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

"He Loves Me; He Loves Me Not."

How Marie Played a Romantic Trick on Her Lover and Brought Him to Time.
April 9, 2019
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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
Two New Features! | Rip Roaring Fun.

"He Loves Me; He Loves Me Not."

How Marie Played a Romantic Trick on Her Lover and Brought Him to Time.

Here's a young girl of romantic temperament who yet would not sit like Patience on a monument smiling at grief or pine in a green and yellow melancholy until her lover made up his mind to declare his ear­nest Intentions. Oh, no; she was one of your right sort who didn't believe in picking a rose to pieces leaf by leaf in a garden while interrogating blind luck whether he loved her or loved her not. She was a New Orleans girl and her name was Marie Ravineau. He was a house painter and a good hearted fellow with everything admirable about him except that he would not talk right out. His name was Henry L. Jackson.

Well, On the 29th ult.. Henry was sitting on a swinging scaffold made by a horizontally placed ladder hung from the roof by ropes attached to either end. He was painting the front of a four story house. Marie went me up to that roof, swing herself down the rope to the ladder and with a knife began to hack at the ropes.

"Does he love me?" said she, "Oh, say you do."           

But Henry didn't cackle worth a cent. Then she cut a strand of the rope, saying, "He loves Me," then another strand, “He loves me not,” and thus alternating her assertions until there remained but one little strand. Then the painter eagerly protested his love and she fell in his arms. The last strand broke and the pair clutching the rounds of the now vertical ladder were suspended in mid-air ten minutes before they could be rescued.

The painter’s mind seems quite unbalanced by the shock but Marie vows they shall not commit him to the lunatic asylum until she is married. That’s what she started out to do and she’s going to accomplish it. That’s a woman that trifles will not throw off, you bet.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, June 10, 1882.