No. 643
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
February 23, 2024

Raiding the Joints.

Superintendent Walling makes a raid on a Sixth Avenue opium den and gathers in a motley crowd of smo
September 15, 2015
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Tag: Fraud

Vaccination from a Beauty.

Idiotic freak of some young men at Los Angeles.

3/9/2021

Beat the Hypnotist.

Two girls, who had been ill-treated by a fake mesmerist, get revenge in Indianapolis, Ind.

7/2/2018

Her Trick Spirit Trick Exposed.

Mrs. Bested seized by two men while giving a séance at Hartford, Conn.

9/18/2017

They Ran a Snide Game.

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

6/13/2016

Thimble Rig A La Mode.

3/18/2014

Gold from Seawater!

In 1898, the Reverend Prescott F. Jernegan founded the Electrolytic Marine Salts Company to extract gold from seawater. When the gold ran out, so did Rev. Jernegan, taking the company’s capital.

7/16/2013

The Pawn-Ticket Game.

Pawn tickets make bad collateral.

3/5/2013

Napoleon's Oraculum.

6/19/2012

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1/24/2012

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9/5/2011

The Swindling Beggar

7/11/2011
 "The Witches' Cove," Follower of Jan MandijnWelcome to this week's Link Dump!  As you can see, the Strange Company Art Department is busy with the illustrations for next week's posts.The working lads of Whitechapel, circa 1900.A human leg has been found on the New York subways, and I'm betting that's not the worst thing you'd find there.A brief history of condensed milk.The
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Strange Company - 2/23/2024
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HE DUEL IN ELLEN'S HONOR. Soapy Smith’s grandmotherOn Wednesday, August 9, 1820, an argument between 17-year-old, James Bowe Boisseau (1802-1820) and Robert C. Adams (unknown-1820) vying for the attention of 18-year-old Ellen Stimpson Peniston (1802-1860), took a terrible turn. The happy party in her honor took a tragic turn when the competition for Ellen’s affections ended in a deadly duel,
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 1/10/2024
Entering the Wall Street IRT subway station on Lower Broadway at Trinity Church can feel like going into a time warp. That’s because of the cast iron hoods that cover the stairwell as you descend underground. Decorated in a leaf pattern, the curved hoods date back to the station’s 1905 opening. The hoods mesh well […]
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Ephemeral New York - 2/19/2024
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
A postmortem examination revealed that Katie Dugan was four months pregnant when her body was found beaten and slashed in an empty field in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1892. A two-year investigation led police to believe that Albert Stout, Katie’s former employer, was her killer and the father of her unborn child. But Stout was a prominent, well-connected businessman, and despite evidence that he
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Murder By Gaslight - 2/17/2024
Included in yesterday’s trip to Fall River was a stop at Miss Lizzie’s Coffee shop and a visit to the cellar to see the scene of the tragic demise of the second Mrs. Lawdwick Borden and two of the three little children in 1848. I have been writing about this sad tale since 2010 and had made a previous trip to the cellar some years ago but was unable to get to the spot where the incident occured to get a clear photograph.  The tale of Eliza Borden is a very sad, but not uncommon story of post partum depression with a heartrending end. You feel this as you stand in the dark space behind the chimney where Eliza ended her life with a straight razor after dropping 6 month old Holder and his 3 year old sister Eliza Ann into the cellar cistern. Over the years I have found other similar cases, often involving wells and cisterns, and drownings of children followed by suicides of the mothers. These photos show the chimney, cistern pipe, back wall, dirt and brick floor, original floorboards forming the cellar ceiling and what appears to be an original door. To be in the place where this happened is a sobering experience. My thanks to Joe Pereira for allowing us to see and record the place where this sad occurrence unfolded in 1848. R.I.P. Holder, Eliza and Eliza Ann Borden. Visit our Articles section above for more on this story. The coffee shop has won its suit to retain its name and has plans to expand into the shop next door and extend its menu in the near future.
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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 2/12/2024
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 … Continue reading
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Executed Today - 11/13/2020
The Bicycle Tournament at Springfield, Mass. | Collecting Beer Money.

Raiding the Joints.

Raiding the Joints

Superintendent Walling makes a raid on a Sixth Avenue opium den and gathers in a motley crowd of smokers.[more]

Superintendent Walling has made up his mind to rid the city of opium joints, and last Saturday made a successful raid upon on of the dens on Sixth Avenue. Seven women and twenty-four men were marched to the police station. Monday morning they were arraigned at Jefferson Market. They were all young and well dress. The men looked like well-to-do clerks. Superintendent Walling told Justice O’Reilly that he would like to have examples made of the prisoners, as the smoking of opium was an evil that should be stopped. The Justice thought so too and had separate complaints drawn against each prisoner. It was 1 o’clock in the afternoon before all the complaints were made out, and the young man in the plaid suit was called to the bar. He said his name was Joseph Burnett, and he was charged with a misdemeanor in keeping and maintaining an opium joint. He said he was not guilty and that he knew nothing of the business that was carried on in the rear of his restaurant. He was held in $1,000 bail.


Reprinted from the National Police Gazette, January10, 1885.