No. 563
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
July 6, 2022

A Brooklyn Romance.

A young girl hurled from a Fulton ferry-boat, New York, by a jealous wife, who passes the act off as an accident.
March 12, 2019
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Eli Bence has always been a person of great interest to Borden case historians, even though his testimony did not get considered at the trial in the end. He has been a person of personal fascination for me for 30 years and I was delighted to learn his home in Pittsfield, MA sold in July 2020 and the realtor included some interior photos of the graceful 1900 – built home. Bence had some heartaches in his life, the death of his daughter Priscilla, and first wife, Sarah Hayhurst- and he, himself died tragically at the peak of his illustrous career as a pharmacist. His story, pharmacy in New Bedford in 1894 and second marriage to Annie Maxfield have been covered fairly extensively on the Warps & Wefts blog over the years but here is a new photo of Eli in 1885, and photos of his Pittsfield home as well as two obituaries you will enjoy reading. The link will take you to interiors of his 64 Commonwealth St. Pittsfield home, which sadly, have been greatly modernized. I have always been a great believer in what Eli had to say in 1893. https://www.realtor.com/…/64-Commonwealth-Ave…
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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 7/6/2022
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'SOAPY' SMITH AND TWO COLLEAGUESObject ID 2017.6.350Courtesy of Salvation Army Museum of the West(Click image to enlarge) New photograph of "Soapy" Smith?NOT EVEN CLOSE.      A B & W photograph, said to be of Jefferson Randolph "Soapy" Smith, and two colleagues. Soapy is in the middle, marked with an "X." The photo was taken in Alaska,
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 4/11/2022
Via Newspapers.comHere we have your bog-standard “prophetic dream” story, but with a rather unusual twist.  Usually in such accounts, telling the dream to others saves a life.  In this case, it was what doomed the victim.  From the “Madisonian,” May 25, 1839:A letter from Hamburg contains the following curious story relative to the verification of a dream. It appears that a locksmith’s apprentice
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Strange Company - 7/6/2022
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
 1n 1827, Elsie Lansing lived with her husband John, in Cherry Hill, the stately mansion overlooking the Hudson River near Albany, New York. Jesse Strang was a servant living in the basement. When Elsie and Jesse fell in love, their torrid affair led to the murder of John Whipple.Read the full story here: Albany Gothic.
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Murder By Gaslight - 7/2/2022
The Gilded Age was a captivating era of growth, greed, and deep cultural changes that set into motion the way we live today. It was a time when men and women typically occupied vastly different spheres: men in the outside world of business and industry, women as the center of home, family, and society. But […]
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Ephemeral New York - 7/4/2022
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
Anznfe Jhiksh | Fashion's Fillies.

A Brooklyn Romance.

A young girl hurled from a Fulton ferry-boat, New York, by a jealous wife, who passes the act off as an accident.

Brooklyn romance always takes queer sensational shapes, and here is the latest. On the 2d inst., at 5 P. M., two ladies came tripping down the bridge at Fulton Ferry after the gates had been closed and when a crowded boat was just leaving the slip. The stouter of the two stepped aboard first, and when her slender young companion attempted to follow her she interposed and delayed so that the girl had but a slight foothold on the moving boat. Then turning suddenly she gave a sly push that tumbled her companion overboard. The girl fell into the water, rigged just as she was in the height of the spring fashion. A wild excitement prevailed on the boat, and was not allayed until it was seen that the bridgemen of the ferry had fished the young woman with a boat-hook, limp, wet, insensible but, safe. The lady who had been her companion found a private coach of the most "tony" description waiting for her at the ferry on the Brooklyn side, and entering it was driven away without any inquiry being made. A scandal is said to underlie this event. The stout lady, it is rumored, is the jealous wife of a prominent physician, and the ducked young beauty was guilty of flirting with the sawbones and falling under suspicion of doing something worse.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, June 10, 1882.