No. 479
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
July 09, 2020

She Had a High Old Time.

August 13, 2013
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The aptly named Christopher Slaughterford hanged on this date in 1709 — condemned, quite possibly wrongfully, for murdering his fiancee Jane Young. Slaughterford owned a maltings at Shalford in Surrey and was known to be paying court to Miss Young when the latter went missing on the evening of the 5th of October, 1703. She […]
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Executed Today - 7/9/2020

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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 Who doesn’t love a good Demon Cat story? The “Harrisburg Telegraph,” July 30, 1902: Lancaster, July 30. Mrs. Augustus Stiffel, wife of an ironworker, says she is bewitched and lays the blame for her condition on a big black cat. According to her story, the cat, which is as large as a good-sized dog, with eyes like balls of fire, visits her house nearly every night, and
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Strange Company - 7/8/2020
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
Mamie Kelly Fourteen-year-old Mamie Kelly of San Francisco, had a crush on the boy next door, nineteen-year-old Aleck Goldenson. Though Aleck was the kind of boy who appeals to teenaged girls—an artist and a bit of a hoodlum—her family had no use for him at all. In spite of this, Mamie took every opportunity be near him. Aleck first enjoyed her attention, then tolerated it, then actively
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Murder By Gaslight - 7/4/2020

New York once had lots of neighborhood doughnut places, and this stamp-size shop on Avenue U in Sheepshead Bay keeps the tradition alive. Also known as Shaikh’s Place, Donut Shoppe still has the original sign installed by the shop’s first owner decades ago. The shop has diversified over the years, adding to the menu tacos, […]
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Ephemeral New York - 7/6/2020
[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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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.