No. 643
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
February 23, 2024

Hallow Eve Sports.

The cool reception that some frolicsome young Doylestown girls gave to a verdant beau who was not posted as to the manners and customs of the Pennsylvania Dutch
October 27, 2013
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 "The Witches' Cove," Follower of Jan MandijnWelcome to this week's Link Dump!  As you can see, the Strange Company Art Department is busy with the illustrations for next week's posts.The working lads of Whitechapel, circa 1900.A human leg has been found on the New York subways, and I'm betting that's not the worst thing you'd find there.A brief history of condensed milk.The
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Strange Company - 2/23/2024
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HE DUEL IN ELLEN'S HONOR. Soapy Smith’s grandmotherOn Wednesday, August 9, 1820, an argument between 17-year-old, James Bowe Boisseau (1802-1820) and Robert C. Adams (unknown-1820) vying for the attention of 18-year-old Ellen Stimpson Peniston (1802-1860), took a terrible turn. The happy party in her honor took a tragic turn when the competition for Ellen’s affections ended in a deadly duel,
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Entering the Wall Street IRT subway station on Lower Broadway at Trinity Church can feel like going into a time warp. That’s because of the cast iron hoods that cover the stairwell as you descend underground. Decorated in a leaf pattern, the curved hoods date back to the station’s 1905 opening. The hoods mesh well […]
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Ephemeral New York - 2/19/2024
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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A postmortem examination revealed that Katie Dugan was four months pregnant when her body was found beaten and slashed in an empty field in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1892. A two-year investigation led police to believe that Albert Stout, Katie’s former employer, was her killer and the father of her unborn child. But Stout was a prominent, well-connected businessman, and despite evidence that he
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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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Executed Today - 11/13/2020
Unpleasantly Like. | Hungry Joe.

Hallow Eve Sports.

Hallow Eve Sport

The cool reception that some frolicsome young Doylestown girls gave to a verdant beau who was not posted as to the manners and customs of the Pennsylvania Dutch. 

In no part of the country can be found a place where the old times sports of Hallow Eve are better kept than Doylestown, Pa. The last day of October is a carnival of fun for the honest and mirth-loving descendants of the Pennsylvania Dutch, of good old Bucks county. It is a holiday in which the young girls can particularly enjoy themselves by a little practical joking. Socials parties are held on the occasion, and the young folks rack their brains to devise schemes to catch the unwary in some ludicrous predicament. They enjoy catching some unsophisticated youth to play their tricks on. A party of gay damsels of Doylestown lately captured a fresh young dude from Philadelphia, and after playing many tricks on him, capped the climax by inducing him to take a seat between two of the belles of the occasion, who were apparently seated on a lounge covered by a sheet. It was not long before he discovered that the supposed lounge was two chairs at the end, and under the enticing looking centre seat was a tub of cold water, as the young man found to his sorrow.


Reprinted from The National Police Gazette, November 10, 1883.