Saturday, March 30, 2013


"Having a passable time."

Apparently the attractions of the Jersey Shore in August 1909 left something to be desired, at least in the neighborhood of Bayonne.

A Mr. Henry J. Lehman of the same Walworth Street address as the recipient is listed in several city directories of the period as an insurance agent; I've found no evidence that he was related to the famous Lehman Brothers banking family.

The January 7, 1913 edition of Brooklyn's Daily Standard Leader reports that one Benjamin Silver, who had previously been arrested for attempting to pick Henry Lehman's pocket, was charged, along with a bail bondsman named Abraham Treibitz, with offering the intended victim a $50 bribe to fail to identify Silver in court. Two detectives, tipped off by Lehman and concealed in his house, promptly arrested the pair and charged them with bribery. The charge may not have stuck: an Abraham Treibitz was still active as a bail bondsman in New York City at least as late as 1931, when he arranged for the release of five Communist leaders arrested during the International Unemployment Day demonstrations. His name also seems to have surfaced during the Seabury Commission's investigations of municipal corruption in the early 1930s, which suggests that perhaps Mr. Treibitz was not one of the more ethically scrupulous members of his profession.

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