No. 499
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
November 26, 2020

A Winter Scene.

Winter Pastime – A Skating Scene.
January 25, 2016
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"York Dispatch," November 28, 1905.  (All clippings via Newspapers.com) When normal people think of Thanksgiving, they picture large family dinners, a relaxing day watching football in front of the TV, a general atmosphere of comfort and contentment.Me, I picture turkeys being used as lethal weapons and guided missiles.  The "Passaic Herald-News," November 23, 1956:This inventive lady celebrated
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Strange Company - 11/25/2020

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A CHAMPIONSan Francisco ChronicleOctober 12, 1898(Click image to enlarge)     ASCOMB IS A CHAMPION    Guess Bascomb Smith wasn't all bad. The texts of the newspaper appear below.  Miss Hall finds a champion. Brother of  “ Soapy” Smith claims her as his wife.There is another side to the pathetic story told to the police by Minnie Hall, the Vaudeville actress to jump into the bay from Howard
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 9/25/2020

It’s been a good century or so since New Yorkers celebrated Evacuation Day. But in the late 18th and 19th centuries, this holiday—on November 25—was a major deal, marked by festive dinners, parades, and a deep appreciation of the role the city played in the Revolutionary War. Evacuation Day honors the day in 1783 when […]
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Ephemeral New York - 11/23/2020
Colorization can sometimes add another whole dimension to vintage black and white photos. We’ve done this one of the crime …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 8/31/2020
 Old Cap. Collier, the fictional dime novel detective, tries his hand at solving the murder of Dr. Cronin.The real murder of Dr. Patrick Henry Cronin was stranger than fiction, with the good doctor found naked and dead in a Chicago sewer after confronting the corrupt leaders of an Irish secret society. As Edmund Pearson said, “It was one of those murders over which men nod their heads and look
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Murder By Gaslight - 11/21/2020

Youth With Executioner by Nuremberg native Albrecht Dürer … although it’s dated to 1493, which was during a period of several years when Dürer worked abroad. November 13 [1617]. Burnt alive here a miller of Manberna, who however was lately engaged as a carrier of wine, because he and his brother, with the help of […]
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Executed Today - 11/13/2020
[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 Woman’s Flat-Irony. | Cowboys Lassoing the Ballet.

A Winter Scene.

 A Winter Scene

Winter Pastime – A Skating Scene. [more]

We could hardly have produced a more timely picture than is given to the reader above, of that delightfully exhilarating sport, and that truly manly exercise known as skating. Of late years, American ladies have been practicing this amusement, and the fine pond at Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, at certain seasons presents a most lively and gay appearance, covered with ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, all skimming with magic-like power over the glassy surface of the pond. A good skater cane attain immense speed upon the ice, and sustain himself for miles. In the picture above is represented some of the casualties that the skater is liable to. If awkward, he must pay a severe penalty, sometimes, for his want of skill, and fatal accidents do not unfrequently occur. Now beginners, old hands (or legs) at the business, and the awkward squad are all presented in our picture. On the right foreground one is seen with a servant, arranging his skates; just beyond him is an awkward figure, fearful off a fall; in the middle foreground is seen one whose graceful and confident figure betokens the adept at the business; and on his left is observed an individual struggling to break his forward impetus to spare the tow figures already down upon the ice. We trust that the individual underneath has found a soft place on the ice upon which to fall.


Reprinted from Gleason's Pictorial, January 22, 1853.