Friday, July 8, 2016

July 8, 1858 -- Police Report Highlights Perils of Alcohol

July 8, 1858 – The police report in the Chicago Press and Tribune begins, “The docket at the Police Court was unusually light yesterday, whisky drinking having measurably subsided after the Glorious Fourth.”  Still, there was enough to keep the typesetters busy.  The following incidents are noted:

Timothy Conley, a drayman, got drunk and managed to run into every vehicle he met.  He also succeeded in inducing somebody to knock a hole in his head.  As he attributed all his misfortunes to the whisky he drank in honor of Independence Day, he was let off with a fine of $3.

George Dow was fined $3 for getting drunk and using insulting language to a woman.

James Jenkins, alias J. W. Hanneman, was brought up for getting beastly drunk.  The prisoner gave the following account of himself and his conduct:  He states that for a year past the has been lecturing about the country as a reformed drunkard, and that on the Fourth he met a friend and drank a glass of lemonade, which he now suspects had a chip in it; that some how or other he continued to imbibe lemonade with larger chips in them, until he got on a regular bender, and was found dead drunk in the streets . . . He started on his spree with $40, and had $15 left when arrested.  He was released on condition that he behaves better in the future.

Michael Connor, a drunken vagrant, was found sleeping on the sidewalk on the corner of Clark and Monroe streets.  He says he came from New York two days ago, and has no money or work.  He was fined $2 and sent to Bridewell to work it out.

E. Patrick Cagan was arrested upon complaint of one Ryan, who charged that Cagan had knocked him down.  As Ryan had hid to avoid giving testimony, Cagan was released.

Thomas Ready, brought up for being drunk, was not ready for trial, and his case was continued.

Jeremiah Nolan was fined $3 for a simple drunk.

Cornelius Casey went to visit his friend, James Dooley, when the latter got very drunk and made so much disturbance in the house that the police arrested them both.  Dooley was fined $5, and Casey was released.

Pa Swanzie was drunk and driving a buggy recklessly through the streets, and running against other vehicles.   He managed to capsize a buggy in which a lady and gentleman were riding, and was fined $5 for his misconduct.

The above photo shows Clark Street as it looked at the time Michael Connor was found sleeping on the sidewalk at Monroe Street.

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