Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Article About 1896 Robbery and Shooting of J. H. Bertine of Pelham Manor

During the evening of Tuesday, October 27, 1896, J. H. Bertine of Pelham Manor was traveling in his horse drawn carriage with his fifteen-year-old daughter and a coachman when the group was accosted by three highway bandits on a road near the Pelham Manor Depot. The bandits shot Bertine in the neck. His wound was not serious. The only reason he was not killed was because the coachman and the fifteen-year-old girl both leaped from the vehicle and ran into the darkness, frightening the horse which bolted. As the horse bolted, three of the bandits' shots struck the horse rather than Mr. Bertine.

A large number of newspaper articles appeared regarding the event and subsequent efforts to capture the bandits. Among those articles was one that appeared in the Middletown Daily Argus published in Middletown, New York. The article is transcribed in its entirety below, followed by a citation to its source.



Mr. Bertine Goes to New York To Try to Identify His Assailants.

Pelham Manor, N. Y., Oct. 29. - J. H. Bertine, the New York city stationer, who while on his way home in his carriage with his 15-year-old daughter and coachman, Tuesday evening, was attacked by three highwaymen at a lonesome spot not far from the depot, went to New York city this morning to try to identify three men under arrest there who are believed by the police to be his assailants. His daughter, who jumped from the carriage and escaped in the darkness at the time of the assault, will accompany him. The coachman, who deserted Mr. Bertine at the time, says that he did not run away from fear, but went for assistance. The horse, which really saved Mr. Bertine's life by tearing away from the bandits and dashing down the road to its owner's home, although wounded in the head, stomach and shoulder from bullets from the robbers [sic] revolvers, died yesterday from its injuries. Although the bandits fired a regular fusilade, Mr. Bertine received only a slight wound in the neck.

The Suspects Heavily Armed.

New York. Oct. 29 - Three men giving the names of Joseph Arlington, Joseph Chambers and Joseph Ferguson were arrested last evening at the Grand Central depot on suspicion of being the men who held up and attempted to rob J. H. Bertine at Pelham Manor. When taken to the police station in the depot and searched it was found that each man had two revolvers in his possession, one loaded and the other empty. The detectives are almost certain that these are the men wanted. Later on the men admitted that the names they had given were assumed."

Source: Pelham Manor Bandits, Middletown Daily Argus [Middletown, NY], Oct. 29, 1896, p. 1, col. 3.

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