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  • Jen Booton

Badassery: America’s First Daredevil

Updated: Jan 29

Each week we highlight badasses throughout history doing the unthinkable in celebration of human potential!

Often called “America’s first daredevil,” Sam Patch rose to fame in the 1800s by leaping from great heights into rivers and waterfalls in the New Jersey-New York area. In 1827, he successfully leapt from NJ’s 77-foot Passaic Falls. He upped his game with a 90-foot leap from a ship’s mast into the Hudson River at Hoboken and then jumped an incredible 120 feet from a makeshift platform into the waters below Niagara Falls. They say he often traveled with his pet bear, who would make some of the same jumps at his side. His string of badassery came to a sudden stop in 1829 when an attempted 125-foot plunge from a scaffold built over the Genesee River at Rochester, New York. His body wasn’t recovered for several months. But we thank thee, jersey jumper, for your risk has opened up new possibilities for so many more.

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