No. 444
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
October 21, 2019

“For Members Only.”

November 10, 2014
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Via historic-uk.com It is, of course, common knowledge that one of the precipitating factors of World War I was the murder of Franz Ferdinand and his wife. However, it is largely forgotten that another cold-blooded assassination very nearly sparked an armed conflict between America and Great Britain. This week, let us remember the Great Dead Pig War of 1859. The main stage for our
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Strange Company - 10/21/2019

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Lizzie’s Old School Chum, Augusta Poole (Mrs. Cyrus Tripp) Shelley M. Dziedzic, October 2019 (all rights reserved) During the hot …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 10/19/2019

George Grosz made a name for himself drawing and painting caricatures of life in his native Germany during the postwar Weimar era. But this Expressionist painter who helped lead the Dada movement left Germany in 1932 and relocated to New York City, turning his cynical eye on his adopted home city. “New York Harbor,” from […]
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Ephemeral New York - 10/20/2019
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
In October 1893, 64-year-old Patrick Finney of New Bedford, Pennsylvania, was visiting his old friend and drinking buddy James Campbell in Hazelton, Ohio.  Campbell had been a saloonkeeper in Pittsburgh before retiring and moving with his wife to Hazelton, a suburb of Youngstown.  As was their custom, Finney and the Campbells were drinking heavily the night of October 9. James Campbell had a
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Murder By Gaslight - 10/19/2019

Dictator Muammar Gaddafi (several alternate transliterations are familiar, such as Qaddafi and Gadhafi) was killed by his captors during the Libyan civil war on this date in 2011 — an act very much on the extrajudicial and summary side of the foggy borderlands defining an “execution”. Libya’s ruler since deposing the British-supported King Idris way […]
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Executed Today - 10/20/2019
[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
Aboriginal Footprints. | Bulldozing a Voter.

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A Lot of Boy Burglars Fit Up and Run a Snug Little Club of Their Own in Boston, Massachusetts. [more]

A Den of Thieves.

A special from Boston, Mass., October 5, says: To run club rooms in the proceeds of burglaries is the latest exploit of Boston youths. Five lads averaging 15 years of age, are behind the bars because of their jovial tastes, and another in in Montreal from fear of arrest. They had fitted up in an elaborate style a front room in a house on Tabor street, at the Highlands, and had named their organization “The Tabor Club.” It appears to have been well supplied with cash; also with cigars. When the members visited the theatre in a body they had plenty of money to buy a box if they desired, They also had plenty of money for supper afterward. The clubroom had lots of change in it at all hours. A big box in the corner had lots of change in it at all hours. This bore the inscription in small letters, “For members only.” Only in one instance in the club’s existence did the box get empty, according to the police. This was several weeks ago, when one member suspected another of taking the last cent to secure a bunch of matches. Two guns were hung on one side of the wall. There was a big hitting bag in the centre. The library opposite the main door was quite extensive. Among the volumes it contained the following half-dime novels: “Deadwood Dick’s Device,” “Kit Harefoot, or Old Powderface,” “Corporal Cannon the man of Forty Deeds,” “Pier Detective, or Phil’s Big Skirmish.”


Reprinted from The National Police Gazette, October 29, 1887.