No. 483
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
August 05, 2020

January.

Allegorical Representation of January
January 2, 2017
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Tanzanian medium Kinjikitile Ngwale was hanged as a traitor to Germany on this date in 1905. He emerged as a prophet of the Maji Maji Rebellion, a rising in German East Africa (modern-day Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi) — provoked by the strains imposed by the mother country’s exploitation of their possession, most particularly the tilt […]
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Executed Today - 8/4/2020

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“Beach Scene,” by Samuel S. Carr, is your portal into what people looked like when they visited a pristine, boardwalk-free Coney Island in 1879. It won’t be long before placid beach scenes like this are replaced by throngs of city residents looking for fun and adventure, and Sodom by the Sea is born.
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Ephemeral New York - 8/3/2020

The Web of Arachne by Fernand Le Quesne (1856 - 1932) Colorized by Curtis Byrne (Click image to enlarge) HE WEB OF ARACHNE COLORIZED. It's great to see what this painting may have originally looked like.      As I recently hung my framed print of The Web of Arachne, by Fernand Le Quesne (1856 - 1932), in my new place, I wondered why the artist didn't colorize it? Then I
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 8/4/2020
You have to admire the energy and endurance of those Victorian ladies.  Even in the sweltering heat of a July …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 7/24/2020
On January 6, 1873, Edward Stokes was sentenced to hang for the murder of financier and railroad magnate James Fisk. Stokes was well-connected politically and he awaited his appeal in a comfortably furnished cell in the Tombs with meals catered by Delmonicos. Stokes was granted a new trial, was convicted of manslaughter and senteneced to six years in Sing Sing prison. Read the full story here
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Murder By Gaslight - 8/1/2020

"Philadelphia Inquirer," November 16, 1919, via Newspapers.com Mary Ann Louisa Taylor (or, as she was known to her many fans, “Marie Empress,”) was a well-known actress of the silent film era. Her sultry good looks brought her much success in the “vamp” roles which were so popular in that period. She was also a talented singer, dancer, and male impersonator. Unfortunately, none of her
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Strange Company - 8/3/2020
[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
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.