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Alderman, James Horace | University of Miami Finding Aids

Name: Alderman, James Horace

Historical Note:

James Horace Alderman was born around 1882 near Tampa, Florida. He spent several years in the Thousand Islands area of southwest Florida as a farmer, fisherman, and field guide. With his wife Pearl and three daughters, Bessie, Ruby and Wilma, Alderman lived variously in Chokoloskee, Caxambas, Palmetto, and Tarracia Island before settling in Fort Meyers around 1911. After World War I and the passing of the National Prohibition Act, Horace Alderman began smuggling illegal immigrants and alcohol from Cuba and the Bahamas to Florida. In the 1920s, he set up a base of operations in Miami.

On the afternoon of 7 August 1927, Alderman and his associate Robert Weech were intercepted by a Coast Guard cutter in the waters between Florida and Bimini. After a series of events, Alderman killed Boatswain Sidney C. Sanderlin and Secret Service agent Robert K. Webster. The cutter's machinist, Victor A. Lamby, was seriously wounded and later died. Alderman was convicted for these three murders and sentenced to death in January 1928. Dubbed "the Gulf Stream Pirate" by the press, Horace Alderman was hung on 17 August 1929 at Coast Guard Base Six in Fort Lauderdale, the site of Bahia Mar Marina today. It was the only hanging ever carried out by the Coast Guard, the first hanging in Fort Lauderdale, and the only legal execution in Broward County.

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