speech that when his mother learned he had enlisted in the British army, “she told me she hoped she should hear of my being hanged, for my Cruelty of going to leave her against her Will.” Lightly’s mother may simply have been reacting to the moment, […]

The American Malefactor’s Dictionary: bone

bone – 1. to take, steal, as in the way a dog runs off with a bone; 2. to be arrested, carried off, taken into custody; 3. to beg, to ask for. Sources London Antiquary, A [Hotten, John Camden]. A Dictionary of Modern Slang, Cant, and Vulgar Words. 2nd ed. London: John Camden Hotten, 1860. […]

The American Malefactor’s Dictionary: bludgeoner

bludgeoner – a bully, pimp, ponce. “A fellow who passes off some well-dressed woman as his wife. She goes out in search of a gallant, and entices her victim into some unfrequented place. The bludgeoner waits outside until she gives him a signal that the man is robbed, when he rushes in with a knife, […]