No. 557
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
May 26, 2022

They Ran a Snide Game.

A “friendly” poker scheme exposed at Bogota, N. J., by one of the players squealing.
June 13, 2016
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Via Newspapers.comIt’s time for Mystery Lights!  The “Montreal Gazette,” November 29, 1938:Esterhazy, Sask., November 28. Tabor Cemetery's mysterious light which threatens to give Esterhazy folk the jitters, tonight still challenged efforts to find its source. An attempt to unravel the mystery Saturday night failed because the eerie beam did not maintain its usual midnight schedule. During the
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'SOAPY' SMITH AND TWO COLLEAGUESObject ID 2017.6.350Courtesy of Salvation Army Museum of the West(Click image to enlarge) New photograph of "Soapy" Smith?NOT EVEN CLOSE.      A B & W photograph, said to be of Jefferson Randolph "Soapy" Smith, and two colleagues. Soapy is in the middle, marked with an "X." The photo was taken in Alaska,
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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 5/24/2022
An article I recently wrote for the British online magazine, New Politic, is now available online. The article, “The Criminal Origins of the United States of America,” is about British convict transportation to America, which took place between the years 1718 and 1775, and is the subject of my book, Bound with an Iron Chain: […]
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Early American Crime - 12/17/2021
National Police Gazette, June 5, 1886.A young woman attempted to flirt with Hugh Brooks (alias Walter Maxwell) at his 1886 murder trial in St. Louis, Missouri. She was barking up the wrong tree—Brooks was accused of murdering his male lover and stuffing his corpse in a trunk.Read the full story here: The St. Louis Trunk Tragedy.
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Murder By Gaslight - 5/21/2022
These days, the traffic-packed intersection at Lexington Avenue and 60th Street is a modern tower mecca of street-level retail shops topped by floor after floor of office space and luxury residences. But steps away from this busy urban crossroads is a curious anachronism: a four-story brownstone. Number 134 East 60th Street has been stripped of […]
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Ephemeral New York - 5/23/2022
Youth With Executioner by Nuremberg native Albrecht Dürer … although it’s dated to 1493, which was during a period of several years when Dürer worked abroad. November 13 [1617]. Burnt alive here a miller of Manberna, who however was lately engaged as a carrier of wine, because he and his brother, with the help of […]
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Executed Today - 11/13/2020
| Snares for the Unwary.

They Ran a Snide Game.

A Snide Game

A “friendly” poker scheme exposed at Bogota, N. J., by one of the players squealing.  

Some months ago there moved into a neat cottage at Bogota, N. J., on the east side of the Hackensack River, opposite Hackensack, N. J., a family who introduced themselves as the Larkins.

When Mrs. Larkins and her daughters, Julie, Clytie and Bell, first settled in Bogota the were regular in their attendance upon worship in the "old church on the green,” where their presence was at once remarked, and they were classed as inhabitants of ultra sweldom by the staid Dutch worshippers, who cling to the belief of their forefathers that gaudy colors and silks and satins are an abomination. But it has just leaked out that Mrs. Larkins has been running a little game of draw in her quiet little cottage.

It now appears that “Mrs. Larkins: and her “family” were reaping a rich reward from the visitors among whom were at least three well-known local poker experts, who are known to have been regular in their visits Saturday nights. The handsome “father” of the house is said to have been a professional gambler, who plucked the larger game, while the callow youth were left to the fair but expert misses.

Under such circumstances it would be impossible to say how long the pleasures of the place might have been enjoyed had it not been for the rashness of one young man, who, while presumably headed with wine, imagined that the fair Clytie held one card too many at a moment when the inducement was a jackpot of generous amount. Clytie smilingly protested her innocence, but the youth lost his temper, and so far forgot himself as to impeach her veracity in a word of four letter preceded by a powerful adjective. When a constable wen with a warrant to pull the house he found in large black letters “To Let” on the door.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, January 4, 1890.