No. 643
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
February 29, 2024

Mdlle. Carlotta de Berg.

Mdlle. Carlotta de Berg, at the New York Circus, Fourteenth Street.
May 5, 2015
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Via Newspapers.comPhantom stagecoaches are always fun (especially when they generate manic headlines.)  The “San Bernardino News,” December 7, 1914:Have you seen the phantom coach that dashes madly, silently, down the steep, rugged mountain trail near Pilot Rock? It is a weird story, this. It deals with the apparently supernatural. Possibly it isn't that at all, maybe it is simply some
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Strange Company - 2/28/2024
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HE DUEL IN ELLEN'S HONOR. Soapy Smith’s grandmotherOn Wednesday, August 9, 1820, an argument between 17-year-old, James Bowe Boisseau (1802-1820) and Robert C. Adams (unknown-1820) vying for the attention of 18-year-old Ellen Stimpson Peniston (1802-1860), took a terrible turn. The happy party in her honor took a tragic turn when the competition for Ellen’s affections ended in a deadly duel,
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 1/10/2024
There’s nothing wrong with the MTA’s usual subway signage: the directions are clear, the design is simple. But when a contemporary sign happens to be stuck underneath original signage made with decorative tile and an unusual typeface—as it is inside the Sixth Avenue F and M station at 14th Street—the old-school sign wins hands-down. Subway.org […]
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Ephemeral New York - 2/26/2024
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
 Alice Hoyle last saw her sister, Lillie, the night of September 1, 1887, in the room they shared in Webster, Massachusetts. Lillie left to use the outhouse, and Alice fell asleep. Lillie never returned. The next morning, Alice went out, thinking Lillie had already left for work. That is the story Alice told the police— as the investigation progressed, she would change it several times.Read
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Murder By Gaslight - 2/24/2024
Included in yesterday’s trip to Fall River was a stop at Miss Lizzie’s Coffee shop and a visit to the cellar to see the scene of the tragic demise of the second Mrs. Lawdwick Borden and two of the three little children in 1848. I have been writing about this sad tale since 2010 and had made a previous trip to the cellar some years ago but was unable to get to the spot where the incident occured to get a clear photograph.  The tale of Eliza Borden is a very sad, but not uncommon story of post partum depression with a heartrending end. You feel this as you stand in the dark space behind the chimney where Eliza ended her life with a straight razor after dropping 6 month old Holder and his 3 year old sister Eliza Ann into the cellar cistern. Over the years I have found other similar cases, often involving wells and cisterns, and drownings of children followed by suicides of the mothers. These photos show the chimney, cistern pipe, back wall, dirt and brick floor, original floorboards forming the cellar ceiling and what appears to be an original door. To be in the place where this happened is a sobering experience. My thanks to Joe Pereira for allowing us to see and record the place where this sad occurrence unfolded in 1848. R.I.P. Holder, Eliza and Eliza Ann Borden. Visit our Articles section above for more on this story. The coffee shop has won its suit to retain its name and has plans to expand into the shop next door and extend its menu in the near future.
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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 2/12/2024
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 … Continue reading
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Executed Today - 11/13/2020
Willie Craig Was a Girl. | Said She Would and Did.

Mdlle. Carlotta de Berg.

Mdlle. Carlotta de Berg.

Mdlle. Carlotta de Berg, at the New York Circus, Fourteenth Street. [more]

 

Mdlle. Carlotta de Berg.

The Celebrated Equestrienne.

The charming and wonderful artiste, whose performances are now delighting crowded and fashionable audiences at the New York Circus, was born some 22 years ago in the gay capital of France—Paris. So early did she develop her marvelous aptitude for horsemanship, that she made her first appearance at the Paris Circus when only four years old, and ever since she has been, as a child, girl and woman, the bright particular equestrienne star of Paris. With the exception of the time taken up to her professional tours, she has been engaged since 1851 at the Cirque Imperial, and occasionally the Cirque Napoleon. During the vacations in Paris, she has visited all the principal European capitals, where she was received with the greatest enthusiasm. She has been introduced to most of the crowned heads of Europe, who testified their admiration of her admirable and dashing feats, so far superior to anything they had ever seen, by handsome compliments, and still more handsome gifts.

Having entered into an engagement with L. B. Lent, she arrived in New York a short time ago, and mad her first appearance at the New York Circus, Fourteenth street, on the 23d of April, when she created a perfect furor of applause. Our engraving represents one of the daring and yet graceful feats to which no description can do justice—they must be seen to be understood and appreciated.


Reprinted from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, June 6, 1866.