No. 583
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
November 30, 2022

Burning of Steamers at Cincinnati.

Burning of Steamers on the Ohio River at Cincinnati May 17, 1869.
September 17, 2018
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Tag: Gangs

Collecting Beer Money.

A gang of female rogues, of the East Side, New York, work a little racket of their own.

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Rogues & Brawlers.

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"Four Aces."

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The Astor Place Riot

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Fifteen-year-old Jody Randall of Long Beach, California, was in most ways a typical suburban teenager.  The one thing that set her apart was a passion for antiques which was unusual for someone of her youth.  As a result of spending all her available free time (and her parents’ money) on her hobby, she eventually amassed some impressive pieces, including a doll collection noteworthy enough to
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Strange Company - 11/28/2022
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Shell and Pea Game on the Trail"Sketched from life by M. W. Newberry"San Francisco ChronicleApril 10, 1898(Click image to enlarge)    UNKO MEN AND THEIR TRICKS      A wonderfully detailed description of the modus operandi of Soapy Smith's three shell and pea manipulators along the Chilkoot and White Pass trails. Witnessed and reported by Joseph D. Barry, and published in the San Francisco
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 11/21/2022
Working as a domestic servant in 19th century New York City had plenty of challenges. Sure, servants received room and board in addition to their wages, and they usually had at least Sunday afternoon off. But living in another family’s home was isolating and lonely—particularly if you didn’t speak English or weren’t accustomed to urban […]
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Ephemeral New York - 11/28/2022
On this date in 2002, Pakistani Mir Aimal Kansi, Kasi, or Qazi was executed by lethal injection in Virginia, U.S.A. “Real angry with the policy of the U.S. government in the Middle East, particularly toward the Palestinian people,”* Qazi on January 25, 1993 revenged himself on Central Intelligence Agency commuters queued for a left turn […]
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Executed Today - 11/14/2022
Museum of the City of New YorkWilliam Howe and Abraham Hummel were the most successful criminal lawyers in Gilded Age New York. With a combination of skill, showmanship, and unethical practices, they defended most of the city’s significant criminals and many of its murderers. Whether they won or lost, Howe and Hummel made every trial sensational. Here are a few of the many accused murderers
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Murder By Gaslight - 11/26/2022
Wishing you a happy and bountiful Thanksgiving Day! Lizzie is thankful for turkey and all the trimmings – and no mutton broth in sight!
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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 11/22/2022
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
Up the Hudson. | A Velocipede Riding-School.

Burning of Steamers at Cincinnati.

Burning Steamers

Burning of Steamers on the Ohio River at Cincinnati May 17, 1869. [more]

We illustrate the disastrous conflagration which took place on the Ohio River, at Cincinnati, on the morning of May 12. A little before two o’clock a fire broke out on the Clifton, caused, it is supposed, by the upsetting of a lamp. Five steamers were lying in close proximity and above these six others. In less than half an hour the six steamers below were destroyed, nearly all of them being burned to the water’s edge. Those on board the Clifton were just able to escape with their lives, so r paid was the conflagration. Before the earliest engine could reach the scene four of the boats were already inflames. The heat was so intense that they could only approach the boats with the greatest difficulty. Buy their daring was equal to the emergency, and the fought her fierce foe at close quarters. Some of the bots had on board a large quantity of oil, and as the barrels caught fire they floated out into the river, and then down the stream, making it a stream of burning fire. The Kentucky shore was lighted up, and the flames showed its banks filled with spectators drown from their beds by the magnificent spectacle. A dec-hand was burned to death on the Clifton, and it is reported that five hands on the Cheyenne suffered a similar fate. Three or four men from the Darling were drowns in their attempt to get ashore. The loss of property amounted to nearly $1,00,000, exclusive of cargo.


Reprinted from Harper's Weekly, May 29, 1869.