No. 499
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
November 26, 2020

A Minister’s Scrape.

July 21, 2014
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"York Dispatch," November 28, 1905.  (All clippings via Newspapers.com) When normal people think of Thanksgiving, they picture large family dinners, a relaxing day watching football in front of the TV, a general atmosphere of comfort and contentment.Me, I picture turkeys being used as lethal weapons and guided missiles.  The "Passaic Herald-News," November 23, 1956:This inventive lady celebrated
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Strange Company - 11/25/2020

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A CHAMPIONSan Francisco ChronicleOctober 12, 1898(Click image to enlarge)     ASCOMB IS A CHAMPION    Guess Bascomb Smith wasn't all bad. The texts of the newspaper appear below.  Miss Hall finds a champion. Brother of  “ Soapy” Smith claims her as his wife.There is another side to the pathetic story told to the police by Minnie Hall, the Vaudeville actress to jump into the bay from Howard
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 9/25/2020

It’s been a good century or so since New Yorkers celebrated Evacuation Day. But in the late 18th and 19th centuries, this holiday—on November 25—was a major deal, marked by festive dinners, parades, and a deep appreciation of the role the city played in the Revolutionary War. Evacuation Day honors the day in 1783 when […]
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Ephemeral New York - 11/23/2020
Colorization can sometimes add another whole dimension to vintage black and white photos. We’ve done this one of the crime …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 8/31/2020
 Old Cap. Collier, the fictional dime novel detective, tries his hand at solving the murder of Dr. Cronin.The real murder of Dr. Patrick Henry Cronin was stranger than fiction, with the good doctor found naked and dead in a Chicago sewer after confronting the corrupt leaders of an Irish secret society. As Edmund Pearson said, “It was one of those murders over which men nod their heads and look
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Murder By Gaslight - 11/21/2020

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
[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.