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

The Pancake Incident.

January 20, 2014
...
...

"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,
More...
Strange Company - 7/22/2019

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

Continue reading

More...
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 […]
More...
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
More...
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
More...
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 […]
More...
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 […]
More...
Early American Crime - 2/7/2019
A Memphis Badger Game. | Robbed of Her Tresses.

The Pancake Incident.

Anna Sachs

As President Grover Cleveland and his wife Francis were riding in an open carriage though the park on October 4, 1887, enjoying Fair Week in St. Louis, a pancake came flying through the air hitting the First Lady’s arm and landing in her lap. It had been thrown by Anna Sachs (also reported as Knocks, Lax, and Sax) who was making and selling pancakes in a booth nearby. She was quickly grabbed by an officer who took her directly to police court. When asked why she did it Mrs. Sachs said that something had impelled her. The case was continued until the following week.[more]

Mrs. ClevelandMrs. Francis Folsom Cleveland

There was some dispute over the actual size and condition of the hurled pancake; The New York Times said it was a large buttered pancake fresh off the griddle, The Police Gazette said it was a half-eaten pancake, Mrs. Sachs herself said, “It was just a little bit of a piece—one-half of a quarter piece of pancake.”

When the matter went to court, attorneys debated whether Mrs. Sachs actually threw the pancake into the carriage or if she had thrown it into the air and the First Lady's lap is where it happened to land. One witness heard her say, “There, Frankie, you can’t get any as good as that at the Mayor’s house.” Mrs. Sachs said she never meant to hurt anyone and denied saying that her pancake was better than the Mayor’s.

A political motive was ascribed to the pancake throw, because Mrs. Sachs was wearing a badge of the Grand Army of the Republic, an association of Union Army veterans. President Cleveland had been in dispute with the G.A.R. earlier in the year when he endorsed a plan to force veterans to return Confederate flags and other captured trophies of the Civil War to their state of origin. Mrs. Sacks denied any interest in politics and insisted that she had meant no disrespect to the President or his wife.

The judge was not convinced however and concluded that Mrs. Sachs had sinister designs on the peace and dignity of the Presidential procession. He fined her $50 for “tumultuous and obstreperous conduct.” The New York Tribune reported that Mrs. Sachs “…became as limp as one of her pancakes when she heard the judgment, and gave notice of appeal.”

 

 


Sources:

"Anna Sachs, Pancake Thrower." National Police Gazette 12 Nov 1887.
"A Very Expensive Pancake." New York Times 19 Oct 1887.
"Mrs. Cleveland Hit with a pancake." Boston Journal 6 Oct 1887.
"The Pancake-Thrower Convicted." New York Tribune 19 Oct 1887