There have always been laws regarding stealing from other people, and in the late 1800s and early 1900s, those laws were in full effect in the courts. The jails and prisons were full of thieves. More and more, it seemed like the ranks of those who helped themselves to other people’s money and possessions were not just from the expected lower classes, but were their so-called “betters.” One could no longer believe that the thief in the night always came from poverty and the slums; in these dangerous days, it seemed that the biggest and boldest thieves sat next to you at the opera, in church, or smiled at you from across a desk.
For some reason, an upscale apartment building on Decatur Street in Stuyvesant Heights became home to three men who became the wolves among the sheep of Brooklyn society’s pasture. 88 Decatur Street was home to J. Edgar Anthony, Benjamin F. Chadsey and Charles A. Bliven. They never lived there at the same time, but there must have been larceny in the water, because all three of them, the first two lawyers, the other a stock broker, made the news for all the wrong reasons. Although the circumstances of their cases were different, all three men were guilty of the same offence: they all coveted clients’ money, and siphoned some off for their own use. And then they all got caught.
Please see the links below for the first episodes of the story. Today’s tale is about our last miscreant, broker Charles A. Bliven. The first two men hailed originally from upstate New York, but unlike the other two men, Mr. Bliven’s life story was not told to the papers. Anthony was from the Utica area, Chadsey from near Albany. From a cursory look at family research and the proliferation of stories on this case in upstate papers, Bliven was an upstater too. There seemed to have been a great deal of Bliven family members in the Capital District/Mohawk Valley area. And the mark, in this case, was from Troy. It really was a small world. (more…)