No. 440
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
September 18, 2019

The Terrific Leap at Niblo’s Garden, From an Aerial Apparatus.

The original and daring aerial representation by Thomas Hanlon, now performed by him every evening a
January 11, 2016
...
...

To whom much is given … BEIJING — A man who in 2009 killed six of his family, including his own children, was executed Friday [September 16, 2011] in Beijing. Li Lei, 31 years old, stabbed his parents, two sons, wife and sister to death on November 23, 2009, at their home in Beijing’s Daxing […]
More...
Executed Today - 9/16/2019

`
By Jo Anne Giovino with photography and research by Barbara Morrissey and Kristin Pepe *(All rights reserved, August 2019) Although …

Continue reading

More...
Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 7/31/2019

Nicholas Monsarrat had a long and distinguished career as an author. He is probably best remembered today for the 1951 novel, "The Cruel Sea," and 1952's "The Story of Esther Costello." When he was visiting a Quebec shooting-lodge in 1953, he was told a story which was as compelling--and far stranger--than anything in his fiction. Some time later, he wrote an account of his eerie
More...
Strange Company - 9/16/2019
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
More...
Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 3/25/2019
Charles G. Corlis kept a bowling saloon on Broadway between Leonard and Franklin Streets in New York City. On the evening of March 20, 1843, several bowlers saw a woman wearing a veil and a straw hat, enter the saloon. They saw her leave the place with Henry Colton, owner of the Colton House hotel, a few doors away on Leonard Street. Sometime later, witnesses saw Charles Corlis talking with
More...
Murder By Gaslight - 9/14/2019

Just when you think you’ve seen every old-school manhole cover that still remains in New York, you discover another you’ve never noticed before—with a new name embossed on it and a different design. This lid, made by M. Dattner, is a new one for me—spotted on East 78th Street between First and Second Avenues. That’s […]
More...
Ephemeral New York - 9/15/2019
[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 […]
More...
Early American Crime - 2/7/2019
Cowboys Lassoing the Ballet. | Pugilistic Females.

The Terrific Leap at Niblo’s Garden, From an Aerial Apparatus.

Terrific Leap

 

The original and daring aerial representation by Thomas Hanlon, now performed by him every evening at Niblo's Garden. [more]

It is very seldom that we have to chronicle such a feat as that which we illustrate in our present number, and which is nightly performing at Niblo’s Garden. It is universally acknowledged as being the chef d’oeuvre of gymnastic genius. Although no description can do justice to it, we will endeavor to give our readers some idea of Thomas Hanlon’s magnificent daring. He first performs many gymnastic feats, perfectly marvelous, with and upon six sticks connected together and swinging in the air. He hangs by the nape of the neck, by the toes, by the knees, in every possible attitude leaping and winding through the sticks or short ladder and recovering his balance with great adroitness. Every gymnast will bear witness that, considering the many chances of falling which the acrobat runs and against which no skill can guard, this is beyond question the most terrifically dangerous exhibition ever seen in New York. The enthusiastic delight with which it has been received by crowded houses and applause, shows that its danger as well as the skill displayed were fully appreciated.

After thus astounding this audience, he suddenly darts from the slender platform, and taking a terrific leap, grasps a rope at least twenty feet distance, which hangs form the rigging loft of theatre, and after swinging on it for some short time, lets himself down on the stage. This appalling act of labor and ingenuity must be seen to be appreciated; the most elaborate description sounds tame after witnessing it, and when seen it takes the breath away from the spectator, since, should he miss his hold nothing could save him from instant destruction. It is undoubtedly the boldest, the most reckless gymnastic feat ever attempted.


Reprinted from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, January 28, 1860.