No. 584
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
December 8, 2022

Foundering of the Titania.

One of the most thrilling disasters at sea that has happened for many years.
February 26, 2018
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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
March Winds. | A Jealous Husband’s Mistake.

Foundering of the Titania.

Foundering of the Titania

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

From a sketch by an officer of the gunboat Florida, we give an engraving of one of the most thrilling disasters at sea that has happened for many years, the wreck of the brig Titania which left Philadelphia on the 9th day of Oct., bound for Mobile, with a cargo of coal and hay. On the 13th she encountered a heavy gale which cause her to spring a leak. Both her pumps were manned, but in spite of every effort the water rapidly gained, even though all her deck load was thrown overboard. All hands worked with desperate energy to keep her afloat, but after two days of almost superhuman labor the water was found to be 11 feet in her hold and all hope of saving the vessel was dismissed.

A raft was rapidly constructed of about 10 feet square, and on the 16th the passengers and crew, 10 in all, embarked. There was one woman in the party. Two hours after leaving the ship down she went, and the luckless people upon the raft were tossing about at the mercy of the winds and waves. The weight upon the raft sunk it one foot below the waves, and what was not washed away was saturated thoroughly. For 24 hours they tossed about thus until, in latitude 32 degrees 20 minutes, longitude 74 degrees, they were found by the U. S. gunboat Florida, Lieut. Maies commanding, who took the starving party on board, helpless and almost lifeless form exposure.

Sailor-like, no sooner were the shipwrecked on board that a subscription was raised for them, which amounted to $361, of which one-third was awarded to the female passenger, and the balance divided among the crew.


Reprinted from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, November 11, 1869.