"fall guy" antedating (1895)

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Sat Jun 21 13:39:16 UTC 2008

ADS-L archive has 1903, from Barry Popik.

Rocky Mountain News, (Denver, CO) Monday, December 16, 1895; pg. 8; Issue 350;
col E
[Headlines:] Farragarger in Hiding,
Says Goulding Advised Him to Keep Mum and Close.
Fears Other Bunco Steerers.
Sort of a Kind of a Prisoner, as the Chief Wants to Keep Him Within Reach--The
Story of How He Was Worked and the Easy Game He Proved--Only Wants Half of His
Money Back--Bunco Man at the Depot Who Played Policeman
[article begins :] William Farragarger, who played the part of the "fall
guy" in the poker game which netted the Seventeenth street grafters $1,100 is
now a quasi prisoner in a Denver hotel where he was stored away {before a
grandjury appearance] by Chief Goulding, who advised him to keep in seclusion
so that bunco men might not find him and rob him of the $140 returned to him by
them to enable the "sucker" to get out of the country....[followed by details of
the scam]

The Denver Evening Post, (Denver, CO) Friday, May 08, 1896; page 1; col H
     Webber in the Deal
President of the Fire and Police Board Takes a Stand ...
....In this game Senator Teller is to be used as the "fall guy," to use the
choice term of the combine....[Teller to be urged to run for Governor, with an
operative of the combine on the ticket for Lt. Governor; then Teller to become
Senator again, and the combine's man, "pledged to every scheme of the combine,"
to become Governor.]

Stephen Goranson
"Jannaeus, His Brother Absalom, and Judah the Essene"

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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