No. 424
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
May 23, 2019

January.

Allegorical Representation of January
January 2, 2017
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English Franciscan John Forest was burned at Smithfield on this date in 1538 … the undercard to the simultaneous “execution” of a downthrown idol of Saint Derfel Gadarn. The latter had been ripped from its shrine at Llandderfel in Gwynedd, Wales: the place gets its name from Derfel himself and its devotion to its Celtic […]
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Executed Today - 5/22/2019

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Coming in May! Warps and Wefts is excited to announce the publication of “Dressing Miss Lizzie”, a collection of paper …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 4/23/2019

via Newspapers.com Phantom cats and a mysterious death. Who can ask for more in an old newspaper story? The "Brooklyn Daily Eagle," March 13, 1886: Ghost stories from the credulous and nervous gentlemen who draw salaries as guardians of the peace in the precinct covered from the Graham avenue station are becoming frequent. Last week they saw the ghost of an Italian. On Thursday night a
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Strange Company - 5/22/2019
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
In July 1890, a man came into the 126th Street Police Station in Harlem, New York City, to report a conversation he had overheard in an elevated train. A young man and woman sitting near him were talking about the mysterious disappearance of Miss Goodwin from the Storm King flats on East 126th Street. They believed that she had been foully dealt with by “professional malpractioners.” The woman
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Murder By Gaslight - 5/18/2019

I’m not the first old sign enthusiast who came across this beauty of a beer sign on the tenement at 317 East Fifth Street. Grieve wrote it up back in January, and I’m sure other fans walking along this quiet East Village block noticed the ancient signage, too. “S. Cort Wines & Lager Beer” the […]
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Ephemeral New York - 5/19/2019
[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.