Match Beatrice Crump

Match Beatrice Crump (Born October 13, 1843) was an American vigilante who made National headlines for being the prime suspect in the Greenwich Village Fire of 1877. The fire, which devastated the entire Greenwich Village of Massachusetts, burned for three months (June 12, 1877-August 17, 1877) and left only a trail of ashes in its wake. Much speculation was made about the cause before surviving villagers were able to associate Crump to the origin. Crump, known throughout the village as a hothead with a short fuse, had been serving the village as a law-enforcing citizen since 1870. He had many run-ins with village locals as he proved to be more of a nuisance than anything else. On the night of June 11, 1877, Crump was involved in a saloon altercation with two of the villages most trusted men (John G. Patriot & Henry A. Pride). The men had been drinking whiskey when Crump unexpectedly became aggressive and attempted to punch Patriot. A bar fight ensued and Patriot and Pride were last seen dragging Crump out of the saloon. The next morning, villagers woke up to a blazing inferno. Many were drawn from their beds choking on the thick black smoke made more bothersome by the intense heat and roaring flames. In total, sixty-three villagers and all livestock were killed. Every structure was decimated. The village was left in ashes and was not reconstructed until 1919. Today, Crump’s legacy lives on. His name, Match, was given to the combustible tool used for starting fires. The short fuse of a match is said to represent the short fuse of Crump.

- Evan Ferreira