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

Serpent and Dove.

October 2, 2012
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Hanged April 23, 1845 for poisoning her brother Charles Dimond — and commonly suspected to have offed several other family members by means of arsenic — the “Shapwick Murderess” Sarah Freeman insisted her innocence to her very last breath. “I am as innocent as a lamb,” she said to the hangman William Calcraft as he […]
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ExecutedToday.com - 4/23/2019

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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
Serpent and Dove. | "Four Aces."

Serpent and Dove.

Serpent and Dove

How They Meet Behind the Scenes—Temptations and Trials of the High Kickers. [more]

The ballet girl has other duties than those involved by her theatrical connection. Many a woman who spends her nights posturing before the pubic does so to secure the necessary food and shelter for some one dear to her. In Paris it is a regular practice among the girls to bring their sewing and knitting to the theatre, and in the intervals of rehearsal and performance when they have a a short respite from toil to busily ply the needle. Many even do quite an amount of lace work, tetting, embroidery and similar tasks for money in that precious period of leisure.

But our ballet girl has a more pleasing task before her.

She is laboring for her little one.

Baby is sound asleep in the cradles in that poor garret mother works day and night to keep between his little head and the winter sky. But the memory of his rosy face follows her through the snowy streets, into the blazing theatre and haunts her as she moves about the gay an tawdry scene. Even the lecherous old debauchee, the moving man of money and corruption who totters from wing to wing seeking fresh food for his debased appetite stops short of her, and hesitates before he utters his foul propositions for her. There is that in her employment that paralyses even his shameless tongue. He looks upon a mother working for her child, and though the gloomy visits of his debased life he sees himself a child and remembers that there was a time when he knelt at his mother’s knee, and had no conscience to bring him troubled dreams.

 

Reprinted from The National Police Gazette, October 16, 1880.