No. 483
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
August 04, 2020

It Was a "She."

July 9, 2013
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The Web of Arachne by Fernand Le Quesne (1856 - 1932) Colorized by Curtis Byrne (Click image to enlarge) HE WEB OF ARACHNE COLORIZED. It's great to see what this painting may have originally looked like.      As I recently hung my framed print of The Web of Arachne, by Fernand Le Quesne (1856 - 1932), in my new place, I wondered why the artist didn't colorize it? Then I
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 8/4/2020

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“Beach Scene,” by Samuel S. Carr, is your portal into what people looked like when they visited a pristine, boardwalk-free Coney Island in 1879. It won’t be long before placid beach scenes like this are replaced by throngs of city residents looking for fun and adventure, and Sodom by the Sea is born.
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Ephemeral New York - 8/3/2020

Chicago Defender, Aug. 11, 1928. Former Negro Leagues baseball player James Hugh Moss was electrocuted in Georgia on this date in 1928, along with a white man named Clifford Thompson. The threesome of Moss, Thompson, and Thompson’s wife Eula, were Prohibition bootleggers from Etowah, in eastern Tennessee. A year before almost to the day (August […]
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Executed Today - 8/3/2020
You have to admire the energy and endurance of those Victorian ladies.  Even in the sweltering heat of a July …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 7/24/2020
On January 6, 1873, Edward Stokes was sentenced to hang for the murder of financier and railroad magnate James Fisk. Stokes was well-connected politically and he awaited his appeal in a comfortably furnished cell in the Tombs with meals catered by Delmonicos. Stokes was granted a new trial, was convicted of manslaughter and senteneced to six years in Sing Sing prison. Read the full story here
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Murder By Gaslight - 8/1/2020

"Philadelphia Inquirer," November 16, 1919, via Newspapers.com Mary Ann Louisa Taylor (or, as she was known to her many fans, “Marie Empress,”) was a well-known actress of the silent film era. Her sultry good looks brought her much success in the “vamp” roles which were so popular in that period. She was also a talented singer, dancer, and male impersonator. Unfortunately, none of her
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Strange Company - 8/3/2020
[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 […]
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Early American Crime - 2/7/2019
Gold from Seawater! | She Skipped.

It Was a "She."

It was a she

Charles Kelly, arrested for burglary near Princeton, Ind., turns out upon examination to be Clara King. [more]

A Horrible “Find.”

A correspondent at Princeton, Ind., writes: It will be remembered that about two months ago a burglary was committed at Ft. Branch, and that Sheriff McGary and his assistant, Wm. Wire, shortly afterward captured five men near Mt. Carmel who proved to be the guilty parties. After bringing them to the city they pled guilty, at the preliminary trial, to the charge of larceny, and were committee to jail in default of bail. The five burglars gave their names as John Kelly, “Charles Kelley,” John Murphy, Thomas O’Neil and James Gallagher. Charles Kelly seemed to be a very young boy, and gained considerable sympathy from several who saw him, thinking that he had probably been enticed into leaving a life of the Lord. The prisoner were placed in cells together and mingled together in jail, and nothing was supposed to be wrong. On several occasions Charles informed the sheriff that he was afraid of the roughs therein, and would rather be locked in a cell. The prisoner then said her name was Clara King, and that she hailed from Chicago, and had no home or relatives that she knew of, that she joined the gang of burglars in order to make a living. She was taken before the judge of court and proved that she was a female, when she was given three years in the State Female Penitentiary.


Reprinted from The National Police Gazette, October 15, 1887.