No. 423
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
April 23, 2019

The Girls Biffed Each Other

April 16, 2011
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Spanish general Jose Aranguren was shot on this date in 1939 by Franco’s Spain. A brigadier general of the Civil Guard — an internal-to-Spain paramilitary/law enforcement force that remained predominantly loyal to the Republic during the Spanish Civil War — Aranguren (the very cursory English Wikipedia entry | the more detailed Spanish) at the outset […]
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ExecutedToday.com - 4/22/2019

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The Savoy bookstore in Westerly, R.I. was cram-packed with Borden case enthusiasts this evening as author Cara Robertson held forth …

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Lizzie Borden : Warps & Wefts - 3/26/2019
"Roses are red, Violets are blue, And my cat is, too." Cats and weird little stories from the past.  What could be more Strange Company than that?  For this reason, I'm delighted to temporarily pass the blog's steering wheel over to Peggy Gavan, whose upcoming book, "The Cat Men of Gotham: Tales of Feline Friendships in Old New York" (Rutgers University Press, May 3, 2019,) is now available
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Strange Company - 4/22/2019

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
Rosa Buckstahlen and Ida Bjornstad, servants in the Chicago mansion of Amos J. Snell, were awakened at 2:00 the morning of February 8, 1888, by the sound of a gunshot from the floor below. They heard someone shout “Get out! Get out of here!” followed by more gunshots, then silence. Thinking that all was well—or more likely, too frightened to do anything else—the girls went back to sleep.
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Murder by Gaslight - 4/20/2019
I count six transportation options Brooklynites had in 1915, according to this rich and detailed postcard of Flatbush Avenue. There’s the elevated train, of course, as well as a streetcar, automobile, bicycle, horse and wagon, and of course, getting around on foot, as most of the crowd seems to be doing—when they’re not mugging for […]
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Ephemeral New York - 4/21/2019
[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