No. 584
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
December 8, 2022

The First of the Season.

The Earliest Bath of the Year, at Atlantic City
July 5, 2022

Not George Talkington, but there must have been a strong resemblance.Many people could be called “accident prone,” but, fortunately, few take it to the level of the subject of today’s post.  From the “Bath Chronicle,” November 21, 1833 (via Talkington, once a celebrated horse-dealer at Uttoxeter, who died on the 8th of April, 1826, at Cheadle, Cheshire, in his eighty-third
Strange Company - 12/7/2022
Wishing you a happy and bountiful Thanksgiving Day! Lizzie is thankful for turkey and all the trimmings – and no mutton broth in sight!
Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 11/22/2022
CAME NEAR LOSING HIS MONEYSan Francisco ChronicleMay 6, 1893(Click image to enlarge)  San Francisco Man Taken in by Denver Card Sharks "First time I ever got caught" (Soapy Smith) This post was originally supposed to be about a new "victim" (Charles Anderson) swindled by the soap gang that I recently uncovered during a search through newspaper archives, but in looking through my files I found
Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 12/6/2022
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 […]
Executed Today - 11/14/2022
 When tried for the 1840 murder of Catherine Merry, Charles Cook pled innocent by reason of insanity. Despite a history of medical treatment for extreme melancholy, and strange behavior such as running through the streets of Schenectady, wearing nothing but a blanket, proclaiming himself to be the Savior of the world, the jury rejected his plea and found him guilty.Before his execution, Cook
Murder By Gaslight - 12/3/2022
For years I’ve walked by the delightfully shabby Joe’s Tavern sign at the corner of Tenth Avenue and 25th Street. I’ve never seen the vintage vertical beauty lit up, unfortunately. Even stranger, I’ve never seen any sign of life inside 258 Tenth Avenue, which once housed what I imagine to have been an old-school neighborhood […]
Ephemeral New York - 12/5/2022
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: […]
Early American Crime - 12/17/2021
They Got Hilariously Full. | Independence Day in the Country.

The First of the Season.


"The water is not a bit chilly, dear," was the exclamation of a tall, buxom-looking blonde attired in a dark-blue bathing suit trimmed in red, as she held out her hand invitingly to her companion, a petite maiden, who stood hesitatingly on the beach at Atlantic City.

"Well, here I come," said the doubtful bather, and with several dainty jumps she reached the outstretched arms of her friend. In a moment both had turned their right shoulders against a breaker which was about to roll over them. For a quarter of an hour, these brave sea nymphs sported in the water gleefully. attesting by their antics that they were comfortable. A crowd had gathered on the beach to see the first women bathers of the season, and as far as known the first on the Atlantic coast. When the dripping maidens walked leisurely to the beach and buried themselves in a mound of sand they were instantly surrounded by a group of ladies who somewhat annoyed the bathers with foolish questions. They avoided any extended dissertation on early bathing, answering questions in monosyllables. giving their experience in the few expressive words: "The water is pleasant, if not delightful."

The young ladies who have set the whole island agog are Miss Elizabeth Price and her friend, Miss Marian E. Smith, of Philadelphia, ladies who are both guests at the Seaside House. The young ladies are both pretty.

National Police Gazette, June 26, 1886.