No. 465
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
March 31, 2020

Collecting Beer Money.

A gang of female rogues, of the East Side, New York, work a little racket of their own.
September 15, 2015
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Theodore Dreiser‘s classic novel An American Tragedy was inspired by an infamous 1906 murder whose author, Chester Gillette, was electrocuted at Auburn Prison on this date in 1908. It was a crime tailor-made for the burgeoning mass media, popular and pretty 20-year-old Grace Brown gone to work at the Cortland, N.Y. Gillette Skirt Factory where […]
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Executed Today - 3/30/2020

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When New York’s first cholera epidemic hit in 1832 and killed 3,515 people (out of a population of 250,000), the poor took the blame. “Many city officials implicated the residents of the poorest neighborhoods for contracting cholera, blaming their weak character, instead of viewing the epidemic as a public health problem,” stated Anne Garner, in […]
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Ephemeral New York - 3/29/2020

Felix B. Mulgrew 7/30/1854 - 5/30/1915 Karen Hendricks collection (Click image to enlarge) ELIX B. MULGREW friend or victim of Soapy Smith's? Karen Hendricks is the great-great-granddaughter of Felix B. Mulgrew. Mulgrew was a newspaper man, entrepreneur, Klondiker, and had some running correspondence with his friend, Jefferson Randolph "Soapy" Smith. Through Karen we learn
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 3/30/2020
Beginning on January 1st, W&W will begin featuring fascinating short clippings from the Fall River papers and other newspapers from …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 12/29/2019
Elizabeth Ragan As Arthur Ragan lay dying of a stomach ailment, in Piqua, Ohio, on April 3, 1855, his wife, Elizabeth took the physician aside and told him she believed her husband had poisoned himself. She said she thought the cream of tartar he had been taking for his stomach was actually arsenic. Mr. Ragan died that day, and a post-mortem examination proved his wife correct, he had
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Murder By Gaslight - 3/28/2020

Accounts of haunted dwellings tend to be pretty bog-standard stuff. Spectral figures drifting over the lawn, mysterious rappings at night. Murder victims unable to find peace, or villains with guilty consciences that won’t allow them to rest. To be honest, when you’ve read enough of them, real-life ghost stories can get pretty dull. For that reason, when you come across one that combines
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Strange Company - 3/30/2020
[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
The Bicycle Tournament at Springfield, Mass. | Raiding the Joints.

Collecting Beer Money.

Collecting Beer Money

A gang of female rogues, of the East Side, New York, work a little racket of their own. [more]

A New York reporter, while at Seventy-first street, between First and Second avenues, almost lost his eye-glasses and his composure when a girl accosted him and said: “Hey, there cully, chip in wunst for the beer.” She was backed up by half a dozen other amazons, all of whom wore their hair in straight bangs. “Hurry up, now. Chuck in your dust.” The girl took an affectionate grasp on the reporter’s coat-collar and the others closed around. Then the scribe went hurridly into his pocket, flashed up his second last quarter and gave it the female rough. Then they all scattered suddenly in answer to a signal, and a moment later the graceful outlines of Detective Salmon, of the Twenty-eighth precinct, loomed up. He laughed hastily. “You’ve been caught by “Lena’s gang,” he said, “and I suppose they saw the color of your coin. It’s just as well you did give them something, because they use their hands vigorously. Their leader in their neighborhood is a rather pretty Polish Jewess named Lena Meyerheimer, who works when she is not idle at one of the cigar factories up on First avenue. She and her younger sisters are about as tough as young girls can be. The congregate with and emulate the boys of the Sylvan Star gang. Most all her followers are cigar makers, too. That trade seems to have especial attraction for bad girls.”


Reprinted from the National Police Gazette, October 18, 1884.