No. 542
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
January 28, 2022

A Successful Trip.

William Leland, of Buffalo, N. Y., takes a pleasurable dive over the Horseshoe Falls and still lives
June 5, 2016
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Via Newspapers.comThe following little meteorological oddity was reported in the “Ogden Standard,” January 7, 1909:Santa Cruz, Cal. Jan 6.--A remarkable phenomenon that has caused wonder and consternation in the neighborhood of the Santa Cruz Beach was reported by Mrs. W.H. Burns of 240 Riverside avenue this city this morning and when investigated was fully corroborated by residents of the
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Strange Company - 1/26/2022
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Youth With Executioner by Nuremberg native Albrecht Dürer … although it’s dated to 1493, which was during a period of several years when Dürer worked abroad. November 13 [1617]. Burnt alive here a miller of Manberna, who however was lately engaged as a carrier of wine, because he and his brother, with the help of […]
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Executed Today - 11/13/2020
Soapy Smith leading the packArtifact #96-Front Page, Part 1National PopulistMarch 24, 1894Jeff Smith collection(Click image to enlarge)  amblers, Thugs, Murders and Rogues."The alliance of the gamblers and bunco men with the old Fire and Police Board is not a pleasant thing to contemplate. It has come to a pretty pass if the interests of the city and the lives and property of citizens can't
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 1/21/2022
Artist's rendition of the Pearl Bryan murder from The Mysterious Murder of Pearl Bryan, Or, The Headless Horror. Cincinnati: Barclay & Co., 1896. Read Pearl Bryan's story in the new book,So Far from Home: The Pearl Bryan Murder.Now available at Amazon.
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Murder By Gaslight - 1/27/2022
An article I recently wrote for the British online magazine, New Politic, is now available online. The article, “The Criminal Origins of the United States of America,” is about British convict transportation to America, which took place between the years 1718 and 1775, and is the subject of my book, Bound with an Iron Chain: […]
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Early American Crime - 12/17/2021
They Ran a Snide Game. | Ought to be Ashamed of Herself.

A Successful Trip.

A Successful Trip

William Leland, of Buffalo, N. Y., takes a pleasurable dive over the Horseshoe Falls and still lives to be written up.[more]

William Leland of Buffalo, N. Y., went over the Niagara Horseshoe Falls on Nov. 3, with the aid of a cork life preserver and a parachute. The parachute is an invention of his own. At 5:55 Leland dressed in black tights, started for the center of the stream in a canvas boat. Before starting, Leland had strapped on his life preserver and placed the parachute in the boat. By the pressure of a spring the parachute is made to expand. At 6:10 Leland was at the brink of the Falls, standing up he opened the parachute, and, as the boast was about to topple over, jumped straight out from the falling water. A strong wind that was blowing caught the parachute and carried Leland about 150 feet before he landed in the water. He then swam to the shore, where Messrs. Steward and Bell put warm clothes on the swimmer. Leland was in no way injured by his swim. The trip was the result of a wager between Messrs. Clark and Steward and Bell and Tyre. Clark and Steward bet $1,000 that Leland could not go over the falls and live. Bell and Tyr were of the opposite opinion. Leland received $500 and expenses.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, November 23, 1889.