Archive for April 26, 2012

Counterfeiting in Danbury

Thomas J. Craughwell has written an outstanding book about the bizarre plot by a group of counterfeiters to steal the entombed body of Abraham Lincoln. This took place in 1876 and Craughwell has aptly entitled the book Stealing Lincoln’s Body. He has a chapter which reviews the world of counterfeiting. In it he makes reference to an incident during the American Revolution. The British were trying to destabilize the new American currency called continentals. Two distributors of the counterfeit currency, David Farnsworth and John Blair, were arrested in Danbury with ten thousand dollars worth of false continentals. They were subsequently tried and convicted and executed in Hartford on October 8, 1778.

Dogs on the Titanic

With the one hundreth anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic fast approaching all aspects of the tragedy are being written about. One aspect of the tragedy that is new is an exhibit at Widener University¬†which has a unique focus on the dogs who sailed on Titanic. There were twelve dogs who sailed and nine were kept in an onboard kennel while three smaller dogs were able to stay in their owners’ cabins. The smaller dogs all survived probably because when they were carried on board the lifeboats the crew assumed that the people were carrying babies. The larger dogs unfortunately all perished. One of them, a Great Dane, perished in the arms of its owner, Ann Elizabeth Isham who had left the safety of a lifeboat to retrieve the dog and lost her life as well.