No. 444
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
October 18, 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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On this date in 1902, Jim Buchanan was tried, convicted, sentence, and immediately executed in Nagocdoches, Texas … with his full assent. Barely a week earlier, a word had been received of a “prosperous farmer”, Duncan Hicks, found murdered with his wife and his daughter near the village of Attoyac. Although Buchanan was swiftly arrested […]
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Executed Today - 10/17/2019

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By Jo Anne Giovino with photography and research by Barbara Morrissey and Kristin Pepe *(All rights reserved, August 2019) Although …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 7/31/2019

Via Newspapers.com The love lives of some people are...complicated. Especially when ghosts are involved. The "St. Louis Post-Dispatch," August 4, 1909: Mrs. Bessie Mendelsohn of 4457A Cottage avenue said Wednesday she was feeling fine spiritually and otherwise, now that her divorce suit against Jacob Mendelsohn, who has a spirit affinity, is on its way to trial in the materialistic
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Strange Company - 10/16/2019
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
John Delaney met Mary Jane Cox in October 1886; she smiled at him as they passed each other on Fulton Street in Brooklyn, and he turned to follow her. She was 17-years-old, he was 15. Mary Jane did not refuse his advances outright, but gave him her address and told him to write to her. Their relationship progressed quickly, and eight months later, Mary Jane told John she was pregnant, and he
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Murder By Gaslight - 10/12/2019

In this photo, some of the letters look red, others are definitely pink. No matter what colors the letters are, this gorgeous glowing sign for Neil’s Coffee Shop on 70th Street and Lexington Avenue is proof that New York bars and restaurants still feature the city’s iconic iridescent neon store signage. Neil’s is an under-the-radar […]
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Ephemeral New York - 10/13/2019
[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.