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Press as a Crime Detective – Montreal, 1877

Daily Witness, 25 Aug 1877

The Press as a Crime Detective

A great wall has gone forth from the police authorities over the fact that the evening papers, through publishing the robbery of Messrs. Claxton & Co’s warehouse prematurely, had given warning to the ringleader of the thieves, and thus assisted in his escape.  This sounds all very well, but a few incidents will be sufficient to show that the press has very often much more to do in the unearthing of crime and fraud than the police, notwithstanding their great usefulness; and it thus becomes a question of considerable importance whether such publication is not in general the safest course, and more in the interests of the public.  Leaving home, we shall first give an interesting case where the atrocious and mysterious murder of a beautiful young girl on Staten Island was relegated, like so many others, to oblivion by the sapient gentry of Mulberry Street.  The NY World, which from the first had taken a deep interest in the matter, but its reporters to work, and in less than a week the murderer was in custody. It is unnecessary to say that daily reports of progress were published. Coming home for further proof, we would respectfully refer the compiler of the report which appeared in the Herald, and reproduced by us, and the police authorities as well, to Mr. JP Cuddy, dry goods merchant, in this city, for his experience. He and some of his neighbours had been repeatedly robbed, and, as usual in such cases, immediately notified the police authorities of the fact, but all to no purpose, until Mr. Cuddy became impatient, and notwithstanding that he was requested by the detectives to keep the matter quiet, he had the last robbery of his shop published in the “evening papers”, and two days barely elapsed before he was in possession of a large portion of the stolen property, consisting chiefly of cloth.  It had been conveyed to Sicher’s Auction rooms, the day after the robbery, where it was being cut up into pieces and sold at less than half its original cost, when a person who had read in the Witness an account of the robbery went to Mr. Cuddy and informed him of the sacrifice that was being made by the auction of broadcloths. Mr. Cuddy through this information discovered a portion of the stolen goods, the largest part having already been disposed of at prices that should have aroused the suspicions of even an ordinary policeman.  Mr. P Wright, another dry goods merchant, says he was robbed on two occasions and kept the matter, according to the detective’s imperative orders and unfortunately for himself, too quiet, as he now believes if he had given the matter publicity, he would have recovered the stolen property, as he found out some months later that some cloth of his stolen had been sold in the city for fifty to seventy-five cents per yard, although its market value was five dollars.  He thinks his loss, like Mr. Claxton’s, would have been but small, the latter having recovered all but $400 worth of his stolen property by the “premature” publication.  As an instance of Mr. Wright’s experience, he says he went so far as to bring the detectives to his store and showed them a gold breast-pin, with a masonic emblem on it, which had been dropped by one of the thieves.  One of the detectives said, “Give that to me.  I know the owner of it, and will have him arrested before long and your goods discovered and restored to you.”  However, neither goods nor breast-pin have ever been heard of since, notwithstanding repeated enquiries, and Mr. Wright, with several other merchants, show their confidence in our police protection by having, along with Mr. Cuddy, employed a private watchman to look after their premises at night, the result being that they have not since suffered from the depredations of thieves.

It is very strange that the police authorities should have known apparently much less about Vosbourgh’s illegal and shameful manner of earning a living than a large number of citizens and members of the press?  Why did they not break up his infamous den in St Lawrence Main Street which he had the impudence to locate in the midst of some of our most respectable citizens? While in St Catherine Street, at a convenient distance, a gambling hell of his, it is said, was in full blast. What stronger reason had they for keeping these things silent than exposing them?


In Defence of the Catholic Clergy, Montreal, 1835

Montreal Gazette, 17 November 1835, page 2


To the Scotch Catholic, whose letter appears in our present number, we would remark that the Protestant Press of this city, in stepping forward to defence the reputation of the Catholic Clergy, from the most unwarranted slanders, sought for no thanks, nor did they look for any reward for doing that which as good chronicles, it was peculiarly their duty to perform.  It was the cause of justice and truth, while at the same time the evidence of Protestant against the calumnies circulated by a Protestant writer, possessed greater weight probably than any proceeding from those who professed the creed of the party involved.

We thank however our correspondent for the hint contained in the latter part of his note.  The universal condemnation by all the British journals in the province of the articles which have appeared in the New York Paper, goes fully to contradict the willful assertion of the Clique writers, that religious feeling has an influence upon the opinions formed by the British inhabitants of the province, in opposition to those entertained in the Assembly.


International Cricket Match, New York, 1854

Coventry Herald, 1 September 1854 page 3


International Cricket Match – The return match between Canada and New York came off on the 19th and 20th ult. The Canadians came into New York in August last, and played the match on the St George’s-ground, which terminated after two days beautiful play in favour of the New Yorkers by 24 runs. The score on that occasion was United States first innings, 62; second ditto, 71; total 133.  Canadians, first innings, 45; second ditte, 54, total 99. This present match has terminated in favour of the Canadians with ten wickets to spare.  The conquering game will probably not be played till next year.  The Cricketers of Canada treated their New York brethren with most hearty hospitality.  A pleasing incident occurred at the close of the game, as then the British colours floated at one end of the stand, and the stars and stripes at the other.  The moment the game was ended, some American gentlemen ordered the stars and stripes to be lowered, which was done accordingly; but as soon as the Canadian concourse of visitors observed it, they, by acclamation, immediately demanded theirs to be hoisted again, which after some little difficulty was done.  As a mark of the delicate feelings of the Canadians on the occasion, they ordered the British flag to be hauled down and the halyards unrove, and not until the American flag was re-hoisted under the direction of Captain Denne, was the British flag allowed to float again.  Three cheers were given for the Queen, and three for the President of the United States.  The Canadians and the New Yorkers then sat down to a sumptuous feast.  The splendid Band of the Canadian Rifles was present.  Amongst the toasts were those of the health of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, and the President of the United States, all of which were received with rapturous applause.

