No. 656
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
June 18, 2024

Collecting Beer Money.

A gang of female rogues, of the East Side, New York, work a little racket of their own.
September 15, 2015
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"Montana Record-Herald," September 24, 1900, via Newspapers.comThis somewhat unusual story about ghosts with a taste for spectral construction work originally appeared in the “Boston Herald” in 1900, but was reprinted in a number of different newspapers.  The author was F.R. Guernsey, an American living in Mexico who was a regular correspondent for the “Herald.”For scores of years the old
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Strange Company - 6/17/2024
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
Like many of Manhattan’s legendary department stores, Bloomingdale’s developed in stages. First came Lyman and Joseph Bloomingdale’s “Ladies’ Notions Shop” on Chambers Street, where they sold the trendiest garment of the 1860s: the hoop skirt. In 1886, the Bloomingdale Brothers moved their store, renamed the “East Side Emporium,” to the hinterlands of Manhattan at Lexington […]
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Ephemeral New York - 6/17/2024
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
Frank Gouldy was a wild and restless young man. Unable to hold a job, he lived in idleness and dissipation in his father’s house. He was sometimes pleasant to his brothers and sisters but more often morose and vengeful, with an uncontrollable temper.Frank came home at about ten o’clock on October 26, 1858, and his father reprimanded him about money he had taken. Frank responded with “a low
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Murder By Gaslight - 6/15/2024
CHIEF OF CONSThe Morning Times(Cripple Creek, Colorado)February 15, 1896Courtesy of Mitch Morrissey ig Ed Burns robs a dying man?      Mitch Morrissey, a Facebook friend and historian for the Denver District Attorney’s Office, found and published an interesting newspaper piece on "Big Ed" Burns, one of the most notorious characters in the West. Burns was a confidence man and
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 4/2/2024
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
Raiding the Joints. | Life on a Mississippi Steamboat.

Collecting Beer Money.

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.