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

A Sleep-Walker’s Act.

Miss Belle Collis, of Newark, N. J., surprises the neighbors by her want of thought.
March 26, 2016
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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

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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
Killed by a Baseball. | A Square Meal.

A Sleep-Walker’s Act.

Sleepwalker

Miss Belle Collis, of Newark, N. J., surprises the neighbors by her want of thought. [more]

Early risers in Newark, N. J., were somewhat surprised one night recently at seeing what looked like a ghost. The ghost was dressed in the regulation white and was sitting on a stoop. None dared to venture near the ghost except a courageous milkman, who found the vision to be a young lady in a somnambulistic trance. The young lady proved to be Miss Belle Collis, one of Newark’s society belles. Her attire consisted of one thing garment, known in boudoir parlance as a nightdress. Miss Collis had, while in the trance, left her bedroom and walked several blocks, when she sat down to rest on the stoop where she was found by the milkman. When found she was in a half frozen condition. When aroused she went into hysterics. It was some time before she recovered sufficiently to tell where she live, she was then conducted home.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, December 7. 1889.