No. 444
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
October 15, 2019

It Was Another Kind of Cat.

February 21, 2012
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Our old familiar the Newgate Calendar supplies us with this narration of a Scottish Jacobin to pop the powdered wigs from Edinburgh to Westminster. A published version of the trial in question is available here, and a last-speech broadside awaits you here. Watt is the only monument in Executed Today‘s pages to the attempted creation […]
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Executed Today - 10/15/2019

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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

Generally speaking, poltergeists are the bratty kids of the paranormal world. They create a lot of noise, cause some damage, and make obnoxious spectacles of themselves, but they are, on the whole, seemingly helpless to do any real harm. Their antics are tiresome, rather than evil. On occasion, however, polts exhibit threatening, even fiendish behavior. Reading these accounts, one
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Strange Company - 10/14/2019
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
John Delaney met Mary Jane Cox in October 1886; she smiled at him as they passed each other on Fulton Street in Brooklyn, and he turned to follow her. She was 17-years-old, he was 15. Mary Jane did not refuse his advances outright, but gave him her address and told him to write to her. Their relationship progressed quickly, and eight months later, Mary Jane told John she was pregnant, and he
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Murder By Gaslight - 10/12/2019

In this photo, some of the letters look red, others are definitely pink. No matter what colors the letters are, this gorgeous glowing sign for Neil’s Coffee Shop on 70th Street and Lexington Avenue is proof that New York bars and restaurants still feature the city’s iconic iridescent neon store signage. Neil’s is an under-the-radar […]
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Ephemeral New York - 10/13/2019
[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
Their Name a Misnomer. | Old King Brady

It Was Another Kind of Cat.

Elevator boy

Washington, D.C., December 1885 - An elderly guset of Willard's Hotel, Washington, mistakes the elevator boy for a chambermaid.[more]

Fooled by an Elevator Boy

One of the elderly guests of Willard’s Hotel, Washington, lately solicited a pretty chambermaid to sew some buttons on his pants. This service she declined, but promised to send another girl who would perform the task. The girls, for reasons best known to themselves, “put up a job” on the ancient individual, dressed Joe, the elevator boy, in female attire, and dispatched him to the guest’s apartment. The room being dark, the elderly gentleman, failing to detect the sham, advanced his gallantry so far as to hug and kiss and other wise attempt to caress the supposed maid. The affair coming to Mr. Staples’ knowledge he summarily “bounced” the elevator boy, who in turn had Mr. Staples arrested for assault.


Reprinted from The National Police Gazette, December 11, 1885.