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Don’t Drink and Dive

Don’t drink and dive. Sam Patch was the man known throughout America in the 1820’s for leaping from the tops of bridges and waterfalls. He was a professional. Sam made his money like a street juggler or magician, by passing the hat. He created as much of a show of it as possible, sometimes jumping into the water with his pet bear. He successfully jumped Niagara Falls. Sam became a national rage, and started a jumping craze. Farmers jumped over fences, retailers leaped over their sales counters.

While attempting a second jump into Gennesee Falls, a smaller but still spectacular waterfall in Rochester, NY, Sam disappeared. He jumped from a 100 foot high tower in November, just to make the feat more difficult. Over 6,000 people watched him jump, but none saw him return. Some folks reported that he had been drinking before his fatal dive. Finally, in March of the following year, his body was discovered encased in a block of ice.


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