The Mysterious and Legendary "Leatherman"

Leatherman was a vagabond who was famous for his handmade leather suit. He traveled through the northeastern United States on a regular circuit between the Connecticut River and the Hudson River from 1857 to 1889. No one knows where he came from, but he was thought to be French-Canadian because of his fluency in the French language, his broken English, and the French-language prayer book found on his person after his death. He walked a 365-mile route year after year, which took him through towns in western Connecticut and eastern New York, returning to each town every 34-36 days. Living in rock shelters, Leatherman stopped about every 5 weeks for food and supplies. It’s unknown how he earned money to support himself, but one store kept records of all purchases and Leatherman's purchase included a loaf of bread, a can of sardines, one pound of fancy crackers, a pie, 2 quarts of coffee, one pint of brandy and a bottle of beer. Leatherman survived blizzards and other foul weather by heating his rock shelters with fire. In 1888 he was arrested and hospitalized, but was released after he was able to prove that he had money and was able to care for himself. He ultimately died of oral cancer due to tobacco use. He was buried in Sparta Cemetery in Ossining, NY. When archeologists dug up his grave in 2011, they found no remains, only coffin nails. Who he was and where he came from remains a mystery.