No. 479
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
July 09, 2020

An Adventure with a Sea-Lion.

With open mouths and protruding tusks, they warn the intruder agents too near an approach.
March 26, 2018
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The aptly named Christopher Slaughterford hanged on this date in 1709 — condemned, quite possibly wrongfully, for murdering his fiancee Jane Young. Slaughterford owned a maltings at Shalford in Surrey and was known to be paying court to Miss Young when the latter went missing on the evening of the 5th of October, 1703. She […]
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Executed Today - 7/9/2020

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(Click image to enlarge) HE SHOOTING OF HARRY "SHOTGUN" SMITH. Denver's unsolved murder: Number #10 On June 23, 1893, Harry "Shotgun" Smith (no relation) went on a drinking binge and made the deadly mistake of visiting the Tivoli Club and provoking a fight with Bascomb Smith, the younger brother of bad man "Soapy" Smith. Bascomb walked away unscathed. Harry Smith was not
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 6/23/2020

Via Newspapers.com Who doesn’t love a good Demon Cat story? The “Harrisburg Telegraph,” July 30, 1902: Lancaster, July 30. Mrs. Augustus Stiffel, wife of an ironworker, says she is bewitched and lays the blame for her condition on a big black cat. According to her story, the cat, which is as large as a good-sized dog, with eyes like balls of fire, visits her house nearly every night, and
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Strange Company - 7/8/2020
It was a perfect weekend to journey out to Tyngsborough to get a glimpse of what was left of the …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 6/13/2020
Mamie Kelly Fourteen-year-old Mamie Kelly of San Francisco, had a crush on the boy next door, nineteen-year-old Aleck Goldenson. Though Aleck was the kind of boy who appeals to teenaged girls—an artist and a bit of a hoodlum—her family had no use for him at all. In spite of this, Mamie took every opportunity be near him. Aleck first enjoyed her attention, then tolerated it, then actively
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Murder By Gaslight - 7/4/2020

New York once had lots of neighborhood doughnut places, and this stamp-size shop on Avenue U in Sheepshead Bay keeps the tradition alive. Also known as Shaikh’s Place, Donut Shoppe still has the original sign installed by the shop’s first owner decades ago. The shop has diversified over the years, adding to the menu tacos, […]
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Ephemeral New York - 7/6/2020
[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
Her Wheel Was Her Ruin. | His Wife Danced the Coochee-Coochee.

An Adventure with a Sea-Lion.

Adventure with a Sea-Lion On the rocky islands off the coast of California, thousands of sea-lions may often be seen reposing in easy indifference, and forming an immense menagerie. At the approach of a stranger they generally take to the water, unless they are watching over their young, when with open mouths and protruding tusks, they warn the intruder agents too near an approach.

A recent visitor to the haunts of these animals thus relates his experience: “My companion and myself had spend some time watching the young seals at play with each other, and listening to the low moaning of the older ones, that sounded very like the braying of a mule. Occasionally, as we threw a stone among them, the majority hastened off to the water and disappeared beneath the surface. Desirous of bringing away a trophy, my friend caught a young calf, and was carrying it off in triumph, when an old warrior, evidently patriarch of the tribe, suddenly advanced upon him, seized the skirt of his coat, and with one angry shake and a loud and fearful roar, tore it from his body. This part of the programme had not been anticipated and we gladly relinquished our booty and made good our escape, not deeming a reputation of the experience in the least desirable.”


Reprinted from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, May 26, 1866.