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

Packed Away in a Trunk.

James Lavender of Irwinton, Georgia, tries to elude his bondsmen but is found and dragged out.
November 13, 2017
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Tag: Maine

A Train of Cars Rushing Through Fire.

Traveling through fire—Fearful peril of a railway train, at Cedar Swamp, on the Eastern Railroad, Maine, Sunday, Sept. 17

10/23/2017

A Bloody Ruction.

Bayonets and Knives—A Sister’s Influence and Prevention of Murder.

6/12/2015

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 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
`
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
Turkey Shooting. | Thrilling Railroad Accident.

Packed Away in a Trunk.

Packed in a Trunk

James Lavender of Irwinton, Georgia, tries to elude his bondsmen but is found and dragged out. [more]

A special from Irwinton, Ga., September 12, says: At the April term of Wilkinson Superior Court James Lavender was indicted for shooting at another. Three gentlemen became bondsmen for him. About two months ago it was found he had disappeared. His bondsmen offered a reward for him, and detectives were soon upon his trail, and soon succeeded in settling the fact that he lodged at home, as he was seen to enter the house. The bondsmen were notified of this fact, and they secreted themselves near the house, saw him enter, followed close upon him and demanded admittance. After some delay, were admitted, and a thorough search was instituted, but no Lavender could be found. This was repeated two or three times, when at last on Saturday night last, they again saw him enter the house, and knew he was surely there. They resolved to find him if the ashes had to be sifted. In moving the furniture around, a small trunk was found to be very heavy, and suspicion fell upon this as being the hiding place of the prisoner, but how a man six feet tall could pack himself in so small a trunk was the question. The key was demanded, but Mrs. Lavender said the trunk belonged to her sister who lived three miles away. The party decided to send for the key and investigate contents. A messenger was dispatched for the key and the party sat down to await his return. Something could be heard inside the trunk as a man breathing. In due time the messenger arrived, the trunk was opened, and the imping six-foot Lavender was found coiled up the small trunk. He was brought here yesterday and lodged in jail to await trial in October.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, October 1, 1887.