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Tag Archives: Theft

The American Malefactor’s Dictionary: blowen and its variants

blowen – 1. a woman; 2. a thief’s mistress; 3. a prostitute; 4. a strange woman. blowen, a fine – lady. blowen of the ken – mistress of the house. blowen spenie or blowen mush – a thief’s girl. blowen, to do him of his – to rob him of his wife. Sources Barnes, Daniel […]

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 […]

The American Malefactor’s Dictionary: bit

bit – 1. the old Spanish “real” coin and then a dime; 2. money of any kind; 3. a share of the booty; 4. outwitted; 5. a prison sentence. Sources Barrère, Albert and Charles G. Leland. A Dictionary of Slang, Jargon, and Cant. [London]: The Ballantyne Press, 1889. Matsell, George W. Vocabulum: Or, the Rogue’s […]

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: Henry Tufts’s Bill of Goods, a Preamble

The main source of information about the burglar and thief Henry Tufts differs from many of the previous sources that document the lives of early American criminals. The most obvious difference is the length of A Narrative of the Life, Adventures, Travels, and Sufferings of Henry Tufts, which was published in 1807. Up until […]