No. 656
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
June 18, 2024

Evading the Liquor Laws in Denver.

Colorado. - Evading the liquor law in Colorado Springs, as witnessed by the Frank Leslie Transcontinental Excursion Party.
June 18, 2024

Tag: Illinois

Spoiled the Chappies’ Fun.

Policemen of Aurora Ill. Break into a famous resort during an orgy and capture some well-known young men of the town.


That Settled It.

A Chicago man wants a divorce because his wife sings Salvation hymns, gains his suit by having her give an exhibition of her vocal powers in court.


Had a High Old Time.


Unmindful of their Attire.

A Fire in the Chicago Opera House creates a stampede among pretty actresses who rush to the street dishabille.


Taking a Criminal's Measure.


The Diamond King.

J. I. Lighthall, better known as the Diamond King, was a charismatic showman and a master of marketing, but he was also a dedicated healer.


Allan Pinkerton.

The Eye that Never Sleeps.


Cursing In Church

Westfield, Ohio, October 23, 1887 - The Sudden Insanity of Rev J. R. Young. He uses profane language in a Sunday school at Westfield, Ohio.


Cursing In Church

"Montana Record-Herald," September 24, 1900, via Newspapers.comThis somewhat unusual story about ghosts with a taste for spectral construction work originally appeared in the “Boston Herald” in 1900, but was reprinted in a number of different newspapers.  The author was F.R. Guernsey, an American living in Mexico who was a regular correspondent for the “Herald.”For scores of years the old
Strange Company - 6/17/2024
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.
Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 2/12/2024
Like many of Manhattan’s legendary department stores, Bloomingdale’s developed in stages. First came Lyman and Joseph Bloomingdale’s “Ladies’ Notions Shop” on Chambers Street, where they sold the trendiest garment of the 1860s: the hoop skirt. In 1886, the Bloomingdale Brothers moved their store, renamed the “East Side Emporium,” to the hinterlands of Manhattan at Lexington […]
Ephemeral New York - 6/17/2024
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: […]
Early American Crime - 12/17/2021
Frank Gouldy was a wild and restless young man. Unable to hold a job, he lived in idleness and dissipation in his father’s house. He was sometimes pleasant to his brothers and sisters but more often morose and vengeful, with an uncontrollable temper.Frank came home at about ten o’clock on October 26, 1858, and his father reprimanded him about money he had taken. Frank responded with “a low
Murder By Gaslight - 6/15/2024
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
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
Executed Today - 11/13/2020
| The Recent Escape

Evading the Liquor Laws in Denver.


Everyone who visits pleasant and well-built Denver takes a run down to Colorado Springs, on the Denver and Rio Grande narrow-gauge railroad, a distance of eighty-five miles. After inspecting the magnificent Garden of the Gods, the village of Maniton and the Falls at the head of the tile Pass, the traveler is apt to acquire a thirst, which water highly impregnated with alkali will not quench; but, alas for the thirsty traveler! Colorado Springs is a temperance town. However, nothing is impossible to those who are in earnest. Close to the depot is a hostelry, yclept the Pike's Peak House,where an announcement in English and German informs the wayfarer that meals can he had for the moderate stint of forty cents. Entering the house, one finds an empty room; a door in a wooden partition admits into an inner apartment, where four Hoosiers are playing the interesting game of the "devil amongst the tailors." Presently a German approaches and inquires what is wanted, and being informed that there exists a laudable desire for lager-beer, he replies: “Shust put a quarter in dot hole, and de beer gomes up quick!"

Accordingly the tourist approaches a wooden wall, and perceives a slit in the board, dirty from use. He drops in a twenty-five cent piece and says, addressing no one in particular and speaking in a very sepulchral tone, "A quart of beer." With magic celerity a sliding panel is revealed, which goes up. and on a bracket there appears a jug of the foaming beverage. Taking it out, imbibing the contents, and replacing the jog and glass, the panel slides back into its place, and the truly Arabian Nights' entertainment is at an end. Subsequently the traveler is informed that anything in any quantity in the drinking line can be obtained hi the same mysterious manner at this oasis for the thirsty traveler in the emperance Desert.

President Barnard, of Columbia College, the Rev. Dr. Armitage, and a number of other gentlemen, left New York City on the 18th for a trip to the Rocky Mountains, stopping at Denver and Colorado Springs. This information will be valuable to them in case they should require any stimulants, as it will enable them to satisfy their thirst promptly and without embarrassing inquiries; for even their distinction will not secure them exemption from the Territorial liquor laws.

Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, July 7, 1877.