No. 656
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
June 22, 2024

Murderous Assault by a Wife on Her Husband.

October 6, 2014
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 "The Witches' Cove," Follower of Jan MandijnWelcome to the first Link Dump of Summer 2024!Time for that summer road trip!A young man's murderous attack on his family.The ghost of a murderer.Did the Allied leadership prolong WWII?The Great Bed of Ware.Decoding UK's "Seahenge."Hunter Thompson and the Hell's Angels.Looking for UFOs in the Vatican.A quadruple murder case in Pennsylvania.The
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Strange Company - 6/21/2024
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
 Nellie and Fanny.Nelly Dalton and Fanny Coburn, two young Boston women, were out on the town one autumn afternoon in 1855. They met and flirted with William Sumner and Josiah Porter, two promising young college graduates. Though both women were married, they arranged to see the boys again.Nelly and William embarked on a heartfelt correspondence. Their amorous letters sometimes included
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Murder By Gaslight - 6/22/2024
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
The Green-Eyed Monster. | Belle Gordon.

Murderous Assault by a Wife on Her Husband.

Murderous Assault

She Charges That “He is No Man.” She Discharged a Husband (Still Living) for the same reason. [more]

A certain class of females in this country are, it seems, possessed of a large development of superfluous muscle—strong-fisted if not strong-minded. Sometimes they can handle their “mauleys” with the force of a Heenan or McCool, and prove in a most palpable manner their title to the honorary “first blood” and “first knock down.” Sometimes it is a cowhide, which they wield with scientific precision and marked effect. Anon they arm themselves with the revolver and make daylight shine through the object of their wrath. As to the knife, let the Newmarket tragedy tell that awful tale. New Jersey has for some time back been winning the race in this particular line, and bids fair to carry off the palm from the other states of the Union, as our readers from week to week have abundant opportunities of judging for themselves. The last performance of feminine muscularity which has traveled the courses across the North river in and which, as being highly illustrative, we illustrate in our first page, the dramatis personae having the undoubted patronymics of children from the Emerald Isle—Bridget and Pat, and involving a matrimonial imbroglio of very lively interest.

The story runs thus: Some three months ago Bridget was united in the bonds of matrimony to Patrick Coyle, and they have been living in Beacon avenue in Hudson City. Most people who enter that “blissful” condition permit the honeymoon to pass over without any serious difficulty arising to prevent the course of true love running somewhat smooth, but it appears that Bridget and Patrick had their scrimmage before their wedded life was two days old—Bridget declaring that Patrick “was no man at all.” Domestic troubles from this alleged cause became of daily occurrence; and at length culminated in Bridget making a terrible assault on Pat with a knife and an axe, which she used in a manner that indicated nothing less than murder. On Saturday morning last, this “injured female” suddenly jumped out of bed, seized first a knife with which she gashed her husband’s face and hand generally; but this kind of small sword exercise was not doing the purpose with the celerity with which she intended to dispatch poor Pat; so, like the illustrious chief of her country who smote the Danes at Clontarf, she seized a battle-axe, with which she made several murderous blows at the unhappy object of her vengeance. Fortunately for both, Pat succeeded in making his escapes out of the home in his shirt, his face all bloody. His appearance soon arrested the attention of the neighbors, who interfered and brought Pat’s clothes to him and had the wounds dressed.

The case came up in the course of the day before Justice Aldridge, when the husband told his story. Believing Bridge to be a widow, he married her; but soon after he learned that her first husband was still in the land of the living. Bridget having case him of on the ground of being over age—that he was “too ould.” Among the other charges in her indictment was that Coyle was “the worst of the two,” and that he “was no man all.” Having heard the complaint, Recorder Aldridge issued a warrant, upon which the amiable damsel was arrested and committed for trial. Hudson City is becoming quite a lively place, and will not permit the smallest blade of grass to grow under the feet of its worthy Recorder, if it goes on at the present pace.

 


Reprinted from The National Police Gazette, September 7, 1888.