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

Hard Knocks and Horsewhips.

Miss Mamie Gannon, of Jersey City, attacks reporter Lenhart with a horsewhip for traducing her chara
August 10, 2015
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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
New Jersey’s Great Wash Day. | Yachting.

Hard Knocks and Horsewhips.

She Vindicated Herself

She Vindicated Herself.

Miss Mamie Gannon, of Jersey City, attacks reporter Lenhart with a horsewhip for traducing her character in his newspaper. [more]

The session of the Jersey City Board of Public Works had just opened the other night when a tall, fashionably attired young woman advance to the railing. Her pretty face wore a scowl and her dark eyes fairly snapped. She stepped close to the desk occupied by George Lenhart, a local reporter. Her voice trembled with excitement and rage as she addressed him, He had scarcely time to reply when from the recesses of a light wrap she drew a cattle whip and struck him twice. Several men crowded forward and restrained her. An instant later she darted forward and exclaimed, “Explain yourself. How dare you publish anything about me?” He was silent, and again her whip fell in his head. Janitor Conway seized her and led her down stairs. Lenhart demanded protection, and informed the President of the Board that he would hold him responsible for any injury he (Lenhart) received. The young lady was only partially pacified. When she reached the foot of the stairs she wept with anger as she cried, “Through the scurrilous article my friends have cut me, and I’ll cut him.” With this she turned before she could be intercepted and returned to the meeting room, where she plied her whip again. This time Lenhart caught hold of the whip, and in the struggle for its possession he dragged his assailant violently against the rail. Her cry of pain incensed a number of men in the lobby, and they, with expressions that boded ill for the reporter, crushed against the rail dislodging it. Lenhart retreated to the rear of the chair occupied by Commissioner Carr, who protected him from further violence. Lenhart made an effort to draw a revolver, which exasperated some of the men.

The young woman is Miss Mamie Gannon, just out of her teens. She is the daughter of a well to-do coppersmith. Several months ago Miss Mamie and her sister were arranging a party on an elaborate scale. Their father was in the habit of giving them their allowance of packet money in checks. It was on the eve of the party, and the checks were only for the usual amount. They corrected his oversight by altering the amounts of the checks to a larger sum. The story was heard a few days ago for the first time by Lenhart, and he publish a sensational story in the extent of a column, suppressing the names, but so minutely describing the young women that their identity was clear to everyone acquainted with them. Last Saturday night week Lenhart was decoyed into a saloon and he as pummeled by a champion of the young ladies, Raymond Gilchrist, son of ex-Attorney General Gilchrist and Hickey, the saloon keeper, for conspiracy. The accused furnished bail. Lenhart was recently assaulted by Thomas Jacobs, clerk of the Board of Works, for sever criticisms.


Reprinted from The National Police Gazette, October 16, 1886.