No. 423
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
April 24, 2019

Caught Wifie Dead to Rights.

She was perched upon the knee of her gentleman friend at Saginaw, Mich., enjoying her delicious swee
June 11, 2018
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Coming in May! Warps and Wefts is excited to announce the publication of “Dressing Miss Lizzie”, a collection of paper …

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Lizzie Borden : Warps & Wefts - 4/23/2019

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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
Hanged April 23, 1845 for poisoning her brother Charles Dimond — and commonly suspected to have offed several other family members by means of arsenic — the “Shapwick Murderess” Sarah Freeman insisted her innocence to her very last breath. “I am as innocent as a lamb,” she said to the hangman William Calcraft as he […]
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ExecutedToday.com - 4/23/2019

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
"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
[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
Spoiled the Chappies’ Fun. | June.

Caught Wifie Dead to Rights.

Caught Wife

She was perched upon the knee of her gentleman friend at Saginaw, Mich., enjoying her delicious sweetness of mingled champagne and kisses. [more]

The usually quiet neighborhood in the vicinity of Union Park on Bond Street, Saginaw, Mich., is all torn up over the rumors which are being lisped about to the effect that an indulgent husband came home very unexpectedly one afternoon several days since and discovered his pretty wife entertaining a gentlemen friend of the family in her bedroom. The sight knocked the wind out of the poor man’s sails completely, for he never dreamed that his little wife was other that the personification of virtue. When he opened the door leading to his wife’s bed-chamber the guilty couple did not discover him at first. They sat with their backs to the wronged husband, the naughty wife perched closely upon the knee of the alleged friend of the family. Two bottles of champagne were on a table close by. There was no blood shed. The husband is not the man to fly to weapons, he prefers the divorce courts, and it is dollars to doughnuts that he will file a bill of separation. The “friend of the family” attempted all sorts of apologies, but the wronged husband turned him from the house in a rage and went straightway to his wife and informed her of her liege lord’s conduct. The news was a blow to the wife, who had always been complimented throughout the neighborhood for being blessed with such a model husband.

Since the unpleasant affair occurred all parties concerned have done all in their power to keep it a profound secret but like all other bits of rich scandal, the gossips have got hold of it and every woman in the neighborhood is eying the naught y wife with suspicion. She is such a ladylike little person that, even yet, her most intimate friends are prone to find her not guilty.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, September 1896.