No. 493
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
October 20, 2020

Shooting at the Elevated.

May 7, 2013
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"Brighton Gazette," April 7, 1831, via British Newspaper ArchiveIt’s often said that the duty of journalists is to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”  However, one newspaper man gave his own fun twist to this motto.  While he did indeed “afflict the comfortable” to a marked degree, the only “comfort” his efforts provided was to...himself.On April 10, 1831, a London-based former
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Strange Company - 10/19/2020

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A CHAMPIONSan Francisco ChronicleOctober 12, 1898(Click image to enlarge)     ASCOMB IS A CHAMPION    Guess Bascomb Smith wasn't all bad. The texts of the newspaper appear below.  Miss Hall finds a champion. Brother of  “ Soapy” Smith claims her as his wife.There is another side to the pathetic story told to the police by Minnie Hall, the Vaudeville actress to jump into the bay from Howard
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 9/25/2020

Cigarette ads, a burlesque house, a struggling theater, a flea circus and freak show (likely Hubert’s Museum): If you visited 42nd Street on the west side of Broadway at Times Square in 1932, this is what you’d find. “42nd Street West of Broadway” was painted that year by Edmund Yaghjian, an Armenian immigrant who depicted […]
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Ephemeral New York - 10/18/2020
Colorization can sometimes add another whole dimension to vintage black and white photos. We’ve done this one of the crime …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 8/31/2020
This week we are pleased to present a guest post from Howard and Nina Brown, experts on the Whitechapel Murders of Jack the Ripper. They are the owners of JTRForums.Com and have been Ripperologists for 20 years. Along with the website, JTRForums.Com, they also have pages on Twitter, Facebook, and a You Tube page. They're always looking for people interested in the Whitechapel Murders and can be
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Murder By Gaslight - 10/17/2020

October 18 is the feast date of early Christian (and possibly legendary) martyr-saint Justus of Beauvais. He’s supposed to have been decapitated for the faith in Amiens, France, around 287, and thereafter scooped up his head in his arms to join the cephalophore club. The Miracle of Saint Justus, by Peter Paul Rubens (1630s). Widely […]
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Executed Today - 10/18/2020
[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
Baseball Animals. | Philanthropist or “Moral Leper?”

Shooting at the Elevated.

Shooting at the Elevated

A party of New York girls enjoy a little after-dinner pistol practice at the trains that rush by windows of their hotel. [more]

Popping at the Elevated.

How a Certain Reckless Party of Fast Young Men and Women Added to the Dangers of Travel.

The luxuries of metropolitan life are many and novel, but we think the rag has been taken off the bush completely by late developments of the methods of enjoyment that have become popular among a certain class of reckless young bloods and the equally reckless young women who are assisting them in running through their fortunes. The dear creatures have been in the habit, when full of wine after the little suppers given in a certain famous off color hostelry on the line of one of the elevated railroads, to get up shooting matches, the mark being the elevated trains as thy fly by the second-story windows of the hotel. This practice became so common a few weeks ago that the entire detective force was set to work to ferret out the marksmen. One of these companies of female sharpshooters was caught by the officers but the male friends of the women proved to be related to some high officials and they were let go with a reprimand, and the mystery of the shooting at the trains has never been revealed to the indignant public until now, when the Police Gazette takes the ditty on itself in its usually bold form of description and illustration.


Reprinted from The National Police Gazette, Deember 23, 1882.