Thieves, scandal, & murder

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Blog Posts

"The American Bloody Register"


  • Founding Hospital
        - Located In Ireland  
        - Open in 1704 
        - Conditions were pretty bad in the hospital 

  • Piracy
  - Punishment for Piracy
  - "Dancing the Hempen Jig"
  - Punishment Extended Beyond Death
  • Did you know ?
- Highway robbery is defined as Robbery committed on a highway against
travelers ... None of these Robberies were committed on the Highway

  • The American Bloody Register


  - The American Bloody Register is a true complete history of lives. It states the last words and the Dying Confessions of three criminals. 
  - Printed and sold by E. Russell in Boston 
  - The Three Criminals are 
         - Richard Barrick 
         - John Sullivan
         - Alexander White 

Anything interesting about the format it was published in? Did you do any research on the American Bloody Register?

  • Format of The American Bloody Register
  - The Life and Dying Confession of Richard Barrick, High Way Robber 
  - The Life and Dying Confession of John Sullivan , High Way Robber
  - The Confession of Alexander White, Pirate
  - The Life and Dying Confession of Richard Barrick, High Way Robber

  • Blogs
 - Lindsey liked the fact that he would say, "I stole two bucks" , "I stole four bucks"

 - In my blog I put a picture of Richard Barrick and his gang

The Record Of Crimes In The United States: Jesse Strang


  • The story of the murder of Mr. Whipple took place in the 1820s
  • The story took place in Albany, New York, and the murder happened at Cherry Hill
  • Before coming to the Whipple household, Strang left his wife and children for fear that she was being unfaithful.


  • Strang fell in love with Mr. Whipple's wife
  • The two began exchanging letters, and Mrs. Whipple began to persuade Strang to murder her husband
  • Strang refused at first, but eventually gave in
  • There were several attempts, until eventually Strang shot Mr. Whipple
  • Strang was caught and put to death, while Mrs. Whipple was released

Discussion Topics

  • Women's role. It seems like the woman is behind all of this, and in the 1800s women are gaining more power
  • Motivation for the murder?
  • At first, Strang refused to listen to Mrs. Whipple and would not murder her husband. (Page 205: "Strang was shocked at the proposal, and told her so.")As time went on, his mind changed. Why?
  • It was Mrs. Whipple's idea in the first place to murder her husband, and it was Mrs. Whipple in the end that made Strang's case impossible to win (Page 212: "Mrs. Whipple herself had had furnished sufficient proof of his guilt for conviction, and that his case was HOPELESS."
  • Strang was put to death, while Mrs. Whipple moved on with her life and remarried

Question from your professor: Did you do any research on this murder? What did you find?

George Swearingen


  • George was raised in Frederick County, Virginia
    • about a two hour drive from here.
  • Was a good guy through his youth
  • got a good education
  • married Mary Scott
    • Pleasant explanation of her on page 43 at the bottom
    • when she and their baby were sick he cheated on her.
      • multiple times

Questions from your professor: Did you do any research on this murder? Can you contextualize the reading/moment for the class? What are some of the issues raised in this reading?


  1. adultery
  2. attempted murder
  3. murder
  4. evading police
  5. attempting escape

sentenced to..

the only sensible thing, HANGING What are you trying to say here?

His description of his crime

they were riding along all fine and dandy when Mrs.Swearingen mentioned that she heard Rachel (his mistress) was at Tevis Farm. She just had to go look. Well along the ride George rode up beside her and struck her on the back of the head but, only after she had said mean words to him. She fell off the horse. He dismounted his horse and saw that she was dead.

  • he told this story and maintained its truth till his death.


  1. was he innocent of murder?
  2. How common do these crimes seem for the time period? What do you mean?
  3. Did you think Mary was as described on page 43?
  4. What do you think of his final words?
  5. whats did he mean by "When God will punish, he will first take away the understanding"?(page 66: his final warning.)