Attitude of Irish-Canadians, Lt-Col Trihey, New York, 1917

Montreal Gazette, 3 July 1917, page 2

Lieut-Col Trihey on attitude of Irish-Canadians

Deeply concerned on situation in Ireland but will their duty as Canadians

Gives view to NY Paper

Former commanding officer of Irish Rangers confesses his chagrin over disbanding of the battalion

(Special to the Gazette)

New York – July 2 – Lt-Col Henry J Trihey of Montreal, who commanded the now disbanded regiment of Irish Canadian Rangers, makes the following statement over his signature to the New York Post:

“Irish-Canadians always deeply interested in the welfare of Ireland, have never yet allowed that interest to interfere with their duty to Canada.  They are Canadians.

“On the outbreak of war and at the first call for volunteers, Irish-Canadians came forward and continued voluntarily to respond as Canada made further calls, until scores of thousands of Irish-Canadians had gone overseas, diffused among the various Canadian units.

“During the first eighteen months of war no Canadian unit particularly represented the Irish-Canadian population, although the Scotch, English and French populations had each from the beginning its special regiment.

“At the end of 1915 the Canadian Government having given evidence of its desire to feature battalions representing different shades of national sentiment in Canada, with a view to encouraging voluntary enlistment, was asked by me for authority to raise an Irish-Canadian  regiment for overseas service.  This authority having been granted, patriotic Irish-Canadian citizens provided a fund of $40 000 to defray the cost of recruiting and of organizing.

“In February 1916, the organizing of the Irish-Canadian Rangers was begun.  The first poster issued bore the legend ‘Small Nations must be free’.  The particular appeal was to those who desired to share in the honor of representing in this unit, Irish-Canadian loyalty to Canada, at the front, fighting for the principle proclaimed on the poster.

Assurances given

“Two members of Sir Robert Borden’s cabinet – one of them Minister of Militia – from platforms, in the city of Montreal, stated that the government of Canada pledged itself that the Irish-Canadian Rangers would go to France as a unit representing Irish-Canadians. This statement was made at recruiting meetings as a special inducement to Irish-Canadians to enlist in this regiment. Relying on this pledge and animated by loyalty to Canada, Irish-Canadians volunteered despite the aftermath of the Irish rebellion of Easter, 1916.  The Irish-Canadian Rangers fully organized arrived in England on December 26, 1916.  On January 3, 1917, I learned that the disbandment of the regiment had been officially decreed in England, but that it was the intention of the English government first to  send the Irish-Canadian Rangers to parade through Ireland.  On confirming this I tendered my resignation as officer commanding and returned to Canada.  All efforts from Canada were unavailing: the parade through Ireland occurred and the regiment was disbanded May 23, 1917.

“The disbanded men were scattered among English-Canadian regiments.

“Not one of the Irish-Canadian officers, not even our Catholic chaplain was sent with the men.  The officers were not used: they were simply ignored.

Reasons for Discontent

“Today the Irish-Canadian knows of the Irish-Canadian regiment, that Irish-Canadian loyalty organised to symbolize itself in Canada’s effort for the freedom of small nations.  He realizes what he formerly heard, but did not appreciate that Ireland is under martial law, and is occupied by an English army.  He reads in the press that English soldiers in Dublin and Cork with rifle and with machine gun fight those of his kinsmen who believe Ireland to be a small nation worthy of freedom.  He wonders if the conscripting of 100 000 more Canadians would be necessary if the 150 000 men comprising the English army in Ireland were sent to fight in France.  He also wonders where Canadians now may best maintain the war purpose vital to Canada small – small nations must be free.

“If conscription becomes law of course Irish-Canadians will loyally observe the law, for they are Canadians.

Gregory Consolidation from Tammany New York, Montreal, 1869

Montreal Gazette, 5 August 1869, page 2

Theatre Royal

Thursday 5th August

Positively last three nights of the

Gregory Consolidation from the Tammany, New York

During their stay of six weeks upwards of 300,000 persons witnessed their performances.

Miniature Circus, Dogs, Monkeys, Ponies and Goats, the Gymnasium, the Aerial Acrobats, the Spiral Ascension, Wonderful Comic Pantomimes, the Original Punch and Judy

-also –

Mlle Gertrude in her wonderful Parlour Entertainment of Educated Animals

The Latest New York [illegible]

The Men of the Air

With their astounding summersaults while flying in the air.

On Saturday, Family Matinee, at half past two o’clock.

Private boxes, $1.00; Dress circle 50c; Family circle 37 ½ c’ PI 25c.

Doors open at 7: Performances to comments at 8 ½ precisely.

Seats can be secured, without extra charge, at Prince’s Music Store2gaz5aug1869b

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