Collection Highlight: The Wonderful Leaps of Sam Patch


More features from our Rare Book Collection 

The Wonderful Leaps of Sam Patch. N[ew] Y[ork] : McLoughlin Brothers, [187-?]. (The Mary Faulk Markiewicz Collection of Children’s Books) 

Sam Patch

Well known for his slogan, "Some things can be done as well as others," the American daredevil Sam Patch (1807 – November 13, 1829), the “Yankee Leaper,” became famous for his feats of derring-do, specifically: jumping from ship masts, yardarms and waterfalls. On Sept. 30, 1827, Sam Patch leapt feet first into history with the first of his great promotional jumps from the Great Falls of the Passaic River in New Jersey. On Oct. 7, 1829, he became the first man to survive a leap from the Niagara Falls, a stunt which he repeated, and which thus secured his place in American legend. A month later, Patch jumped twice from the High Falls of the Genesee River in Rochester, NY. The second jump, from a 125 ft. platform before a crowd of thousands, resulted in his death. The Wonderful Leaps of Sam Patch contains full panel color illustrations of leaps both great and small, some fanciful, some factual, the moral of the story being “look before you leap!” 

The Wonderful Leaps of Sam Patch is on display in our exhibition, 19th-Century Images of Rochester's WaterwaysJanuary 8 to March 26, 2010, in the Department of Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation, Rush Rhees Library, 2nd floor. 

Sam Patch2