No. 452
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
December 11, 2019

Heroism of a Society Belle.

The Bravery of charming Miss Jaffray, the daughter of a New York millionaire, saves many lives at Ir
December 28, 2015
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(Thanks to Robert Elder of Last Words of the Executed — the blog, and the book — for the guest post. This post originally appeared on the Last Words blog. Fans of this here site are highly likely to enjoy following Elder’s own pithy, almanac-style collection of last words on the scaffold. -ed.) “You see […]
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Executed Today - 12/9/2019

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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

The following is the tale of how one seemingly completely ordinary young Englishman earned an unenviable place in the legal books--and, more importantly to our modern generation--his own Wikipedia entry. Christopher Slaughterford was born in Westbury, Surrey, sometime in 1684. His father was a miller. He spent his early life apprenticing at a farm in Goldaming, after which he served other
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Strange Company - 12/9/2019
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
William J. Elder, aged 61, was addicted to drink and when under its influence was violent and uncontrollable. His wife tolerated his abuse as long as she could then packed up and moved out of their farm in Hammonton, New Jersey, leaving behind her two sons, Robert and Mathew. In 1887, 19-year-old Robert Elder moved out of his father’s house as well. 12-Year old Mathew Elder was still
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Murder By Gaslight - 12/7/2019

It’s the blue hour in “Rainy Day, New York,” a 1940 painting by Leon Dolice—a Vienna-born artist who came to Manhattan in the 1920s. The sun has sunk below the horizon, and sidewalks and buildings are cast in a blueish glow, illuminated by streetlamps, car headlights, and the reflection of rain-slicked streets. I’m not sure […]
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Ephemeral New York - 12/9/2019
[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
Pugilistic Females. | A Fatal Accident Spoiled the Fun.

Heroism of a Society Belle.

Heroism

The Bravery of charming Miss Jaffray, the daughter of a New York millionaire, saves many lives at Irvington, N. Y. [more]

The people of Irvington, N. Y., had tier New Year celebration disturbed by a skating accident which resulted in the death of two boys, both sons of well-known residents often neighborhood. Hamilton’s pond, a sheet of water eight or ten acres in size and dangerously deep, was thought to have a sufficient thickness of ice to be bearing, and consequently a holiday crowd trooped to it. Skating was going on merrily about noon, when some rash youths ventured on an unsafe part of the ice. Their foolhardiness had the usual result. The ice broke, and they as well as others less deserving of a cold bath were plunged into the water.

If it had not been for the forethought of Howard S. Jaffray, the well-known yachtsmen and man of business and the presence of mind of his daughter, a serious accident, involving a large loss of life, could not well have been avoided. Miss Jaffray rushed for a life line, which her father had provided for emergencies of this kind, and her rare presence of mind was the means of saving all of those immersed, excepting two boys. Paul Cannon and Joseph Gibbons.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, January 19, 1889.