No. 427
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
June 16, 2019

Picnic on Marblehead Neck.

August 5, 2014
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(Thanks to the late University of Illinois history professor Clarence Walworth Alvord for the guest post, which originally appeared in an essay he wrote for the centennial of the Land of Lincoln‘s 1818 statehood. For context to this 1779 execution, the area comprising the future U.S. state of Illinois had been attached by the British […]
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Executed Today - 6/15/2019

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Dressing Miss Lizzie, which is a paper doll book featuring Lizzie’s garments described in newspapers of 1892 -1893 is now …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 5/30/2019

This handsome cat displays an expression not uncommon among those who visit this blog for the first time. Watch out for those haunted elevators! Watch out for those haunted cars! Watch out for those Swedish ghost pigs! The Chevalier and his Clowder. Why gin explains a lot about the 18th century. Some bridesmaid superstitions. The murder of a roadhouse keeper. The barber and
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Strange Company - 6/14/2019
Jeff and Joe Soapy Smith buries Joe Simmons The Illustrated Police News April 9, 1892 (Click image to enlarge) oe Simmons was a tall, slender gambler known to many as “Gambler Joe” Simmons, a member of the Soap Gang who managed Soapy Smith's Tivoli Club in Denver, 1890, and Soapy's Orleans Club in Creede, 1892. According to William Devere’s poem "Two Little Busted Shoes," Simmons
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 3/25/2019
Two children playing near their house in Greenwich, New York, the morning of Saturday, October 20, 1889, found a woman’s hat and jacket lying on a log and reported them to a group of men who were working on a road nearby. Reuben Stewart, Superintendent of Streets who was also President of the Village, thought the circumstances were suspicious and went down to take a look for himself. It was a
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Murder By Gaslight - 6/15/2019

Countless artists have painted the Brooklyn Bridge. But not Edward Hopper. Instead of focusing on the city’s most beloved and beatified bridge, Hopper in 1928 used the nearby but less-loved Manhattan Bridge to depict the isolation and solitude of modern urban life. “In his powerful and evocative painting, Manhattan Bridge Loop, Edward Hopper has frozen […]
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Ephemeral New York - 6/9/2019
[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.