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Monthly Archives: December 2009

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 American Malefactor’s Dictionary: amuse

amuse – 1. to fling dust into someone’s eyes in order to distract them; 2. to tell a false tale in order to distract and then rob an unsuspecting victim; to “entertain” deceptively. Amusers threw dust or pepper, which they kept in their pockets, into the eyes of someone they wanted to rob. As the […]

Early American Criminals: Punishment of the Harvard-Educated Burglars

Note: This post is the conclusion of the story of the “Harvard-Educated Burglars.” In his History of New England, John Winthrop notes on June 5, 1644, Two of our ministers’ sons, being students in the college, robbed two dwelling houses in the night of some 15 pounds. Being found out, they were ordered by the […]

In the Media: The Last Hanging in New York State

John Warren has just posted an article on his New York History blog about a new online exhibit by the New York Correction History Society. The exhibit chronicles the last execution to be carried out by hanging in the state of New York. The hanging of John Greenwall for murder and burglary took place on […]

Early American Criminals: The Harvard-Educated Burglars

James Ward and Joseph Welde were positioned for success. Both were sons of prominent Puritan church men who were respected members of Massachusetts society, and both were enrolled at Harvard College, which would help them follow in their fathers’ footsteps and become leaders in their community. One night in March 1644, Ward and Welde burglarized […]