No. 428
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
June 19, 2019

The Cruelties of Fashion.

“Who is killing all the beautiful blue breasts, and green breasts, and purple breasts, and gold brea
October 12, 2015
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Via Newspapers.com All right, let's talk phantom cows. From the "Ellsworth Reporter," November 8, 1888: A farmer named Burt B.. living in the bottoms between Kansas City Kansas, and Quindaro, tells of a peculiar annoyance which he has with what he claims is a phantom cow. According to the story which he tells, and in which his family acquiesce, a large brindle cow of his dairy got into
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Strange Company - 6/19/2019

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Dressing Miss Lizzie, which is a paper doll book featuring Lizzie’s garments described in newspapers of 1892 -1893 is now …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 5/30/2019

On this date in 2013, Li Xingpong, the former deputy Communist Party chief of Yongcheng city, Henan, was executed for a spree of child rapes. He reportedly exploited his position to take advantage of a number of schoolgirls, and exploited his position to cover it up — growing so bold that he was finally arrested […]
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Executed Today - 6/19/2019
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
Two children playing near their house in Greenwich, New York, the morning of Saturday, October 20, 1889, found a woman’s hat and jacket lying on a log and reported them to a group of men who were working on a road nearby. Reuben Stewart, Superintendent of Streets who was also President of the Village, thought the circumstances were suspicious and went down to take a look for himself. It was a
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Murder By Gaslight - 6/15/2019

I’m not sure which Brooklyn beach this is—Brighton? Coney Island? Wherever we are, it’s clear that this tight circle of ladies in their summer frocks and elaborate hats appears to be enjoying the seashore. So is the next group, a coed clique with two men wearing what look like dark hats and suits! [Bettman-Corbis, 1900]
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Ephemeral New York - 6/16/2019
[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
A Rattling Main. | Another Amorous Parson.

The Cruelties of Fashion.

Cruelties of Fashion

"Fine Feathers Make Fine Birds"

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It is no longer the question of “Who killed Cock Robin?” that “most foul and unusual” assassination which so perturbed our youthful minds, but “Who is killing all the beautiful blue breasts, and green breasts, and purple breasts, and gold breasts. Add the gorgeously-feathered songsters of groves in every clime?” The sad, sad, answer is, “Woman.” Yes, woman, lovely woman, it is at whose door lies the destruction of millions of beautiful birds, in order that her hat, her coat, her cuffs, may be adorned with the gloriously-colored plumage. A melancholy sight it is to behold a charming representative of the female sex divine promenading in a hat upon which is perched some exquisite specimen of ornithology, which, thanks to the skill of the hunter and taxidermist, looks as though it were yet alive and reveling in its native grove. The great car of Juggernaut, Fashion, rolls over the hapless birds, and women, who would swoon at the fall of a sparrow into the claws of the harmless necessary cat, unthinkingly issue the fiat that dooms to destruction thousands upon thousands of beauteously feathered choristers.


Reprinted from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, November 10, 1883.