No. 452
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
December 11, 2019

Booze Through a Key-Hole.

May 15, 2017
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(Thanks to Robert Elder of Last Words of the Executed — the blog, and the book — for the guest post. This post originally appeared on the Last Words blog. Fans of this here site are highly likely to enjoy following Elder’s own pithy, almanac-style collection of last words on the scaffold. -ed.) “You see […]
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Executed Today - 12/9/2019

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Lizzie’s Old School Chum, Augusta Poole (Mrs. Cyrus Tripp) Shelley M. Dziedzic, October 2019 (all rights reserved) During the hot …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 10/19/2019

The following is the tale of how one seemingly completely ordinary young Englishman earned an unenviable place in the legal books--and, more importantly to our modern generation--his own Wikipedia entry. Christopher Slaughterford was born in Westbury, Surrey, sometime in 1684. His father was a miller. He spent his early life apprenticing at a farm in Goldaming, after which he served other
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Strange Company - 12/9/2019
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
William J. Elder, aged 61, was addicted to drink and when under its influence was violent and uncontrollable. His wife tolerated his abuse as long as she could then packed up and moved out of their farm in Hammonton, New Jersey, leaving behind her two sons, Robert and Mathew. In 1887, 19-year-old Robert Elder moved out of his father’s house as well. 12-Year old Mathew Elder was still
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Murder By Gaslight - 12/7/2019

It’s the blue hour in “Rainy Day, New York,” a 1940 painting by Leon Dolice—a Vienna-born artist who came to Manhattan in the 1920s. The sun has sunk below the horizon, and sidewalks and buildings are cast in a blueish glow, illuminated by streetlamps, car headlights, and the reflection of rain-slicked streets. I’m not sure […]
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Ephemeral New York - 12/9/2019
[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
What a New York Girl Did. | The Graces in a High Wind.

Booze Through a Key-Hole.

Booze keyhole

An inebriate while locked in a room by his friends to sober him up, has his cocktails supplied by a pretty servant through the keyhole by the aid of a straw; New York.[more]

The oldest son of a wealthy broker in this city is given to frequent indulgences in the cups. His sprees are periodical, and when on one he keeps at it until nature is exhausted. A party of friends undertook to sober him up recently by locking him in a room at a hotel, leaving him nothing but a nightshirt. By some means he succeeded in getting into the good graces of a pretty servant girl, who sympathized with him in his forced abstinence, and set herself about breaking it up. Going to the bar-tender she obtained at different times whiskey cocktails on pretense of taking them to the room of a regular boarder. She also obtained a number of straws. Putting one through the key-hole, with one end in the glass and the other in the prisoner’s mouth, he was supplied with “Inspiration.” His friends could not account for his keeping drunk, but finally discovered the means by which it was done.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, November 13, 1880.