No. 478
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
July 02, 2020

They Are a Bad Lot.

The frightful picture of crime and debauchery which has given notoriety to Mary Jane Cawley’s backwo
July 27, 2015
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Christian reformer Martin Luther composed his hymn “Ein neues Lied wir heben an” (literally “A new song we raise” but commonly titled in English “Flung to the Heedless Winds”) in response to a major milestone for his movement: the first evangelicals executed for the faith, namely defrocked Augustinian monks Jan van Essen and Hendrik Vos […]
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Executed Today - 7/1/2020

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(Click image to enlarge) HE SHOOTING OF HARRY "SHOTGUN" SMITH. Denver's unsolved murder: Number #10 On June 23, 1893, Harry "Shotgun" Smith (no relation) went on a drinking binge and made the deadly mistake of visiting the Tivoli Club and provoking a fight with Bascomb Smith, the younger brother of bad man "Soapy" Smith. Bascomb walked away unscathed. Harry Smith was not
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 6/23/2020

Via Newspapers.com Yes, indeed, it’s time for the annual post celebrating the holiday in which America becomes the land of the free, and the home of blowing yourself up with homemade fireworks. Appropriately enough for this blog, the following story combines both the usual red-white-and-blue carnage with an atypical Fortean element. Elyria Independent Democrat, July 12, 1871 St. Paul
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Strange Company - 7/1/2020
It was a perfect weekend to journey out to Tyngsborough to get a glimpse of what was left of the …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 6/13/2020
On Sunday, May 23, 1875, Thomas W. Piper, sexton of the Warren Avenue Baptist Church in Boston, lured 5-year-old Mabel Young to the church belfry on the pretext of looking at pigeons. There he crushed her skull with a cricket bat. Piper was captured after he was seen leaping from the belfry. In custody he confessed to a series of murders and violent sexual assaults. Read the full story here: 
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Murder By Gaslight - 6/27/2020

The New York City of the moment is bringing many people down. Luckily, we can escape with a little time traveling thanks to these old-school store signs. Matles Florist has been in Manhattan since 1962, and the vintage sign with the very 1960s typeface shows it. The store is on 57th Street between Eighth and […]
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Ephemeral New York - 6/29/2020
[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
Yachting. | A Hot Day in New York.

They Are a Bad Lot.

A Bad Lot

The frightful picture of crime and debauchery which has given notoriety to Mary Jane Cawley’s backwoods dive at Cookstown, N. J.[more]

A picture of Mary Jane Cawley’s backwoods dive at Cookstown, N. J., which has recently been brought to public attention by the disappearance of its white mistress under circumstances that give the appearance of foul play. The patrons of the Cawley dive were both whites and blacks, and the picture presented may be said to be fairly representative of the scenes of debauchery which have been common in this rendezvous of sin.


Reprinted from the National Police Gazette, January 19, 1889.