No. 583
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
November 30, 2022

An Easy Winner.

Architect John M. Merrick of New York triumphantly finishes his thirtieth canvas-back duck on the th
May 1, 2017
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Fifteen-year-old Jody Randall of Long Beach, California, was in most ways a typical suburban teenager.  The one thing that set her apart was a passion for antiques which was unusual for someone of her youth.  As a result of spending all her available free time (and her parents’ money) on her hobby, she eventually amassed some impressive pieces, including a doll collection noteworthy enough to
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Strange Company - 11/28/2022
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Shell and Pea Game on the Trail"Sketched from life by M. W. Newberry"San Francisco ChronicleApril 10, 1898(Click image to enlarge)    UNKO MEN AND THEIR TRICKS      A wonderfully detailed description of the modus operandi of Soapy Smith's three shell and pea manipulators along the Chilkoot and White Pass trails. Witnessed and reported by Joseph D. Barry, and published in the San Francisco
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 11/21/2022
Working as a domestic servant in 19th century New York City had plenty of challenges. Sure, servants received room and board in addition to their wages, and they usually had at least Sunday afternoon off. But living in another family’s home was isolating and lonely—particularly if you didn’t speak English or weren’t accustomed to urban […]
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Ephemeral New York - 11/28/2022
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
Museum of the City of New YorkWilliam Howe and Abraham Hummel were the most successful criminal lawyers in Gilded Age New York. With a combination of skill, showmanship, and unethical practices, they defended most of the city’s significant criminals and many of its murderers. Whether they won or lost, Howe and Hummel made every trial sensational. Here are a few of the many accused murderers
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Murder By Gaslight - 11/26/2022
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
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 Graces in a High Wind. | Chicago’s Latest Craze.

An Easy Winner.

An Easy Winner

Architect John M. Merrick of New York triumphantly finishes his thirtieth canvas-back duck on the thirtieth consecutive day. [more]

One of the best known gourmets of New York is Mr. John M. Merrick, a famous architect. He is considered the greatest authority in the metropolis on luxurious living, and his views were quoted with respect, even by such an apostle of the cousine as the late Wm. Stuart. In a recent conversation Mr. Merrick declared that to eat thirty quail in thirty days was a treat which owed its difficultly, not to the monotony of the dish, but the natural dryness and insipidity of the bird. This opinion be offered to back practically by undertaking to eat a very different kind of wild. fowl—the canvas-back duck—at the rate of one a day for a month. The canvas-back is a very large and rich bird, and considerable doubt was expressed by epicures as to the possibility of the feat. But with true Galway pluck, Mr. Merrick demolished his thirtieth consecutive bird on New Year's day amid the applause of all beholders at Cable's restaurant on Broadway.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette January 15, 1887.