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

The Girls Biffed Each Other

April 16, 2011
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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
The Drunkard's Looking Glass | The Cardiff Giant

The Girls Biffed Each Other

Girls Biffed Each Other

Mabel Herbett and Mamie Brown fight for George Woodward in Pleasantville, N.J.

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Two lovely daughters of two prominent Pleasantville, N.J., fami­lies have created a sensation in that town. Mabel Herbett and Mamie Brown nearly scratched each other's eyes out one day re­cently. It is true that they didn't bark and bite, but they came as near as they could without actually doing the dawgie act. From what we can learn, Mamie and Mabel were enamored of George Wood­ward and determined to settle their difficulties according to pugilistic rules.

The two girls consulted with their nearest friends, and decided that nothing but a personal en­counter could settle the question. A prize fight was arranged, the win­ner to have George.

The other girls went into it with a vim; that is, the lively girls did; and Pleasantville has a full quota of lively girls. They arranged to have the affair come off in an old barn on the edge of the village, and after studying up on the subject settled on a 16-foot ring. Three o’clock one Sunday morning recently was the hour set. Of course, only girls were admitted, and they had to sneak out of their bedrooms to attend in regular elopement style.

The bevy of beauties repaired to the barn and there had it out in grand style. The two combatants, when they got through with each other, had neither one won the prize, but both were considerably damaged.


Reprinted from The National Police Gazette - September 27, 1890