No. 437
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
August 22, 2019

A Jealous Husband’s Mistake.

How a Reading, PA., merchant, broke open his wife’s charmer and discovered a supposed lover to be a
February 19, 2018
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(Thanks to English Presbyterian poet Robert Wild for the guest post in verse, celebrating the martyrdom of his coreligionist Christopher Love. Love died for seditious correspondence with the exiled Stuart then-pretender Charles II. Days after Love lost his head, Charles very nearly did likewise when he lost the decisive Battle of Worcester to Oliver Cromwell […]
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Executed Today - 8/22/2019

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

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

Via Newspapers.com In which we meet Mr. H. Wilson, Juror From Hell. The "London Standard," January 3, 1838:  Benjamin Dickenson was indicted, charged with having committed an assault on an officer of the County Court. As soon as the jury had been sworn to try the defendant, Mr. H. Wilson, one of the jury, addressing the Court, said, " I should like to know, Mr. Chairman, how I am to be
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Strange Company - 8/21/2019
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
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 3/25/2019
(sic) Mary Catherine Anderson—Katie to her friends—was in good spirits when she went out the evening of Monday, February 7, 1887. 16-year-old Katie Anderson was a domestic servant living at the home of her employer, Stat Colkitt on his farm in Mount Holly, New Jersey. She said she was just going out for a walk, but Katie was not seen again until Tuesday morning when a neighboring farmer found
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Murder By Gaslight - 8/17/2019

The neighborhood surrounding St. Mark’s Church on Second Avenue and 10th Street owes its charm to the descendants of the Stuyvesant family. These were the great-great grandsons and granddaughters of Petrus Stuyvesant, the director-general of New Netherland from 1647-1664. In the late 1700s and early 1800s, these Stuyvesants lived in stately houses on land that […]
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Ephemeral New York - 8/19/2019
[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
Foundering of the Titania. | St. Valentine's Day.

A Jealous Husband’s Mistake.

Jealous Husbands Mistake

How a Reading, PA., merchant, broke open his wife’s chamber and discovered a supposed lover to be a harmless female cousin. [more]

Mr. Jacob Snyder, a prosperous merchant of Reading, Pa., lately made a fool of himself. He has a young and pretty wife, of whom he is extremely jealous. He was about to depart for Philadelphia on a business trip, when eh accidently fond in his wife’s writing desk a note signed “Will,” which read as follows:

“Dear Kate – I have just received your not. I will come up and spend a couple of days with you and try to make you forget the absence of your hubby.”

“Trifles light as air, are to the jealous confirmation strong as proof of holy writ,” and this brief note was sufficient to set the suspicious man all aglow. He resolved to dissemble, and instead of leaving town laid low until evening. After he had watched the shadows of tow figures upon the blinds of his wife’s bedroom, he quietly entered the house , and stealing up stairs was prepared to burst in upon the gulty pair. He demanded admittance the the champer. There was a shriek. His persistent demands met with a vigorous protest form his wife. This incensed him still more, and seemed to confirm his suspicions. At last the wife unbolted the door to make an explanation. The infuriated man would to listen to nothing, but pushing his wife aside rushed into the room. Instead of the trembling lover he expected to find, a blushing female, in very scant clothing, was hiding behind the door, who his wife introduced as “my cousin, Miss Wilhelmina Wilson.” You bet that husband will have to buy a new fall bonnet.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, November 17, 1883.