Uriah Hoare: Working Man’s Hero
For reasons I will go into another time, I have been spending a lot of time researching Greenpoint history of late. As I parsed through page upon page of old newspapers, I came to the realization that this neighborhood has not changed much over the last 150+ years. Greenpoint is a strange place; its inhabitants are even stranger. Yet, by the grace of god, not much in the way of serious criminal activity goes down here. But when something does happen, you can bet your bottom dollar…
- It will be a doozy.
- Alcohol consumption and/or arson will be involved.
Take the following gem of a crime blotter entry I found recently from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle:
July 15, 1860
Another Explosion of Fireworks — Suspected Arson and Arrest of the Supposed Incendiaries— Between 3 and 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon a large brick building situated in Green Street, near Union (now Manhattan Ed. Note) Avenue, Greenpoint, was blown into fragments by the explosion of a quantity of fireworks which had been placed there for storage. The building and the contents belonged to the firm of Boch & Puchta, of 50 Liberty Street, New York, and whose factory is at Greenpoint. The building is used exclusively for storing manufactured goods, and contained at the time of the explosion, at least, $4,000 worth of fireworks ready for delivery. The roof of the house was thrown upwards of forty feet into the air. Rockets, Roman candles, and squibs of different descriptions, were scattered in different directions for hundreds of yards around, and had the accident occured at night would doubtless have presented one of the most brilliant pyrotechnic displays ever witnessed. The noise of the explosion, it is said, was heard at a distance of two miles. The exploded building was detached and thrown at least two hundred yards away from any other house, consequently the damage done was confined entirely to the premises of Boch & Puchta, who estimate their loss at about $5,000 on building and stock. It is believed that the place was set on fire, and two men named Uriah Hoare and Henry Wendt were arrested on suspicion.
“Arrested on suspicion” is not a satisfactory explanation to Miss Heather. I needed closure and I wouldn’t rest goddammit until got it. I did: courtesy of the “Brooklyn Intelligence” section of New York Times published the same day…
…Hoare was discharged by Boch & Puchta yesterday morning for intoxication, the owners not considering it safe to trust such a man about their establishment. A few minutes before the explosion occured he was seen leaving the building, and it is supposed that he kindled a fire under it. The other man (Wendt) was arrested because he is an intimate associate of Hoare’s.
Not only does Mr. Wendt deserve induction into the Best Friend EVER Hall of Fame (if there is such a place), but this has got to be one of the most inspired acts of revenge against a former employer I have ever read. Someone should make a buddy movie based off this tale. I think Will Ferrell has the acting chops to depict Uriah Hoare with dignity and respect he so richly deserves.
Uriah Hoare, on the behalf of everyone who has ever wanted to rip their (ex) boss a new asshole, I salute you.