No. 463
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
February 29, 2020

Sparking in Tompkins Square

June 28, 2011
...
...

Ohio State University professor Dr. James Howard Snook was electrocuted on this date in 1930. The eggheaded veterinary lecturer, Snook was an Olympic gold medalist in pistol shooting.* On a site like Executed Today one would presume that sidearms appear with a Chekhovian purpose, but it will transpire that different instruments cause his downfall. Beginning, […]
More...
Executed Today - 2/28/2020

`
Fifty-nine years ago in February 1961, thousands of avid fans trudged through 20 inches of snow to Carnegie Hall to see comedian Lenny Bruce—in a show that was recorded and released in a three-record set, The Carnegie Hall Concert. This famous show, “was the moment that an obscure yet rapidly rising young comedian named Lenny […]
More...
Ephemeral New York - 2/23/2020

"The Witches' Cove," Follower of Jan Mandijn It's time for this week's Link Dump! Let the show begin! Angkor Wat and the collapsed reservoir. Shorter version: Jack Parsons was one weird dude. Jolly Jane Toppan, the last person you would want at your sickbed. A museum that's pure torture. The mystery of the Breton inscription. The posset: good for whatever ails you. Yet
More...
Strange Company - 2/28/2020
Beginning on January 1st, W&W will begin featuring fascinating short clippings from the Fall River papers and other newspapers from …

Continue reading

More...
Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 12/29/2019
Nellie C. Bailey. William Dodson led a drive of 2300 head of sheep from Kansas through Indian Territory to their new home in Texas in October 1883. A mile behind them the owner of the new ranch, a widower named Clement Bothemly, and his sister Bertha traveled in a wagon outfitted with bedrooms. Pulled by two yoke of oxen, the wagon was so large that observers compared it to a railroad car.
More...
Murder By Gaslight - 2/22/2020

Letter to Mary from Jeff R. Smith II Artifact #63 February 15, 1897 Jeff Smith collection (Click image to enlarge) rtifact #63 Soapy Smith's letter to wife Mary, dated February 15, 1897 reads, in a large pen hand, Feb 15th 1897 Dear Wife This far on my journey to the North God bless you Jeff Owl Saloon Spokan A quick note from husband to wife, written on Russ House
More...
Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 2/27/2020
[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 […]
More...
Early American Crime - 2/7/2019
Recruiting For Sin's Army | Terrible Struggle with Flame and Flood

Sparking in Tompkins Square

Cupid-Tompkins-Park

New York, New York, 1888 - Sparking in Tompkin Square, a place which Cupid has made his favorite stomping ground, and where the stern paterfamilias is wont to appear. [more]

Cupid has had great sport in Tompkins Park, this city, on pleasant evenings of a Sunday for some time past. Recently the interesting spectacle of forty couples breathing tales of love was witnessed at this charming rendezvous for "spooney" young men and women. Near the circular structure in the center of the park sat a maiden of sixteen or thereabouts, clad in a maroon dress, which just reached to the tops of her buttoned boots, a lavender jacket, and a jaunty hat matching her dress, with a raven's wing in the band.

Close beside her sat a youth of equal age, who was gazing into her eye. He held her hand in his, and in an undertone told her many pretty secrets.

Changing her hand to his other one, his arm gently stole round her waist. She seemed unconscious of it. He whispered something and she shyly looked at him, presumably the better to understand his whisper. He inclined his face to hers and "just one" he pleaded-and hastily took one, two, three. He paused a few seconds in admiration of her and then resumed talking, and she talked, too, in a bashful way.

But presently a very substantial vision intruded itself upon their happiness-a tall, ponderous Dutchman in trousers of ample volume, a jean jumper and a velveteen cap similar to those worn by the drivers of brewery wagons.

"You vas here, eh?" he queried of the girl. "You vas coom home."

She coomed.

Another young couple plumped down. The Fellow manifested his affection by pulling his sweetheart's hair and pinching her ears. She tee-hee-hee'd, slapped him playfully, and twittered, "Now, Jamesie, you stop." But just the same she didn't seem pleased when Jamesie did stop. She slapped him some more; whereat Jumesie pushed hack her head and gave her a loud kiss.

With all the couples the time was fraught with happiness and sweetness and most of them didn't leave the park until the broad-faced clock in the steeple of St. Bridget's Church nearby tolled the hour of ten.

 


The National Police Gazette, November 3, 1888