No. 499
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
November 29, 2020

Pretty Mary Nelson’s Downfall.

Wine suppers, fine dresses and rolls of greenbacks cause a young and fascinating Cincinnati girl to
August 29, 2016
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Thomas Marshall WordNov 7, 1857 - Feb 5, 1929(Click image to enlarge)    OAPY SMITH RELATED TO ONE OF THE VIGILANTES THAT HELPED END HIS REIGN! December 2009: Fred Wood contacted me as a descendant of Tom Marshall Word, one of the vigilantes that helped end the reign of Soapy Smith in Skagway, Alaska. That alone was very interesting, and I was very happy to hear from him, but at that time he
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 11/27/2020

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Youth With Executioner by Nuremberg native Albrecht Dürer … although it’s dated to 1493, which was during a period of several years when Dürer worked abroad. November 13 [1617]. Burnt alive here a miller of Manberna, who however was lately engaged as a carrier of wine, because he and his brother, with the help of […]
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Executed Today - 11/13/2020

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Strange Company - 11/27/2020
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
The morning of February 8, 1898, the nude, dismembered body of a man was found floating in the East River, near a ferryboat slip on Roosevelt Street, New York City. The entire front portion of the head was missing, leaving only the right ear and a portion of the back of the head. The left leg was missing from a point just above the knee and the right leg had been cut off at the hip. Both arms
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Murder By Gaslight - 11/28/2020

It’s been a good century or so since New Yorkers celebrated Evacuation Day. But in the late 18th and 19th centuries, this holiday—on November 25—was a major deal, marked by festive dinners, parades, and a deep appreciation of the role the city played in the Revolutionary War. Evacuation Day honors the day in 1783 when […]
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Ephemeral New York - 11/23/2020
[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
September. | Athletics.

Pretty Mary Nelson’s Downfall.

Pretty Mary Nelson

Wine suppers, fine dresses and rolls of greenbacks cause a young and fascinating Cincinnati girl to cast aside the mantle of virtue. [more]

Until a short time ago one of the best known young women on Walnut Hills, Cincinnati, O., was Mary Nelson, the pretty daughter of the late wholesale confectioner of that name. Confectioner Nelson was one of the best known merchants in the city, and his chain of stores received a liberal share of the patronage in the various localities in which they were situated.

Shortly before his death he became heavily involved and was forced to make an assignment. Business reverses weighed heavily on the old man’s mind, and finally caused his death he following his wife to the grave, the latter dying a short time before the former. The death of Nelson left his daughter Mary an orphan in the world. She receive a liberal education, and was coached in the classics and language. Not only had her general education been looked after, but she was also sent to a conservatory of music on Fourth Street, where her musical training was attended to. Mary had also been taught book-keeping by a private tutor, and when her father died he accepted a position with a well-known local firm. Her salary, however was very modest, and she found it necessary to solicit the aid of wealthy relatives in Philadelphia. Her Quaker City connections did not turn a deaf ear upon her, but continued to her support until a short time ago.

When she no longer received aid form the East, Mary became despondent and lost her position. She became acquainted with a set of fast young men who introduced her to their female companions. Among the latter was a George Street Courtesan named Corinne, who is an inmate of Cora Mack’s resort. The latter became infatuated with Mary, and told her how she could become a queen of the demi-monde if she would cast aside the mantle of virtue. Corinne insisted on Mary taking a supper with her and during the repast she showed the latter her extensive wardrobe and a large roll of money. Nothing further was needed, and Mary’s downfall was accomplished. She saw visions of finery and wealth during her sleep, and finally reluctantly consented to become Corinne’s running mate at the above named resort where she is now ensconced in one of the apartments.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, October 7, 1893.