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

Dogographs.

By a Fast Young Puppy.
October 4, 2022
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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
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
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
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
More...
Strange Company - 11/28/2022
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
More...
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
Spoiled the Chappies’ Fun. | A Newspaper Man’s Plight

Dogographs.

dogs

I.— The Low Dog.

His name is Towzer, alias Pincher, alias Boxer, alias Dash, alias Now-then, alias Here-you, alias Get-out, alias Come-out-of-that. He has also been called S-s-s-it. He is of a mongrel breed—as you may see—and aristocratic dogs looked down upon him in his most prosperous days. He was born in a neighborhood know by the euphonious name of “Back-slums,” and his mother and father made their living in ways not recognized by, and scarce to be mentioned by, the ears polite of reputable dogs. The one found her means of subsistence among the offal and garbage of the street; while the other—rather vicious dog in his way—was an adroit thief, always upon the alert to pry into neglected market-baskets, and known and feared of the corner butchers, from whose stall he had made a stolen meal.

II.—The Fast Dog.

The fast dog is something of a braggart, and tells his own story:

"I am sick of life—sick as a dog. I have exhausted every pleasure in it, and am prepared to say that the world is a bore. Nothing excites me; nothing amuses me. If you were to get up, for my especial gratification, a conceit of sixteen cats and fiddles; if you were to train a whole herd of cows to jump over the moon in my presence; if you were to take me to a coursing match, where the swiftest of gravy-spoons should be hunted by a pack of thorough-bred dishes—none of these exciting sports would make this dog laugh.”


Harper's Weekly, January 16, 1858.