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Re: Sorry Charlie Ross

Posted by ESC on September 25, 2003

In Reply to: Sorry Charlie Ross posted by Lisa on September 25, 2003

: Anyone familiar with the origins of the phrase "sorry Charlie Ross"?

: My mother used it as a stage-one warning ("touch that and you'll be a sorry Charlie Ross!") and it was only when my own kids questioned it that I thought to
: wonder what it meant!

I'll look in my references this evening. Meantime, here's a wild guess. I wonder if it has to do with this "lost boy":

Charlie Ross (born 1870) was a child in Germantown, Philadelphia, when he was kidnapped on July 1, 1874. The story was a media sensation of its time. The abductors mailed the Ross family twenty-three ransom letters over the course of the first four months of Charlie's absence, but despite a willingness to meet the demands of the abductors, the Ross family never saw their son again. In November 1874 two men were shot while burglarizing a house on Long Island. Although both men died that night, one confessed to police that he and his partner were responsible for kidnapping Charlie Ross. He claimed that only his partner knew the boy's whereabouts. A third man, later picked up, was charged and tried with being an accomplice and sentenced to seven years in jail. For years following the incident people turned up either claiming to know something about Charlie or of actually being Charlie Ross, but the boy was never found.
http://www.library.upenn.edu/collections/rbm/keffer/scenes-ross.html