No. 479
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
July 14, 2020

Packed Away in a Trunk.

James Lavender of Irwinton, Georgia, tries to elude his bondsmen but is found and dragged out.
November 13, 2017
...
...

Patrick Eugene Joseph Prendergast, a madman who assassinated the mayor of Chicago, was hanged on this date in 1894. Prendergast seems to have been a mentally unbalanced character from his early childhood; one might speculatively attribute it to a youthful head injury, or the very early death of his father, or the strains of an […]
More...
Executed Today - 7/13/2020

`
Soapy Smith in July 4th paradeSkagway, Alaska 1898Broadway and Fourth Ave.Note Soapy is on the left of center, behind Joe Brooks.Behind him is Brooks' Pack TrainWhere is the Skaguay Military Company?Where is the Fitzhugh Lee wagon?Courtesy ofKlondike Gold Rush National Historical Park (Click image to enlarge) ow Soapy Smith conned his way to be Grand Marshal of the 4th of July With
More...
Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 7/10/2020

Rhynwick Williams In March 1788, a London woman named Maria Smythe was standing on a friend's doorstep when a stranger suddenly accosted her, muttered some unrecorded but evidently horribly vile comments, stabbed her with a knife, and fled, leaving her slightly wounded. Although she had no way of knowing it at the time, she was the first victim of a bizarre crime spree that would not be
More...
Strange Company - 7/13/2020
It was a perfect weekend to journey out to Tyngsborough to get a glimpse of what was left of the …

Continue reading

More...
Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 6/13/2020
On the morning of March 19, 1875, Charles K. Landis entered the office of the Vineland Independent and demanded to see the paper’s editor and publisher, Uri Carruth. When Carruth entered the room, Landis approached him, waving a newspaper clipping. “Mr. Carruth, did you write that?” Landis shouted. “I did, and I will do it again,” said Carruth. “Will you promise not to attack my wife
More...
Murder By Gaslight - 7/11/2020

In 1976, the 92 acres of landfill that would one day become Battery Park City was in place and ready. Unfortunately New York City—which hoped this new development would help revitalize the lower West Side of Manhattan—was too broke to get construction started until 1980, according to bpcparks.org. So until the early 1980s, an actual […]
More...
Ephemeral New York - 7/13/2020
[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 […]
More...
Early American Crime - 2/7/2019
Turkey Shooting. | Thrilling Railroad Accident.

Packed Away in a Trunk.

Packed in a Trunk

James Lavender of Irwinton, Georgia, tries to elude his bondsmen but is found and dragged out. [more]

A special from Irwinton, Ga., September 12, says: At the April term of Wilkinson Superior Court James Lavender was indicted for shooting at another. Three gentlemen became bondsmen for him. About two months ago it was found he had disappeared. His bondsmen offered a reward for him, and detectives were soon upon his trail, and soon succeeded in settling the fact that he lodged at home, as he was seen to enter the house. The bondsmen were notified of this fact, and they secreted themselves near the house, saw him enter, followed close upon him and demanded admittance. After some delay, were admitted, and a thorough search was instituted, but no Lavender could be found. This was repeated two or three times, when at last on Saturday night last, they again saw him enter the house, and knew he was surely there. They resolved to find him if the ashes had to be sifted. In moving the furniture around, a small trunk was found to be very heavy, and suspicion fell upon this as being the hiding place of the prisoner, but how a man six feet tall could pack himself in so small a trunk was the question. The key was demanded, but Mrs. Lavender said the trunk belonged to her sister who lived three miles away. The party decided to send for the key and investigate contents. A messenger was dispatched for the key and the party sat down to await his return. Something could be heard inside the trunk as a man breathing. In due time the messenger arrived, the trunk was opened, and the imping six-foot Lavender was found coiled up the small trunk. He was brought here yesterday and lodged in jail to await trial in October.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, October 1, 1887.