#56 George F. Affleck

George Afflick (Abt 1847-19??), aka Charles W. Affleck, George H. Holt, George Adams, George Davis, George E. Wilson, Kid Affleck, etc. — Confidence man

From Byrnes’s text:
DESCRIPTION. Thirty-eight years old in 1886. Stout build. Height, 5 feet 7 inches. Weight, about 150 pounds. Born in United States. Married. Says he is a shoemaker. Dark hair, light blue eyes. Dark, sallow complexion. Wears light-colored mustache. Has a scar on his left cheek.
RECORD. Kid Affleck is a noted confidence man, having been arrested in several Eastern cities. His favorite hunting-ground was along the docks in New York City, where he was arrested several times, plying his vocation. He is also well known in Boston, Mass., and Providence, R.I., where he has worked around the railroad depots and steamboat landings with Plinn White (now dead), Dave Swain, and his old partner, Allen. He has served time in prison in Boston, Philadelphia, and New York, other than what is mentioned below. He cannot be called a first-class man, still he manages to obtain considerable money.
His victims are usually old men. He works generally with Old Man Allen (alias Pop White).
Affleck was arrested in New York City on March 7, 1883, with Old Man Allen, who gave the name of James Adams, charged with robbing an old man named Jesse Williams, at the Broad Street Railroad depot in Philadelphia, of a satchel containing $7,000, on March 5, 1883. Shortly after this robbery Affleck’s wife, Carrie, deposited $1,000 in two New York Savings banks — $500 in each. This was part of the stolen money. He was delivered to the Philadelphia officers, and taken there, where, by an extraordinary turn of luck, he got off with a sentence of eight months in the Eastern Penitentiary on March 30, 1883. Williams, who was robbed by Affleck, recovered about $1,000 of his $7,000, and made his way to South Bend, Ind., his old home, where he died of grief on October 29, 1883, having lost all he had saved for the last twenty years.
Affleck was arrested again in Central Park, New York City, on Sunday, March 21, 1886, and gave the name of George E. Wilson. He was in company of James Morgan, alias Harris, another notorious confidence man. They were charged with swindling Christopher Lieh, of Brush Station, Weld County, Col., out of sixty dollars, by the confidence game. They both pleaded guilty, and were sentenced to two years and six months each in State prison on March 24, 1886, by Judge Gildersleeve, in the Court of General Sessions, New York City.
This clever rogue has been traveling around the country for some time, swindling people, and the community is well rid of him. His picture is a good one, taken in 1883.
George Afflick’s nickname, “Kid,” was given to him by the men with whom he first worked: Chicago Police detectives. In 1862, at age 14 or 15, Affleck had been recruited from the streets to help the police:
Capture2
By 1866, when he was still 18 or 19, the “Kid” was hailed as “Detective George Afflick” and was credited with tracking down burglars and street fighters. Then, in 1867, at age 20, he left Chicago and headed east to New York City.
George got married to a girl from Canada, Carrie Durick, and by 1870 had a son, Charles. The 1870 census listed his vocation as “ticket agent,” but George later admitted that he turned to crime as soon as he left Chicago. George was sharp enough and experienced enough to choose the avenue of crime he could follow, and opted for confidence work, which often targeted the weakness certain men had for greed and arrogance.
George often worked the passenger terminals of the docks of eastern cities with older, more experienced con artists, like James “Pop” White, Hod Bacon, and the swindler, Plinn White.
One of George’s big scores was the 1883 theft of a $7000 bag of gold coins from an Indiana farmer, Jesse W. Jennings (who, no one realized, was running from his own legal problems). The story of that incident is related in the entry for James White.
Though careful, George was outwitted by the New York Police. The New York Times described both the crime and its undoing:
18920527newyorktimes.jpg
When arrested and brought to the Central Station, George was interviewed by detectives and asked what his business was. “I steal for a living,” answered George. He was sent to Sing Sing as a consequence of this arrest.
In 1904, after an arrest in Baltimore, Afflick was sent to prison for two years in Maryland. He and a partner had worked the same con as described above. In 1907, he was caught in Brooklyn, once again playing a con game that preyed upon departing ship passengers.

By that time, police detectives were surprised that an old man of 60-years was still up to his old tricks. George had little to lose: his son was grown and earning his own honest living; and his two daughters had died as young adults.

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