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Sam Patch
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    (1800-November 13, 1829)
    Born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island
    Jumped from a 125-foot ladder into the Niagara River at the base of Niagara Falls (1829)
    Nicknamed 'The Yankee Leaper'
    Died a month later jumping from the High Falls of the Genessee River
    His motto was the cryptic 'Some things can be done as well as others.'
    He had a pet bear cub.
    He initially made a successful jump at the Genessee River (November 6, 1829), but it did not make enough money, so he decided to repeat the stunt a week later.
    Before his last jump, he reportedly announced, 'Napoleon was a great man and a great general. He conquered armies and he conquered nations, but he couldn't jump the Genesee Falls. Wellington was a great man and a great soldier. He conquered armies and he conquered nations, but he couldn't jump the Genesee Falls. That was left for me to do, and I can do it, and will.'
    He may have gotten drunk before the fatal leap.
    His body was not found until next spring, when it was discovered frozen in the ice downriver.
    A wooden board over his grave reading 'Sam Patch -- Such Is Fame' was stolen and his grave went unmarked for over a century.
    He began working in cotton mills at age seven.
    One of his first public jumps, at Passaic Falls, New Jersey, was a protest against land near the Falls that had been used by factory workers for recreation being closed off to form a private park for the wealthy (1828).
    He was the Evel Knievel of the 19th century.
    Andrew Jackson's favorite horse was named after him.
    He appeared as a hero in stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville.

Credit: C. Fishel

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