No. 584
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
December 7, 2022

Her Last Quadrille.

The bursting of an artery due to tight lacing causes the death of Miss Mary Crawford of Detroit, Mic
December 1, 2015
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Tag: Spiritualism

Her Trick Spirit Trick Exposed.

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

9/18/2017

The Advent of Spiritualism.

A simple schoolgirl prank spawned a new belief with millions of followers.

9/4/2012
Not George Talkington, but there must have been a strong resemblance.Many people could be called “accident prone,” but, fortunately, few take it to the level of the subject of today’s post.  From the “Bath Chronicle,” November 21, 1833 (via Newspapers.com):George Talkington, once a celebrated horse-dealer at Uttoxeter, who died on the 8th of April, 1826, at Cheadle, Cheshire, in his eighty-third
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Strange Company - 12/7/2022
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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
CAME NEAR LOSING HIS MONEYSan Francisco ChronicleMay 6, 1893(Click image to enlarge)  San Francisco Man Taken in by Denver Card Sharks "First time I ever got caught" (Soapy Smith) This post was originally supposed to be about a new "victim" (Charles Anderson) swindled by the soap gang that I recently uncovered during a search through newspaper archives, but in looking through my files I found
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 12/6/2022
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
 When tried for the 1840 murder of Catherine Merry, Charles Cook pled innocent by reason of insanity. Despite a history of medical treatment for extreme melancholy, and strange behavior such as running through the streets of Schenectady, wearing nothing but a blanket, proclaiming himself to be the Savior of the world, the jury rejected his plea and found him guilty.Before his execution, Cook
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Murder By Gaslight - 12/3/2022
For years I’ve walked by the delightfully shabby Joe’s Tavern sign at the corner of Tenth Avenue and 25th Street. I’ve never seen the vintage vertical beauty lit up, unfortunately. Even stranger, I’ve never seen any sign of life inside 258 Tenth Avenue, which once housed what I imagine to have been an old-school neighborhood […]
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Ephemeral New York - 12/5/2022
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
| Unmindful of their Attire.

Her Last Quadrille.

Her Last Quadrille

The bursting of an artery due to tight lacing causes the death of Miss Mary Crawford of Detroit, Mich. 

The craze for slender waists found a victim Saturday night at Detroit, Mich., in Miss Mary Crawford, who was attending a dance. In the midst of the quadrille she suddenly cried and fell, but was caught by her partner, who carried her to a lounge, where she seemingly fainted. It was found impossible to resuscitate her, and a physician was summoned who pronounced the young lady dead. An examination revealed the fact that she had died from tight lacing, the stays in her corsets having been drawn so tightly that her flesh lay in folds beneath, so that the exertion of dancing caused the bursting of a blood vessel. Miss Crawford was to have been married today, and her betrothed is completely prostrated.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, October 6, 1888.