The Wonderful Leaps of Sam Patch by Anonymous

[n.b. This is the Niagara section only]

Sam Patch Jumping at Niagara Falls
From The Wonderful Leaps of Sam Patch, c1870

Next, to Niagara thousands flock,
To see him jump from Table Rock,
Into these waters, thunder-hurled,
The seventh wonder of the world.
Folks swarmed on bank and giddy ledge,
On dangerous precipice’s edge,
Nay, really, it has been said,
They stood one on the other’s head,
To get a view when gallant Sam,
Came cool (and modest as a clam),
Pausing upon the trembling verge
To list to what might prove his dirge!

The sun was red, the cliffs aglow,
And foaming white the gulf below,
As Sammy turned his fearless eye
From crowded earth to brilliant sky,
And boldly took the fearful leap
Down, down, into the seething deep!

Each breath was held, each eye was strained—
Huzzah! at last the bank he’s gained!
A shake, a gasp, his breath to catch—
“Now! who will laugh at Samuel Patch?”

‘T was there Sam made his greatest dive—
Feet—full one hundred and sixty-five!

Source: The Wonderful Leaps of Sam Patch. Rochester, NY: Len Rosenberg, Rochester Collection. Reproduction of a book originally published by Len Rosenberg in the 1870s.

Platform built at the base of Goat Island for Sam Patch’s Jump in 1829.
From Official Guide Niagara Falls, River. Electric, Historic, Geologic, Hydraulic by Peter A. Porter with illustrations by Charles D Arnold published 1901. Image courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

Sam Patch did not jump from Table Rock as mentioned in the poem and as shown in the illustration. in 1829 he constructed a 120 foot high platform at the base of Goat Island and jumped from there, as depicted in the illustration.

Read more about Sam Patch

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