No. 493
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
October 20, 2020

Picnic on Marblehead Neck.

August 5, 2014
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"Brighton Gazette," April 7, 1831, via British Newspaper ArchiveIt’s often said that the duty of journalists is to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”  However, one newspaper man gave his own fun twist to this motto.  While he did indeed “afflict the comfortable” to a marked degree, the only “comfort” his efforts provided was to...himself.On April 10, 1831, a London-based former
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Strange Company - 10/19/2020

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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

Cigarette ads, a burlesque house, a struggling theater, a flea circus and freak show (likely Hubert’s Museum): If you visited 42nd Street on the west side of Broadway at Times Square in 1932, this is what you’d find. “42nd Street West of Broadway” was painted that year by Edmund Yaghjian, an Armenian immigrant who depicted […]
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Ephemeral New York - 10/18/2020
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
This week we are pleased to present a guest post from Howard and Nina Brown, experts on the Whitechapel Murders of Jack the Ripper. They are the owners of JTRForums.Com and have been Ripperologists for 20 years. Along with the website, JTRForums.Com, they also have pages on Twitter, Facebook, and a You Tube page. They're always looking for people interested in the Whitechapel Murders and can be
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Murder By Gaslight - 10/17/2020

October 18 is the feast date of early Christian (and possibly legendary) martyr-saint Justus of Beauvais. He’s supposed to have been decapitated for the faith in Amiens, France, around 287, and thereafter scooped up his head in his arms to join the cephalophore club. The Miracle of Saint Justus, by Peter Paul Rubens (1630s). Widely […]
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Executed Today - 10/18/2020
[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
They Got Hilariously Full. | Beautiful Forever.

Picnic on Marblehead Neck.

Picnic on Marblehead Neck.

Summer Pleasures—A Picnic on Marblehead Neck. Massachusetts. [more]

The march of progress has not destroyed that freshness of pleasure which ever attends a bit of cold chicken or lobster salad with a glass of fiz, partaken of on the green grass, whether it be by the hillside or riverside or seaside. There is a piquant flavor in the food, a bouquet in the wine, a joyousness in the feast, which surpasses all the sensuous gratification of a superbly set table with its cut glass and glowing flowers and glittering cutlery and tidbits that a cordon bleu could serve in the form of a dainty dinner. With the greensward for a carpet, the blue sky for a roof, and the murmuring sea for music, the picnic which we illustrate is simply perfect. The yellow basket has been carefully packed, the champagne very judiciously iced, the young couples with the “gooseberry-picking” boy capitally matched. Everybody is hungry, for the ozone-laden breeze stealing across the heaving ocean is the best sauce ever served up with human food. The pastry has been made by the white hands of the girls and will be rapturously eaten by the gentlemen in waiting, the small boy doing yeoman’s work. Under the genial influence of the champagne the timid young man will become emboldened, and vows that lay “full fathoms five” in his bashful heart will come to the surface during that postprandial stroll on the tawny sands. What fun washing up the dishes and plates and knives and forks! What fun setting up an empty bottle to fling pebbles at! What fun re-packing! What laughing at the awkwardness of the gentlemen! It is all fun, innocent merriment, and that delightful abandon begotten of youth, health and the freedom of a meal taken al fresco.


Reprinted from "Picnic on Marblehead Neck." Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper 11 Aug 1883: 403.