No. 423
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
April 23, 2019

She Had a High Old Time.

August 13, 2013
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Spanish general Jose Aranguren was shot on this date in 1939 by Franco’s Spain. A brigadier general of the Civil Guard — an internal-to-Spain paramilitary/law enforcement force that remained predominantly loyal to the Republic during the Spanish Civil War — Aranguren (the very cursory English Wikipedia entry | the more detailed Spanish) at the outset […]
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ExecutedToday.com - 4/22/2019

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The Savoy bookstore in Westerly, R.I. was cram-packed with Borden case enthusiasts this evening as author Cara Robertson held forth …

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Lizzie Borden : Warps & Wefts - 3/26/2019
"Roses are red, Violets are blue, And my cat is, too." Cats and weird little stories from the past.  What could be more Strange Company than that?  For this reason, I'm delighted to temporarily pass the blog's steering wheel over to Peggy Gavan, whose upcoming book, "The Cat Men of Gotham: Tales of Feline Friendships in Old New York" (Rutgers University Press, May 3, 2019,) is now available
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Strange Company - 4/22/2019

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
Rosa Buckstahlen and Ida Bjornstad, servants in the Chicago mansion of Amos J. Snell, were awakened at 2:00 the morning of February 8, 1888, by the sound of a gunshot from the floor below. They heard someone shout “Get out! Get out of here!” followed by more gunshots, then silence. Thinking that all was well—or more likely, too frightened to do anything else—the girls went back to sleep.
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Murder by Gaslight - 4/20/2019
I count six transportation options Brooklynites had in 1915, according to this rich and detailed postcard of Flatbush Avenue. There’s the elevated train, of course, as well as a streetcar, automobile, bicycle, horse and wagon, and of course, getting around on foot, as most of the crowd seems to be doing—when they’re not mugging for […]
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Ephemeral New York - 4/21/2019
[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
Unsupported Transit. | First Automobile in Manhattan.

She Had a High Old Time.

She had a high old time.

Josephine Miller, a well-known actress, enjoys the saintly quarters of the Rev. Julian Smyth, Boston Highlands. [more]

An Actress Accused of Stealing.

Josephine Miller, an amateur actress and public reader of high reputation, was arrested the afternoon of Oct. 4 on the charge of stealing property from the residence of the Rev. Julian Smyth, pastor of the Church of the New Jerusalem, at Boston Highlands. When Mr. Smyth made preparations to start on his summer vacation in June, he let his residence, at 26 Montrose street, to Miss Miller. On Sept. 1 Mr. Smyth and his family returned home and found their house vacated and over $200 worth of bric-a-brac, house furnishings, etc., missing. There were dozens of empty wine bottles left behind, and soon bills came in for several cases of champagne, which had been charged to the clergyman. He made inquiries of his neighbors and the police and learned that the house had been every night the scene of the wildest revelry, which lasted usually until sunrise.

The police hadn’t interfered because the place had been the resort of the best known bloods about town. Mr. Smyth was scandalized and caused the arrest of his former tenant.

Inspectors Burke and Robbinson tried every means to ascertain where Miss Miller was stopping, but not until this morning did they learn that she was living in the Hotel Albemarle, on Columbus avenue. They went to her apartments, and there found a considerable part of the stolen property. More of the property was found stored away in the cellar of the hotel and at the Boston Storage company’s building on the Back Bay. When questioned at police headquarters, Miss Miller said that she did not intend to steal the property, but that it was packed up by mistake.

Miss Miller is a strikingly handsome young woman of about twenty-five years with dark hair and eyes. When taken to police headquarters she was attired in an elegant costume. She has appeared in many of the entertainments given throughout New England as a reader, and in “Pygmalion and Galatea” and “Love a Rainstorm.”


Reprinted from: The National Police Gazette, Oct. 22, 1887.