No. 427
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
June 16, 2019

Torturing a Lover.

June 26, 2012
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(Thanks to the late University of Illinois history professor Clarence Walworth Alvord for the guest post, which originally appeared in an essay he wrote for the centennial of the Land of Lincoln‘s 1818 statehood. For context to this 1779 execution, the area comprising the future U.S. state of Illinois had been attached by the British […]
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Executed Today - 6/15/2019

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Dressing Miss Lizzie, which is a paper doll book featuring Lizzie’s garments described in newspapers of 1892 -1893 is now …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 5/30/2019

This handsome cat displays an expression not uncommon among those who visit this blog for the first time. Watch out for those haunted elevators! Watch out for those haunted cars! Watch out for those Swedish ghost pigs! The Chevalier and his Clowder. Why gin explains a lot about the 18th century. Some bridesmaid superstitions. The murder of a roadhouse keeper. The barber and
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Strange Company - 6/14/2019
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
Two children playing near their house in Greenwich, New York, the morning of Saturday, October 20, 1889, found a woman’s hat and jacket lying on a log and reported them to a group of men who were working on a road nearby. Reuben Stewart, Superintendent of Streets who was also President of the Village, thought the circumstances were suspicious and went down to take a look for himself. It was a
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Murder By Gaslight - 6/15/2019

Countless artists have painted the Brooklyn Bridge. But not Edward Hopper. Instead of focusing on the city’s most beloved and beatified bridge, Hopper in 1928 used the nearby but less-loved Manhattan Bridge to depict the isolation and solitude of modern urban life. “In his powerful and evocative painting, Manhattan Bridge Loop, Edward Hopper has frozen […]
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Ephemeral New York - 6/9/2019
[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
Ararat: City of Refuge. | Napoleon's Oraculum.

Torturing a Lover.

Torturing A Lover

Louisiana, Sept. 1882 - A masher who fools a Louisiana girl is tied hand and foot, smeared with molasses and laid in the sun to be tortured by flies until he consents to marry.[more]

A Young Masher Fools a Girl in Louisiana and is Taken into Camp.

A young couple arrived in New Orleans on the 20th ult. Who excited some remark.  They were a bride and bridegroom. He was wrapped in bandages, limped and groaned at every motion as if he had been put through a threshing machine and was sore in every joint. She stuck close to him and watched him as a cat does a mouse. He could not make a move but that she was on his heels ready to pounce on him should he attempt to make his escape.

Several attempts were made to interview the young man but they were only partly successful, owing to the watchfulness of the catlike bride. It was ascertained however that he was a drummer for a New York house who had in his journeying through Louisiana scraped an acquaintance with the young woman. He had used all his metropolitan fascinations to such good purpose that she was in the worst sort of predicament. Her pap insisted that the young fellow should marry the girl but he respectfully declined and harnessing up his horse prepared to leave. The old man was no chump, though. He seized on that city chap and with the aid of the girl bound him hand and foot. Then they soused him in a hogshead of molasses and laid him out in the sun for the flies to settle on and torture until he made up his mind to wed. After the old man had secured a parson who lived a few miles away, he and his daughter, armed to the teeth, sat down and covering the dominie with their pistols waited until the young lady’s intended should weaken. He was covered with a swarm of insects who tortured him sore. His struggles and shrieks of agony had no effect on the determined father-in-law and he prospective bride, however. They silenced the parson’s protests and were deaf to the cries of their victim.

At last after enduring a great agony he gave in. The flies were brushed off and just as he was he was wed. Then they washed and dressed him and he insisted on starting for New York at once. His bride went with him for her wedding tour. He threatened to drown her if he recovered the use of his limbs on board the steamer, bug from his “all broke up” appearance there seemed little chance of getting square for two or three months, if ever.

 

From The National Police Gazette, October 21, 1882