No. 539
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
September 17, 2021

Customs Inspections on the Canadian Frontier.

"Madam, is there anything dutiable in this bag?"
September 13, 2021
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If you were young in New York City in the 1960s, 1970s, or 1980s, then you probably remember the thrill of visiting Jonah’s Whale at the Children’s Zoo in Central Park, with that smiling open mouth you could practically walk into. Jonah’s Whale had been part of the Children’s Zoo since its 1961 opening, according […]
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Ephemeral New York - 9/16/2021

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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 engaged as a carrier of wine, because he and his brother, with the help of […]
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Executed Today - 11/13/2020

Via Newspapers.comThis odd little story appeared in the “Altoona Tribune,” March 25, 1875:For the past week a story has been current on the street which at first we could not believe. Mrs. Julien Jerome, a Frenchwoman, whom all that knew her say had always led a very devout, good life, lived on Main street, and was taken sick about five weeks ago. Immediately after a cross appeared on the wall
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Strange Company - 9/15/2021
[Editor’s note: Guest writer, Peter Dickson, lives in West Sussex, England and has been working with microfilm copies of The Duncan Campbell Papers from the State Library of NSW, Sydney, Australia. The following are some of his analyses of what he has discovered from reading these papers. Dickson has contributed many transcriptions to the Jamaica Family […]
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Early American Crime - 2/7/2019
On Saturday, May 13, 1882, 16-year-old Thomas McCabe shot his stepmother, Catherine McCabe, in their New York City apartment. The wound to her neck was so serious that Coroner Knox was summoned to take her anti-mortem statement. She dictated her story:“Shortly after 5 o’clock, I came from the kitchen and was putting oil in my lamp when my stepson, Thomas McCabe, fired a shot at me. I fell on my
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Murder By Gaslight - 9/11/2021

Frank Reid casket guardsas shown in Klondike '98By Ethel A. BeckerEthel Anderson Becker collectionLocation currently unknown(Click image to enlarge)    rank Reid's Casket GuardsReversed Image    I received the following fascinating email     Greetings Jeff Smith: (re: Sept. 18, 2009 – Speaking frank about frank pt. 2 – Soapy Smith’s Soap Box blog).     Having cruised to Alaska, I got
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 9/1/2021
| A Charming Female Vaccinator.

Customs Inspections on the Canadian Frontier.

Canadian-Customs

"Madam, is there anything dutiable in this bag?"

Custom Inspections on the Canadian Frontier.

To be rudely awakened from one’s slumber at anytime, and under any circumstances, is harrowing, but to be shaken into a doubtful wakefulness by a grim official in order that your baggage may be examined for the purpose of ascertaining if you are concealing contraband or dutiable articles in you impediments, is the worst form of awaking: a clear exemplification of adding insult to injury. On the border line which divides Canada from the United States the unhappy traveler is subjected to the “uncanny” hands of the vigilant and lynx-eyed Custom House officer, a creature in whose leathern bosom no spark of human sympathy remains. Remorselessly and with wooden visage he informs you, in a dull sing-song, that you most expose the contents of your baggage to his gimlet gaze. What matters it to him that you protest—that you solemnly assert that you have nothing to declare? He has a certain duty to perform, and this duty he means to get through, not caring a whit for the outraged feelings of the rudely awakened sleeper. Elderly ladies of excitable and fretful temperament are his daintiest morsels. To their protests, examinations and treats of vengeance, he turns the deafest of ears. Funny old gentlemen ,he calmly sits upon. Irate youths he harries. Tearful maidens he treats with disdain. He is a fiend of the most exasperating type—unendurably exasperating, he never affords the satisfaction of “talking back.”


Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, February 10, 1883.