No. 483
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
August 04, 2020

Abducted by a Woman.

March 31, 2014
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The Web of Arachne by Fernand Le Quesne (1856 - 1932) Colorized by Curtis Byrne (Click image to enlarge) HE WEB OF ARACHNE COLORIZED. It's great to see what this painting may have originally looked like.      As I recently hung my framed print of The Web of Arachne, by Fernand Le Quesne (1856 - 1932), in my new place, I wondered why the artist didn't colorize it? Then I
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 8/4/2020

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“Beach Scene,” by Samuel S. Carr, is your portal into what people looked like when they visited a pristine, boardwalk-free Coney Island in 1879. It won’t be long before placid beach scenes like this are replaced by throngs of city residents looking for fun and adventure, and Sodom by the Sea is born.
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Ephemeral New York - 8/3/2020

Chicago Defender, Aug. 11, 1928. Former Negro Leagues baseball player James Hugh Moss was electrocuted in Georgia on this date in 1928, along with a white man named Clifford Thompson. The threesome of Moss, Thompson, and Thompson’s wife Eula, were Prohibition bootleggers from Etowah, in eastern Tennessee. A year before almost to the day (August […]
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Executed Today - 8/3/2020
You have to admire the energy and endurance of those Victorian ladies.  Even in the sweltering heat of a July …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 7/24/2020
On January 6, 1873, Edward Stokes was sentenced to hang for the murder of financier and railroad magnate James Fisk. Stokes was well-connected politically and he awaited his appeal in a comfortably furnished cell in the Tombs with meals catered by Delmonicos. Stokes was granted a new trial, was convicted of manslaughter and senteneced to six years in Sing Sing prison. Read the full story here
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Murder By Gaslight - 8/1/2020

"Philadelphia Inquirer," November 16, 1919, via Newspapers.com Mary Ann Louisa Taylor (or, as she was known to her many fans, “Marie Empress,”) was a well-known actress of the silent film era. Her sultry good looks brought her much success in the “vamp” roles which were so popular in that period. She was also a talented singer, dancer, and male impersonator. Unfortunately, none of her
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Strange Company - 8/3/2020
[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
Dr. Scott's Electric Corset. | What it is Coming to in Chicago.

Abducted by a Woman.

Abducted by a Woman

Harry Sommerville, of Lexington, Ky., is snatched from his bed by the mistress he had repudiated in order to marry another girl. [more]


A special from Lexington, Ky., Oct. 6, says: Several weeks ago Harry Sommerville, formerly one of Lexington’s most gifted and promising young artists, married Mrs. Belle Payton, widow of a Cincinnati saloon keeper. The match was not suitable to the lady’s relatives, with whom she has been living, and who had Sommerville in their employ, and the new voyagers on the matrimonial sea were driven away. They went to board with another relative of Mrs. Sommerville, but here their troubles multiplied. A few nights ago the wife of Alonzo Barnett, a conductor on the Cincinnati Southern Railroad, drove to Sommerville’s boarding house, and, going to his bedroom, where he and his wife were in bed, she commanded and forced him to get up, dress and go with her. Since then Mrs. Sommerville has never seen her husband, and she has fallen sick with fever, and is now at St. Joseph’s Hospital. It seems that Sommerville had been intimate with the Barnett woman before his marriage, and that as soon as she heard of it she went for him. All parties are well known here.


Reprinted from the National Police Gazette, October 29, 1887