No. 484
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
August 12, 2020

Cowboys Lassoing the Ballet.

The manager of a dizzy blonde troupe is lassoed by an indignant cowboy at Dodge City, Kansas.
January 18, 2016
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Via Newspapers.com I always say, nothing completes a library quite like a ghost. And if it’s a “nice, gentlemanly” one, all the better. From the “Great Bend Daily Item,” July 25, 1908: New York.--Columbia University holds that ghost stories may be dismissed with a laugh, until an educated, nice, old gentlemanly ghost gets to hovering 'round Columbia's library building of nights. In other
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Strange Company - 8/12/2020

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There are so many questions and things to ponder when considering the Borden case in its entirety, but let’s just …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 8/8/2020

On this date in 979, a Saxon lord won a trial by combat at the cost of his head. You’re not supposed to call this period the “Dark Ages” but it’s fair to say that our sources don’t throw a comprehensive illumination on the story. Our date’s principal is a count named Gero, possibly/presumably the […]
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Executed Today - 8/11/2020
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
John Dilleber was a wealthy 28-year-old wholesale liquor dealer who lived and worked in New York City. In June 1975, he divorced his wife, left his home, and took up residence at the Westminster Hotel on 16th Street.  It was Dilleber’s habit, after dinner, to wander the halls of the hotel while smoking a cigar. Romaine Dillon, another of the Westminster Hotel’s outcast residents, was much
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Murder By Gaslight - 8/8/2020

As a social realist painter, William Glackens often depicted scenes of day-to-day life he witnessed in city parks, particularly Washington Square Park. (Makes sense; he lived on Washington Square South in the early 1900s.) This time, he took his inspiration from Central Park. “The Drive, Central Park” was completed in 1905 and likely shows the […]
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Ephemeral New York - 8/10/2020
[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
A Winter Scene. | The Terrific Leap at Niblo’s Garden, From an Aerial Apparatus.

Cowboys Lassoing the Ballet.

Had him on a string

He Had Him on a String.
The manager of a dizzy blonde troupe is lassoed by an indignant cowboy at Dodge City, Kansas. [more]

One of the variety theatres at Dodge City had for an attraction a company composed of gaudy-stockinged blondes. The performance was awful in its wretchedness, and in no time the boys got uneasy and the whiskey in them began to call for fun. Joe Hooke rose gravely, called the performance to a halt and asked for the manager. The impressive gentleman came into sight on the staged and asked what he wanted. Joe told him that a show, to be a success, should be plentifully sprinkled with local talent. The manager haughtily declined Joe’s offer “to speak a piece.” But his indignation was soon cut short by the whizzing of a lariat and stern reminder that any kicking would speedily be followed by strangulation. Joe mounted the stage and ordered the orchestra to play somethin’ right sneaky like, and began a long piece to the effect that:

In de days of old
We ‘uns all had gold
      In fac’ till quite recen’ly
When we ‘uns held a wake
On New York Jake,
      But cudnt bury’im decen’ly

After that the performance proceeded until one of the boys, taking it into his head that the big fiddle was a nuisance, threw a lasso over the neck of it, and started for the door. The instrument was a complete wreck in a minute. The boys then began to lasso the girls on the stage, who were engaged in an American march, and in less time than it takes to tell it there was not a light burning in the house.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, December 24, 1887.