SAM PATCH Biography - Other artists & entretainers


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Name: Sam Patch                                                                         
Born: 1807                                                                             
Died: 1829                                                                             
Sam Patch (1807-1829), known as "The Yankee Leaper," was the first famous U.S.         
Sam Patch was born in 1807 in Pawtucket, Rhode Island where he began working           
as a child laborer spinning cotton in a textile mill. When he was not working,         
he entertained other boys by jumping off the mill dam. By his mid 20s he was           
working at a mill in Paterson, New Jersey, and was jumping off ever-higher spots.       
He was beginning to attract crowds for his well-advertised stunts. On September         
30, 1827, he jumped off the 70-foot Passaic Falls in New Jersey, pleasing a             
large crowd that had gathered. He repeated this jump at least two more times. On       
August 11, 1828 Patch jumped 100 feet at Hoboken, New Jersey. He became known in       
the press as "Patch the New Jersey Jumper".                                             
Patch continued his career jumping from bridges, factory walls, and ship's masts.       
In the fall of 1829, Patch became the first person to successfully jump into           
Niagara Falls' (following an earlier unsuccessful attempt by a man named Morgan).       
Patch was the star attraction at an event designed to draw visitors to the             
falls. A 125-foot ladder was rigged for Sam's jump over the gorge below Goat           
Island opposite the Cave of the Winds. Less than an hour before the scheduled           
noon jump, a chain securing the ladder to the cliff wall snapped, breaking 15           
feet from the ladder. Rescheduled for 4 PM, Patch jumped on time. A boat circled       
near the entry point, but Patch did not appear. When he was finally spotted on         
the shore, a great roar went up from the crowd.                                         
Bad weather and the delay in his arrival drew a disappointingly small crowd for         
this jump, so Patch announced he would repeated the feat a second time October         
17. A few days later, 10,000 gathered to watch him keep his word. His slogan,           
"Some things can be done as well as others," became a popular slang expression         
across the nation.                                                                     
Shortly after, Patch went to Rochester, New York, to challenge the 99-foot High         
Falls of the Genesee River. On Friday November 6, 1829 Patch went out onto a           
rock ledge in the middle of the falls. He first threw a pet bear cub over the           
falls and the cub managed to swim safely to shore. Patch then successfully             
jumped after the bear.