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

A Winter Scene.

Winter Pastime – A Skating Scene.
January 25, 2016
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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
A Woman’s Flat-Irony. | Cowboys Lassoing the Ballet.

A Winter Scene.

 A Winter Scene

Winter Pastime – A Skating Scene. [more]

We could hardly have produced a more timely picture than is given to the reader above, of that delightfully exhilarating sport, and that truly manly exercise known as skating. Of late years, American ladies have been practicing this amusement, and the fine pond at Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, at certain seasons presents a most lively and gay appearance, covered with ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, all skimming with magic-like power over the glassy surface of the pond. A good skater cane attain immense speed upon the ice, and sustain himself for miles. In the picture above is represented some of the casualties that the skater is liable to. If awkward, he must pay a severe penalty, sometimes, for his want of skill, and fatal accidents do not unfrequently occur. Now beginners, old hands (or legs) at the business, and the awkward squad are all presented in our picture. On the right foreground one is seen with a servant, arranging his skates; just beyond him is an awkward figure, fearful off a fall; in the middle foreground is seen one whose graceful and confident figure betokens the adept at the business; and on his left is observed an individual struggling to break his forward impetus to spare the tow figures already down upon the ice. We trust that the individual underneath has found a soft place on the ice upon which to fall.


Reprinted from Gleason's Pictorial, January 22, 1853.