No. 635
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
December 2, 2023

Nature versus Art.

February 18, 2014
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 "The Witches' Cove," Follower of Jan MandijnWelcome to the first Link Dump of December!The Strange Company HQ staffers are already starting on the Christmas parties.The "Shankhill Butchers."The history of Christmas puddings.In which we learn that Napoleon had planned to spend his retirement in New Orleans.  Oops.Vintage Christmas gift ideas.The adventures of a Victorian sailor boy.A
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Strange Company - 12/1/2023
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Soapy Smith in Leadville, ColoradoJuly 21, 1880Soapy and partner, rear, between carriagesCourtesy Kyle Rosene collection(Click image to enlarge) Soapy Smith's stereo-view photographLeadville, Colorado, July 21, 1880Where was it taken?WHERE IN LEADVILLE WAS THIS TAKEN?(Click image to enlarge)     Those who have read Alias Soapy Smith: The Life and Death of a Scoundrel may
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 9/14/2023
On a busy day in 1951, a hot dog vendor found himself captive to a hawker of cheap jewelry who set up shop across from his rickety food cart decorated with American flags. Horses still worked the side streets of the city. Stray dogs waited for food scraps to fall to the pavement. TV antennas […]
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Ephemeral New York - 11/27/2023
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
The morning of February 5, 1895, Dr. John E Rader was found murdered in the house of Mrs. Catherine McQuinn in Jackson, Kentucky. Catherine told police they were drinking whiskey with her paramour Tom Smith and when Tom passed out, Dr. Rader assaulted her. She shot him in self-defense. Catherine could have committed the murder; she was a rough, course woman with a bad reputation. But the
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Murder By Gaslight - 12/2/2023
On October 16, 1900, the Fall River Daily Herald reported an incident at Maplecroft. Lizzie took a tumble from a step ladder while adjusting a picture on the wall. Dr. Stephen Masury Gordon set the broken wrist. Dr. Gordon lived at 165 Rock St. and was a Harvard graduate. One has to wonder why Lizzie did not have one of the servants or her handy man doing the chore. Dr. Gordon
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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 10/12/2023
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 engaged as a carrier of wine, because he and his brother, with the help of […]
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Executed Today - 11/13/2020
Illicit Distilleries. | The Southern Pacific Railway Disaster.

Nature versus Art.

nature vs art

How the deficiencies of one may be remedied by the other, as illustrated in many a boudoir in New York and elsewhere. [more]

There is a theory to the effect that beauty unadorned is adorned the most. But it won’t go down nowadays. Beauty has got to be adorned, you bet, or she’ll make things warm for the old man at home. We’ve been there, and we know whereof we speak. When she don’t pan out as well as she ought, art comes along and helps her out. If you don’t believe it—but no. It’s impossible. You must believe it, for from false teeth to a wooden leg, there isn’t a household on the continent that don’t know what man’s ingenuity can do to repair or make good for the deficiencies of nature.


Reprinted from The National Police Gazette, May 5, 1883.