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Writing History & Mysteries

When I'm not delving into historical research, I'm planning a character's demise.

Thursday, April 03, 2014


Counterfeiting was quite a popular crime in the late 19th centuryit was easy to do. But imagine the embarrassment when it turns out said perpetrator is the son of a District Attorney who was in the process of prosecuting a ring of counterfeiters. OOPS!

The Western New Yorker (Warsaw, Wyoming County, NY)
January 27, 1857

ARRESTED FOR COUNTERFEITING.It is one of the most painful duties of a journalist to record crime committed by a fellow townsman, especially when such record cannot fail to give renewed pain to the intimate friends and relatives of the culprit.  In this community such instances have been of infrequent occurrences, and it is therefore with the greater regret that we copy the following from the Buffalo Express of Thursday last:

The person on whom an individual passed six ten-dollar notes, of spurious Midland District money, was on his track on Saturday, the day following the transactions. Officer Lake was put upon the scent and before night had the presumed offender in charge. He gave his name is McKay and said that he came from Warsaw Wyoming County.

On this person were found a large number of counterfeited notes of the same character as those passed the previous night, and dies for striking bogus quarters. The evidence is probably sufficient to ensure his conviction.

Great credit is due to Officer Lake for the adroit and skillful management which resulted in the capture of the rogue with the proofs of his guilt upon him. A supposed accomplice of the accused, who has been for some time occupying the position of clerk in one of our most respectable mercantile houses, obtained information of the state of affairs in time to make his escape from arrest. This young man had heretofore maintained a good character.

The arrested man was examined before Justice Drullard and pleaded guilty.

There are pretty well grounded suspicions that the notes and dies found upon this young man was stolen from his father's office, where they were deposited as evidence to be used against counterfeiters now in custody in this and Genesee County. Young McKay was taken to Albany for trial before the United States District Court.


Well this is not looking good for either Mr. McKay. Stop back tomorrow as this continues when we proceed to D is for DISTRICT ATTORNEY as I blog all month on 19th century crimes.

You can find 1600+ A-Z bloggers here! You're bound to find something to interest you.



  1. Counterfeiting, or any white collar crime fascinates me because it is more about intelligence, and less about gore. Thanks for sharing.

    Damyanti Co-host, A to Z Challenge 2014, Latest Post

    Twitter: @damyantig

  2. Great idea for the A to Z Challenge. I will without a doubt be back again.
    My A-Z group blog is www.writeonsisters.com

  3. ah, so that was it eh? lol, well done.

  4. What a fun topic! And I love reading how "old journalism" was written. Fascinating! ~ Angela, A to Z participant from Web Writing Advice (http://www.webwritingadvice.com/) and Whole Foods Living (http://wholefoodsliving.blogspot.com/)

  5. Oh boy, daddy's gonna be mad and ashamed. Kid made him look bad!

  6. That was one interesting story about the counter fitter! Surprise, Dad.


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