No. 583
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
November 30, 2022

New Years in the Wings.

December 29, 2014
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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
The Merry Wives of Boston. | "Well?"

New Years in the Wings.

New Years in the Wings

The fairy of the enchanted realm entertains her subjects in an earthly way. [more]

While everybody is taking a holiday, the players must work. The public, when it is in a good humor, must be amused. Therefore the temples of mirth open their doors and invite all in search of fun to come and get it on their boards. The merry dispensers of that article, however hearty they may contribute to the public’s amusement, do not take part as heartily as they seem to. It is acting, nothing more. The merry party whom our artist has sketched believe evidently in joining in the general good cheer, not in mimicry, but in earnest. The flowing bowl finds its place in the midst of their labors and lightens their tasks. The queen of the fairy realm of the stage becomes the hostess in real life, and dispenses her hospitality as liberally as she does her fairy smiles and good wishes to her subjects in the mimic world. “New Years in the Wings” passes as pleasantly oftentimes as it would in some grand parlor filled with callers, whose only interest in the host and hostess is what they can get out of them.

 


Reprinted from "New Years in the Wings." The National Police Gazette January 8,1881