No. 531
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
July 26, 2021

January.

Allegorical Representation of January
January 2, 2017
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32 Coxwell Road was not, even by the standards of council houses in 1950s Birmingham, England, anything special to look at.  But for the family of 31-year-old ex-paratrooper Frank Pell, it was a palace compared to their previous lodgings--a house so dilapidated it was officially condemned.  The three-bedroom home was newly decorated, on a quiet road close to all necessary services.  And the rent
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Strange Company - 7/26/2021

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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

When painters depict the East River, it’s usually from the Manhattan side: a steel bridge, choppy waters, and a Brooklyn or Queens waterfront either thick with factories or quaint and almost rural. But when Richard Hayley Lever decided to paint the river in 1936, he did it from Astoria. What he captured in “Queensboro Bridge […]
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Ephemeral New York - 7/26/2021
[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
When Horatio Sherman took sick after returning home from a week-long drunken spree, he said it was just one of his “old spells.” His wife Lydia agreed, and dosed him with brandy as usual. But Horatio’s doctor, who had treated his alcohol induced “spells” before, was suspicious this time. Horatio died two days later, and the doctor ordered a post-mortem examination which revealed the cause of
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Murder By Gaslight - 7/24/2021

Harrison Ave.Leadville, ColoradoJuly 21, 1880Luke and Wheeler photographers(Click image to enlarge)  S THAT SOAPY'S PARTNER IN CRIME? Those who have read Alias Soapy Smith: The Life and Death of a Scoundrel, you may recall seeing the photograph (#6A) below, in the first photograph section of the book.  Soapy Smith and his partner in crimeHarrison Ave.Leadville, ColoradoJuly 21, 1880Luke and
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 7/21/2021
Caught Helping Themselves. | Seeing in the New Year.

January.

Allegorical Representation of January

Sire of the Year! First actor on the stage,
Whereon Time plays his year-long pantomime,
Thy beard is worthy of most brilliant rhyme,
Thy “frosty pow” is glorious in its age;
For thou, bluff January, hast been sage
In thy libations, when the old town’s chime
Announced thee to the world—stanch war to wage—
Peace against Feud and Charity ‘gainst Crime!
Welcome, brave month, with icicles on beard,
No icicles, I trow, cling to thy heart:
Therefrom the voice of Christian love is heard;
Therefrom the tears of Christian love will start,
Welcome, hoar father of the nascent year,
And joyous be thy brief sojourning here!

Yet to thy blazon one sad stain will cling,
The latest day beheld a harrowing scene,
When this fair land, with Brutus-like demean,
Looked on the scaffold dressed for her lost king.
O! Mercy, hide the memory with thy wing:
Teach us to be like thee—blessed serene;
The “doubly blessed” and may the future bring
Blessings to crown the country and the queen!
Forward! Bluff January! The ball’s begun,
With the fantastic and the mistletoe;
Saint Stephen’s chapel room will see rare fun,
Alas! Comingled with far greater woe.
Joy to thee! Merry month! Time’s hoary pinion
Will waft the speedily form his dominion.


Reprinted from Gleason's Pictorial Drawing-Room Companion, January 1, 1853.