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

Scenes from “In the Tenderloin.”

June 16, 2014
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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
Photographed as he Died. | Venus Caught by the “Cops.”

Scenes from “In the Tenderloin.”

Scenes from 'In the Tenderloin'

Scenes from “In the Tenderloin.”

1. Tom Gould at home in the notorious resort “San Souci.” 2. “This one is on me.”
3. A Rowdydowdy Climax. 4. The “Green Goods” Game.
5. “Will some one please oblige?”

[more]

The production in New York of such as play as “In the Tenderloin” has an importance out of all proportion to the merits of the performance. Considered artistically, the production had no merits. The melodrama was bad, the actors were bad, and the audience was such a one as might be expected at the People’s Theatre on the Bowery. It is significant, however, that shrewd managers who know what their public demands should invest money in putting on the boards what is avowedly and attempt to depict the lowest forms of vice to be found in New York. And more significant still is the probability that these far-seeing gentlemen will make handsome earnings!

What is the substance of “In the Tenderloin” ? A succession of living pictures of metropolitan infamy. Throughout the four acts there pass before the audience, in shameless review, ugly specimens of the dregs and slums that taint Manhattan Island. There are thieves, thugs, assassins, fallen women and the brutes who exploit them, gambles, painted men, dive-keepers and the low company the harbor—cunning scoundrels whose trade is to lure men into their dens and despoil them; infamous creatures who traffic in the dishonor of young girls, “green goods” men, confidence men –all the foul brood of carrion birds that gorge themselves in the moral cesspools of a sinful city. Such is the “play” this high-minded “playwright,” Mr. E. E. Price, has “constructed” ! Such is the play that will possibly make a “barrel of money” for the philanthropists who have mounted it !


Reprinted from The Illustrated American, January 5, 1895.