Saturday, April 2, 2011

Yankee Sullivan near Coney Island - September 27, 1842

The story itself is full of run-on-sentences by today's standards.

Arrest of Sullivan. Yankee Sullivan, as he is nicknamed, one of the seconds of Lilly in the fight at Hastings, was arrested at Staten Island yesterday afternoon, and brought up to the city in the steamboat Iolus, and is now snug in the Tombs.

It appears that Sullivan, Lilly and Ford, have been concealed in this city ever since the fight, until Saturday morning, when they, in company with another person, stole a boat at Fulton market and put off to sea. They were first recognized on Sandy Hook by a workman at the light-house, who, coming up the Bay yesterday, in the Iolus, Capt. Allaire, stated the fact to the Captain and others, who thereupon took a spyglass and swept the Bay, when they saw a boat near the lower end of Coney Island, in which the pilot recognized the person of Ford, and the man who had seen them on Sandy Hook recognized the boat. Chase was now made, and the row-boat nearly overtaken, when she tacked and went in an opposite direction, repeating this manaeuvre several times as the steamboat neared her--the small boat of course tacking much quicker than the steamboat could. The steamboat at length let down her small boat, which put an end to her tacking manaeuvre. The fugitives then rowed hard for Staten Island, which they gained before the steamboat, and ran in different directions. Ford took a gun with him. The hallooing of those on the steamboat attracted the attention of some soldiers, who, rushing to intercept the fugitives, seized Sullivan; Ford and another escaping for the present.--Lilly, Sullivan says, was on Saturday put on board a packet ship for Europe....
...N.Y. Tribune.

American & Commercial Daily Advertiser - Sep 27, 1842

The New York Times, in a rather graphic recollection of the incident dated September 23, 1856 says that Sullivan was a supporter of Christopher Lilly in Lilly's fight against Thomas McCoy on September 13, 1842. Sullivan helped prepare Lilly for the fight, and after 120 rounds and 2 hours 43 minutes of fighting, McCoy died.

According to Life and battles of Yankee Sullivan (which admittedly may not be credible), Sullivan was tried as an accessory to McCoy's murder and, once caught, was sentenced to two years' imprisonment. He was released early but was not allowed to prize-fight. (The book also says that prize-fighting itself stopped for a few years because of McCoy's death.)

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