No. 526
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
June 21, 2021

A Minister’s Scrape.

July 21, 2014
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"Louisville Courier-Journal," May 8, 1881, via Newspapers.comWhen I started this blog, I hoped to focus on the smaller, obscure stories from the past--the long-forgotten bits of random oddities that, when taken together, show just what a strange world we live in.  In short, the "uncommon" is really quite commonplace.One such story is the death of one otherwise completely unmemorable young man. 
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Strange Company - 6/21/2021

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An Ordnance to Cover the Defective Points.Denver Tribune-RepublicanMay 14, 1885(Click image to enlarge)   n order to cover such cases as "Soapy" Smith, the arrest of whom for violating the lottery ordinance"  Note how bad the Xerox copy at the top is. This was shared to my father, by his brother (my uncle) Joseph Jefferson Smith​ (1909-1977). Obviously, the copiers at the time did not do
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 6/13/2021

When railroad baron H.H. Cook decided to build himself a New York City mansion, he didn’t try to squeeze into a plot of land on Fifth Avenue in the 50s—an area that had been colonized by several Vanderbilt heirs and other Gilded Age moneymakers. Instead, he went to the then-hinterlands of Manhattan, purchasing the entire […]
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Ephemeral New York - 6/20/2021
Youth With Executioner by Nuremberg native Albrecht Dürer … although it’s dated to 1493, which was during a period of several years when Dürer worked abroad. November 13 [1617]. Burnt alive here a miller of Manberna, who however was lately engaged as a carrier of wine, because he and his brother, with the help of […]
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Executed Today - 11/13/2020
Parental hostility drove Fanny Madison out of her home and into the arms of her cousin, Thomas Cluverius. It was not a wise decision.Read the full story here: Kissing Cousins.                                             Pictures from Illustrated Police News, May 2, 1885.
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Murder By Gaslight - 6/19/2021

Producer-director Ric Rebelo has today, in memory of LeeAnn Wilber, former co-owner of the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast, released this award-winning film for public view on Youtube. This was filmed in 2010, some of the participants in the production are no longer with us today. What was recorded in 2010 has not changed much today in 2021, only intensified in fascination.
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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 6/16/2021
[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
Beautiful Forever. | Tennis.

A Minister’s Scrape.

A Minister's Scrape

A parson while instructing a pretty parishioner how to sing psalms forgets his duty and indulges in other exercises; Branchville, N. J. [more]

Placed Under Bonds to Answer a Charge Made by an Indignant Husband—Kissing and Squeezing Alleged.

The usually quiet village of Branchville, Sussex county, N. J., was startled from its propriety as by a galvanic battery, on Thursday last, when Rev. Thos. D Frazee, pastor of the Methodist Church of that place, was arrested by Constable Dillotson on a charge of attempting too much and violent familiarity with Mrs. Albert Halstead, a pretty young member of his church. Branchville has only six hundred inhabitants, and since the arrest they have been busy with the pastor’s name and fame in a manner that does not add greatly to his ministerial credit.

The principal of these stories has been sworn to by Mr. Albert Halstead, the husband of the lady who makes the charge against Mr. Frazee, and is in a fair way to come before the courts at an early day. The story that Mr. Halstead tells is as follows:

About a week ago Mr. Frazee came to my house for the avowed purpose of teaching my wife, who is a member of his church, how to sing some Hymns that he wished to have sung in church. Upon his very first visit he attempted to kiss her. She objected, and he told her it was no harm for her to allow such familiarity to her pastor. He then produce a hymn book and stinging behind my wife held the book in front of her face, his arm under hers, he looing in the book over her shoulder. This was bad enough but he kept time in an improper manner.
My wife did not notice this at first because she thought he did it innocently; but after a while it he became more emphatic in his time-beating motions, and my wife, disengaging herself from his embrace, asked him what he meant by such conduct. He feigned surprise at her thinking he intended anything improper, and left. On Monday of this week, he came to my house again, and my wife’s little sister being in the room, almost the first thing he did was to send her out for some peaches.

No sooner had she left the house than he made improper proposals to my wife, and on her resenting the insults, he attempted to force her to yield to his unholy desires; but in this, thank God, was not successful, and alarmed at my wife’s screams, he hastily fled from the house.
On the following day he returned and asked my wife to shake hands and make it up, but she refused and ordered him from the house. I was not at home at the time, but as soon as I heard of Mr. Frazee’s conduct I called on him in relations to the matter. He did not deny the charges I made against him, but told me I had better let the matter drop, as I was a poor man and people would not believe me. I told him that if I was poor I was honest, and that I intended to show him whether people would believe me, and I have cause his arrest as the readiest way of determining the matter.

Mrs. Halstead is about twenty years old and bears an excellent reputation in the village and wherever she is known.

Rev. Mr. Frazee is about thirty-five, has an amiable wife and one child. In addition to being pastor of the Branchville Methodist Church, of which he has been in charge for about eighteen months, Mr. Frazee is one of the editors of a Newark religious paper.

Mr. Frazee was placed under bonds to answer the charge preferred by Mr. Halstead, and the matter will be investigated.

 


Reprinted from "A Minister's Scrape." The National Police Gazette 9 Oct 1880.