I met a man who used to work for the NY Public Library. His name is Edmund Pearson and he is a sort of expert on books of the 19th and early 20th century. He has looked at the morgue twice and he has come up with a theory that Meegs was an author who wrote dime novels and made some money on the side writing these little pieces. And since they seem to be from British newspapers, maybe he was British himself.So now I am looking for a an Englishman who came to the U.S. and wrote dime novels around 1900.
Mr. Pearson also thought there is a possibility that the silly story written about Leverton the Pinkerton and the cave at Sag Harbor might have seen by Arthur Conan Doyle and he then used it in his Sherlock Holmes story, "The Adventure of the Red Circle".
I asked how Arthur Conan Doyle could have been fooled into thinking such a silly story was true and Mr. Pearson said that maybe Doyle meant it as a sort of joke. He said he can just see Holmes saying, "The hero of the Long Island cave mystery?" with a smile on his face.
Here's the picture of the clipping again. I transcribed the text back on the first posting. It's the one on the right. Next to it is written "from the Leek Times and Cheadle News". Leek is in the Staffordshire Moorlands, and that newspaper really did exist.
I would like to think that Mr. Pearson is correct about this, but who knows. I will continue my search for M. E. Meegs and post again when I find something new.