No. 583
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
November 29, 2022

Decoration Day and its Memories.

May 19, 2014
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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
Raiding the Joints. | Life on a Mississippi Steamboat.

Decoration Day and its Memories.

unmindful of their attire

A File in the Chicago Opera House creates a stampede among pretty actresses who rush to the street dishabille.

The Chicago Opera House was damaged by fire on Wednesday evening. At the time the alarm was given the members of the McCaull Company were in the dressing rooms doffing their stage clothes and donning street attire. The cry of fire so excited the chorus girls that they rushed from the building into the street, many unmindful of their attire. Bolossy Kiralfy had a quantity of scenery and wardrobe for the production of “The Water Queen” in the building, but fortunately, it was not damaged.


Reprinted from The National Police Gazette, December 29, 1888.

Decoration Day

“Love and Tears for the Blue; Tears and Love for the Gray.”

From the silence of sorrowful homes
The desolate mourners go
Lovingly laden with flowers
Alike for the friend and the foe!
Under the sod and dew
Waiting the judgement day,
Under the roses the Blue,
Under the lilies the Gray!

 


"Decoration Day and its Memories." Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper 2 Jun 1883.

Collecting Beer Money

A gang of female rogues, of the East Side, New York, work a little racket of their own.

A New York reporter, while at Seventy-first street, between First and Second avenues, almost lost his eye-glasses and his composure when a girl accosted him and said: “Hey, there cully, chip in wunst for the beer.” She was backed up by half a dozen other amazons, all of whom wore their hair in straight bangs. “Hurry up, now. Chuck in your dust.” The girl took an affectionate grasp on the reporter’s coat-collar and the others closed around. Then the scribe went hurridly into his pocket, flashed up his second last quarter and gave it the female rough. Then they all scattered suddenly in answer to a signal, and a moment later the graceful outlines of Detective Salmon, of the Twenty-eighth precinct, loomed up. He laughed hastily. “You’ve been caught by “Lena’s gang,” he said, “and I suppose they saw the color of your coin. It’s just as well you did give them something, because they use their hands vigorously. Their leader in their neighborhood is a rather pretty Polish Jewess named Lena Meyerheimer, who works when she is not idle at one of the cigar factories up on First avenue. She and her younger sisters are about as tough as young girls can be. The congregate with and emulate the boys of the Sylvan Star gang. Most all her followers are cigar makers, too. That trade seems to have especial attraction for bad girls.”


Reprinted from the National Police Gazette, October 18, 1884.