No. 653
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
May 27, 2024

Belle Gordon.

September 29, 2014
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Tag: 1860s

A Lunatics Ball.

Ball of lunatics at the Asylum, Blackwell's Island, East River, N. Y.

10/10/2023

The Merry Wives of Boston.

Such is Boston morality and such is woman's fidelity.

1/5/2021

Burning of Steamers at Cincinnati.

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

9/17/2018

A Velocipede Riding-School.

Scene in a velocipede riding-school, New York City.

9/10/2018

On The Beach at Newport, Rhode Island.

On the Beach at Newport, Rhode Island.

9/3/2018

Great Base Ball Match.

Great baseball match between the Atlantic and Boxford Clubs of Brooklyn.

4/23/2018

In Consequence of the New Liquor Law.

In consequence of the new liquor law, this is the ingenious manner in which a worthy teuton friend of ours takes his family out for their Sunday rambles.

4/9/2018

An Adventure with a Sea-Lion.

With open mouths and protruding tusks, they warn the intruder agents too near an approach.

3/26/2018

Foundering of the Titania.

One of the most thrilling disasters at sea that has happened for many years.

2/26/2018

A Magical Duet on the Guitar.

An extraordinary account of a mathematician, mechanician, and musician named Alix.

1/8/2018

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12/18/2017

Thrilling Railroad Accident.

Startling accident at the draw bridge of the Rensselaer and Saratoga Railroad, Federal Street, Troy, N. Y., Saturday, Sept 23.

11/6/2017

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 Human Rat Eater.

An employee of the Boston Gas Works boasted his ability to kill a rat with his teeth.

8/14/2017

December 1860.

Styles for the Month.

12/5/2016

The Terrific Leap at Niblo’s Garden, From an Aerial Apparatus.

The original and daring aerial representation by Thomas Hanlon, now performed by him every evening at Niblo's Garden.

1/11/2016

Mdlle. Carlotta de Berg.

Mdlle. Carlotta de Berg, at the New York Circus, Fourteenth Street.

5/5/2015

Surf Swimming at Hawaii, Sandwich Islands.

Faahee, or surf-swimming, is a favorite pastime with the natives of the Sandwich Islands.

4/21/2015

The White Porpoise.

We give in our present number a correct sketch of one of the largest specimens of the Porpoise that has ever been seen.

3/16/2015

Murderous Assault by a Wife on Her Husband.

10/6/2014

An Undertaker’s Assistant’s Mistake.

8/26/2014

Uncle Sam's Thanksgiving Dinner.

11/26/2013

Burglary Tools.

2/11/2013

The Advent of Spiritualism.

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

9/4/2012

Copper.

8/20/2012

A Slippery and Subtle Knave – The Bank Sneak.

7/31/2012

A Slippery and Subtle Knave – The Bank Sneak.

Of the many forms of bank robbery, the bank sneak had the safest, easiest and most lucrative method of all.

7/31/2012

Kate Warne.

Kate Warne, America’s first female detective.

5/30/2012

Melancholy Boat Accident.

4/24/2012

Allan Pinkerton.

The Eye that Never Sleeps.

3/27/2012

The Cardiff Giant

Cardiff, New York, October 16, 1869.

4/10/2011
The archives of the Humble Oil & Refining Company are about the last place where you’d expect to run across a first-rate poltergeist account, but it just goes to show that we live in a funny old world.  In 1948, a folklorist and historian was browsing through the company’s papers when he came across a letter that had absolutely nothing to do with oil.  It read:Jan [illegible] '
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Strange Company - 5/27/2024
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
When these photos from the collection of the Museum of the City of New York were taken at Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery at the end of May in 1899, Memorial Day didn’t exist. “Decoration Day,” however, was an established holiday celebrated every May 30. The idea was to visit the final resting places of thousands of […]
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Ephemeral New York - 5/27/2024
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
John Wesley Elkins.11-year-old John Wesley Elkins was slight of stature—four feet eight inches tall, weighing 73 pounds. He was intelligent and well-spoken, and he had never caused trouble until the day he murdered his parents. At 2:00 am, on July 24, 1889, while his parents were sleeping in their Iowa farmhouse, he shot his father in the head and then beat his mother to death with a club.
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Murder By Gaslight - 5/25/2024
CHIEF OF CONSThe Morning Times(Cripple Creek, Colorado)February 15, 1896Courtesy of Mitch Morrissey ig Ed Burns robs a dying man?      Mitch Morrissey, a Facebook friend and historian for the Denver District Attorney’s Office, found and published an interesting newspaper piece on "Big Ed" Burns, one of the most notorious characters in the West. Burns was a confidence man and
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 4/2/2024
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
Murderous Assault by a Wife on Her Husband. | Set Fire to the Bed.

Belle Gordon.

 
 
Source:
Austin, Sam C.. The Police Gazette sporting annual for 1898: complete chronology for 1897. London: Richard K. Fox, 1898.