August 25, 1863

A DARING ATTEMPT AT ROBBERY—A bold attempt of burglars to plunder the millinery rooms of Mr. James Coverly, on the second floor of No. 139 Tremont street, at the corner of Winter Street, was frustrated last evening, although the proprietor had a narrow escape for his life.  Mr. Coverly, who had just returned from an absence from the city, was sitting at his desk about eight o’clock, after the place had been closed for the day, when he was suddenly startled by the appearance of a young burglar who had descended through a skylight, or glass window at the back.  Mr. Coverly challenged him and demanded his business, but the young desperado only drew a pistol, and warned him away, at the same time advancing towards the door.  Mr. Coverly was not intimidated but followed him up, when the young rascal made his retreat through the door, firing at Mr. Coverly, at the moment of closing it.  Mr. Coverly received the ball in his right cheek, and although stunned for an instant, pursued the burglar who took to his heels down the stairs.  The street was, of course, at that time in the evening well filled with people, who were warned of the trouble by the outcry raised.  The young fellow was tripped up before he got across the street, and secured, as we are informed, by Mr. F. A. Shaw.  Mr. Coverly took charge of his burglar and conducted him in triumph to the station house, where he was secured for the night.  The prisoner, who seems unusually sly and crafty, gave his name as Daniel Delany and his age as fifteen years.  He states that he came from Portland last week, but it is much more probable that he is a professional housebreaker from New York.  It is thought that he had an accomplice with him, although he, himself, denies it.  No burglar’s instruments were found, except a doubled rope, knotted to serve as a ladder.  Mr. Coverly’s wound, although likely to prove troublesome, is not, it is hoped, of a serious nature.  We are informed by the police that an early hour in the evening is considered the best for breaking into a store, since at that time a man with a bag of plunder has little risk of being stopped by the police.

“Local Matters,” Boston Daily Advertiser, August 25, 1863, front page [Historic Newspaper Collection] 

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