Derby History Quiz - Crime in Derby??
Sad to say, but even Derby has had its share of crime over time and counterfeiting existed as early as 1746 when one of early America's most notorious counterfeiting gangs was uncovered in Derby. It seems that a group of local residents printed both Rhode island and Connecticut currency like the ten shilling note pictured above. When the local constable conducted a search of local resident Samuel Weed's house, he found a press, ink and plates for printing the notes.
Weed was just one member of a gang that included Daniel Tucker, Silvester Wooster, Jeremiah Ocain and William Clark. Weed, Wooster and Tucker were all sentenced to prison. Tucker was a blacksmith who made the tools used by the gang while Wooster built the press. The full account appears in The Lower Naugatuck Valley - A Rich and Beautiful Prospect by Neil Hogan.
Rebuttal & Equal Time!!
This quiz first appeared in 1998, we received the following update and correction from Kenneth Jennings Wooster, a direct descendant of Silvester (Sylvester) Wooster named above:
"In Quiz...... you are pinning the rap of counterfeiting on my 6G Grandfather, Sylvester Wooster. Actually, it was his son Nathaniel, my 6G uncle who was tried and convicted in May 1747. Nathaniel was born about 1709 and died insolvent in 1779. My source (Jacobus) says that his punishment was not prison but rather corporal punishment and the forfeiture of his entire estate. His father, Sylvester, died in 1712 and could in no way have been involved in that counterfeit game. You have made this a case of the sin of the son being visited upon the father. A nice twist."
You can learn more about the Woosters by clicking here.
Correct answers were received from:
Ellen Leanart - She even had the names!
To see our earlier quizzes and learn more about Derby's unique history, click here.