No. 643
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
February 23, 2024

Caught Wifie Dead to Rights.

She was perched upon the knee of her gentleman friend at Saginaw, Mich., enjoying her delicious swee
June 11, 2018
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 "The Witches' Cove," Follower of Jan MandijnWelcome to this week's Link Dump!  As you can see, the Strange Company Art Department is busy with the illustrations for next week's posts.The working lads of Whitechapel, circa 1900.A human leg has been found on the New York subways, and I'm betting that's not the worst thing you'd find there.A brief history of condensed milk.The
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Strange Company - 2/23/2024
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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
Entering the Wall Street IRT subway station on Lower Broadway at Trinity Church can feel like going into a time warp. That’s because of the cast iron hoods that cover the stairwell as you descend underground. Decorated in a leaf pattern, the curved hoods date back to the station’s 1905 opening. The hoods mesh well […]
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Ephemeral New York - 2/19/2024
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
A postmortem examination revealed that Katie Dugan was four months pregnant when her body was found beaten and slashed in an empty field in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1892. A two-year investigation led police to believe that Albert Stout, Katie’s former employer, was her killer and the father of her unborn child. But Stout was a prominent, well-connected businessman, and despite evidence that he
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Murder By Gaslight - 2/17/2024
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
Spoiled the Chappies’ Fun. | June.

Caught Wifie Dead to Rights.

Caught Wife

She was perched upon the knee of her gentleman friend at Saginaw, Mich., enjoying her delicious sweetness of mingled champagne and kisses. [more]

The usually quiet neighborhood in the vicinity of Union Park on Bond Street, Saginaw, Mich., is all torn up over the rumors which are being lisped about to the effect that an indulgent husband came home very unexpectedly one afternoon several days since and discovered his pretty wife entertaining a gentlemen friend of the family in her bedroom. The sight knocked the wind out of the poor man’s sails completely, for he never dreamed that his little wife was other that the personification of virtue. When he opened the door leading to his wife’s bed-chamber the guilty couple did not discover him at first. They sat with their backs to the wronged husband, the naughty wife perched closely upon the knee of the alleged friend of the family. Two bottles of champagne were on a table close by. There was no blood shed. The husband is not the man to fly to weapons, he prefers the divorce courts, and it is dollars to doughnuts that he will file a bill of separation. The “friend of the family” attempted all sorts of apologies, but the wronged husband turned him from the house in a rage and went straightway to his wife and informed her of her liege lord’s conduct. The news was a blow to the wife, who had always been complimented throughout the neighborhood for being blessed with such a model husband.

Since the unpleasant affair occurred all parties concerned have done all in their power to keep it a profound secret but like all other bits of rich scandal, the gossips have got hold of it and every woman in the neighborhood is eying the naught y wife with suspicion. She is such a ladylike little person that, even yet, her most intimate friends are prone to find her not guilty.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, September 1896.