THE LONGEST LIST OF THE LONGEST
STUFF AT THE LONGEST DOMAIN NAME AT LONG LAST
What was America's first bank robbery?
Near the end of summer in 1798,
yellow fever was taking the lives of many in Philadelphia; many left the city
trying to escape this dreaded fate. However, many could not leave and around
1,300 were left to die a fast but horrifying death.
Patrick Lyon, a local blacksmith was among the ones
that did leave along with his 19-year-old apprentice. They were able to book
passage on a small both headed to Cape Henolpen; however, by the time they were
boarding at Lewiston, Delaware, the apprentice was ill. Lyon along with the help
of a doctor could not save the young apprentice and he died within two.
The news of yellow fever in Philadelphia finally
made it to Lewistown along with another disastrous tale. At the time when many
were lying on their deathbeds with yellow fever, a unique bank robbery had been
accomplished. The Bank of Pennsylvania at Carpenter’s Hall in the late night
hours of Saturday, August 31, $162,821 had been stolen from the vaults.
Lyons read about the robbery in the newspaper and
since his last job before Philadelphia was to change fittings and locks on two
iron vault doors on this very bank, he had an idea as to the identity of the
robber. The newspaper stated that it had to be an inside job since there was no
sign of forced entry into the building. His suspect was carpenter, Samuel
Robinson, who had been hired by the bank to oversee the move into Carpenter’s
A few days later, an old friend of Lyon’s arrives
in Lewistown, they talk about the robbery and Lyon’s learns that he, himself, is
a primary suspect. Lawmen were searching for him at this very moment. On hearing
this news, Lyon’s immediately returns to Philadelphia to clear his name. The
story he told about not being involved and his suspicions of it being Robinson
were not believed. Lyon was sent to Walnut Street Prison where he served three
Later, the first American bank robbery was solved.
Patrick Lyon was innocent as he claimed but his suspicions were not close to the
truth either. Isaac Davis and a stranger that visited Lyon’s shop along with the
“inside man” Thomas Cunningham the bank porter that was sleeping in Carpenter’s
Hall the night of August 31 were the men involved in the bank robbery.
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