Bunco Artists in Richmond, 1870–1920

Sharpers, Snatchers, Swindlers, Flimflammers and Other Con Men

$29.95

In stock

Add to Wishlist
Add to Wishlist

About the Book

Richmond in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was home to a lively underworld of tricksters, swindlers, confidence men and thieves. The former Confederate capital’s under-staffed police force and dense population—large numbers of immigrants and the very poor—accommodated the enterprising criminal. Newspaper reports of the day offer a glimpse of a wide variety of crimes and misdemeanors, often with a bit of humor or pathos. Based on reports from the proceedings of the Police Court, this book provides a portrait of Richmond—then the most congested city in the U.S.—during the “Golden Age of the Con,” when gamblers, hustlers and frauds plied their trades across the country.

About the Author(s)

The late Harry M. Ward was William Binford Vest Professor of History Emeritus at University of Richmond. He was the author of 21 books, including college-level textbooks on Colonial America and the American Revolution, military biographies and studies of social aspects of the Revolution.

Bibliographic Details

Harry M. Ward

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 248
Bibliographic Info: 37 photos, glossary, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6692-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2617-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1

1. River City 5

2. Resurrectionists 10

3. Clairvoyants 19

4. Plungers 35

5. Confidence Men 47

6. Money Sharks 53

7. Fakir Paradise 59

8. “Shoving the Queer” 77

9. Larceners 83

10. Footpads 93

11. Cracksmen 99

12. Dips 103

13. Suspicious Characters 109

14. “American Nobility” 118

15. Narcoticists 127

16. Kidnappers 133

17. Fugitive Felons 142

18. Forgers 148

19. Embezzlers 156

20. Impostors 164

21. Drummers 174

22. Postal Robbers 184

23. Railway Disrupters 190

24. On Board Troublemakers 195

25. The “Big Train Robbery” 199

26. Gold Brick Caper 204

Glossary 213

Chapter Notes 217

Bibliography 230

Index 233

Ebook Availability