No. 432
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
July 22, 2019

January.

Allegorical Representation of January
January 2, 2017
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"San Francisco Examiner," August 29, 1903, via Newspapers.com It seems inevitable that rich, powerful families attract any number of strange incidents. Dysfunction abounds, perhaps as the Universe's way of balancing out all those material advantages. It's unusual, however, for one relatively small family of wealth to become famed for internal feuds, mental illness, odd disappearances,
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Strange Company - 7/22/2019

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In honor of Lizzie’s birthday, one, in what will become a series of free downloads to augment your Dressing Miss …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 7/19/2019

This is the story of an 1889 painting, a mysterious stone wall, and a religious institution that occupied part of today’s Central Park in the mid-19th century—before the park was even in the planning stages. It starts with Impressionist painter William Merritt Chase. He was dubbed the “artistic interpreter” of Central Park and Prospect Park […]
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Ephemeral New York - 7/21/2019
Jeff and Joe Soapy Smith buries Joe Simmons The Illustrated Police News April 9, 1892 (Click image to enlarge) oe Simmons was a tall, slender gambler known to many as “Gambler Joe” Simmons, a member of the Soap Gang who managed Soapy Smith's Tivoli Club in Denver, 1890, and Soapy's Orleans Club in Creede, 1892. According to William Devere’s poem "Two Little Busted Shoes," Simmons
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 3/25/2019
Adolph Stein was a 35year-old Polish immigrant living in Cedar Rapids, Iowa when he met Lizzie Loering, a widow with two little children and $30,000 in assets. After a whirlwind courtship, the two were married in June 1880. Stein had been prominent in political circles in Cedar Rapids, but earlier that spring he was indicted for illegally selling liquor. He decided to move his new bride to
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Murder By Gaslight - 7/20/2019

20th [July 1775]. Mr. Carpenter was taken by the night Patrole — upon examination he had swum over to Dorchester and back again, was tried here that day and sentence passed on him to be executed the next day, — his coffin bro’t into the Goal-yard, his halter [noose] brought and he dressed as criminals […]
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Executed Today - 7/21/2019
[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.