Sunday, June 20, 2010

1875 Check Forgery

September 23, 1875 The Daily Gazette, a Wilmington Paper

A West Chester man was robbed of a check on which his endorsement is Forged.

An alleged forgery has come to light in Maryland in which the First National Bank of West Chester is interested in the particulars of which the Local News relates as follows:

During the first day of the Agricultural Fair held in our borough, a man named Washington Eastbourne, residing at Russelville, this county, came to West Chester and negotiated a loan with Messrs. Pyle & Brown, bankers for the sum of $180, he receiving a check on the First National Bank for this amount. He did not draw the money, and while here it appears, he made the acquaintance of a very pleasant gentleman, who was endeavoring to operate among the people attending the exhibition in the way of selling some sort of a patient right. Eastbourne and this gentleman who was very childlike and bland, he became quite intimate, and on Tuesday, it is said they left our borough together and betook themselves to Wilmington Delaware. In that city they drank together and got more or less intoxicated and Eastbourne on Tuesday night took lodging in a wagon standing in one of the hotel yards. On the following morning he awoke to find his hat and traveling companion both missing and upon investigating the interior of his pocketbook, the check was also found to be missing and he at once suspected his newly found friend as being the thief.

It appears that the stranger after quitting Wilmington went to Delmar, a place near Maryland line and stopped at a hotel kept by a man named Hodgson and with whom he settled his hotel charges by passing over the check, after first endorsing it in the name of “Washington Eastbunn” – Subsequently the check was endorsed by Mr. Hodgson and given to Adams Express Company for collection, and by the company it was also endorsed and presented to the First national Bank of west Chester, and the money paid to the company.

On the day following Eastbourne advised Messrs Pyle & Brown, of this place of his loss and requested them to stop payment, and the being then in the Express Company’s hands they were forthwith advised by their agent at West Chester to return it or hold it until further orders.

The stranger, who gave his name as Washington Eastbunn, was afterwards arrested at Crisfield, Md. In regard to the check he said:
“I won the check in Wilmington from Washington “Eastbourne’ at a gambling table and brought it down to Delmar and there transferred it to Mr. Hodgson by putting my name on the back of it, which is Washington Eastbunn. I have a right to put my name on anything, the bank cashier should have noticed the spelling.” Eastbunn, as he calls himself but which is not his name, is a tremendous man in size, being greatly over six feet high, he says he was fifteen years a sailor and three years on the police force in the 8th ward in New York City.
He showed the magistrate how he wrote the name “Eastbourne” and his writing was an excellent specimen of beautiful pensmanship.

The bank cashier went down to Delmar, Tuesday in company with Washington Eastbourne to be present at the hearing.

The theft being committed in Delaware an effort will be made to have the trail take place at New Castle instead of in Maryland, that place being the choice of those interested.

Note: In 1859 Kendall B. Hearn built a Hotel in Delmar. After he died it changed hands a number of times with one of the owners being Richard Hodgson. The Hotel burn in the great Fire of 1892.

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