No. 484
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
August 14, 2020

Welcome to The National Night Stick

Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America
February 16, 2011
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“The Witches’ Cove,” Follower of Jan Mandijn This week's Link Dump will leave you on the edge of your seat! In one manner or other. Who the hell was Bible John? Why the hell did this woman tickle so many chins? What the hell was the Hollinwell Incident? What the hell is the Waffle Rock? Indigenous Australians had banana farms. Meanwhile, in the world of paddleboarding goats...
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Strange Company - 8/14/2020

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There are so many questions and things to ponder when considering the Borden case in its entirety, but let’s just …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 8/8/2020

Welsh coal miner Dic Penderyn was hanged on this date in 1831 to crush a labor rising. Richard Lewis was his real name — he got his nickname from the village of his residence, Penderyn, which is also true of Wales’s most famous whisky — dug carbon out of the ground to serve the mighty […]
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Executed Today - 8/13/2020
The Web of Arachne by Fernand Le Quesne (1856 - 1932) Colorized by Curtis Byrne (Click image to enlarge) HE WEB OF ARACHNE COLORIZED. It's great to see what this painting may have originally looked like.      As I recently hung my framed print of The Web of Arachne, by Fernand Le Quesne (1856 - 1932), in my new place, I wondered why the artist didn't colorize it? Then I
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 8/4/2020
John Dilleber was a wealthy 28-year-old wholesale liquor dealer who lived and worked in New York City. In June 1975, he divorced his wife, left his home, and took up residence at the Westminster Hotel on 16th Street.  It was Dilleber’s habit, after dinner, to wander the halls of the hotel while smoking a cigar. Romaine Dillon, another of the Westminster Hotel’s outcast residents, was much
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Murder By Gaslight - 8/8/2020

As a social realist painter, William Glackens often depicted scenes of day-to-day life he witnessed in city parks, particularly Washington Square Park. (Makes sense; he lived on Washington Square South in the early 1900s.) This time, he took his inspiration from Central Park. “The Drive, Central Park” was completed in 1905 and likely shows the […]
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Ephemeral New York - 8/10/2020
[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 […]
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Early American Crime - 2/7/2019
“Daredevil” Steve Brodie |

Welcome to The National Night Stick

Chorus-Girls-Panic

Crime, eccentricity, and the sporting life—that covers a lot of ground. Very simply, The National Night Stick is a history of America’s dark side.  Modeled after the “flash press” of the 19th Century, the Night Stick will deliver stories of the rogues, libertines, conmen, mountebanks and political grafters who made America what it is. Like the National Police Gazette, whose stunning illustrations brought criminals, prizefighters, and tight-clad chorus girls to every barbershop in America, The National Night Stick will endeavor to continually shock and dazzle the reader.

Crime
We will present all facets of 19th century crime. “Rogue's Corner” features a weekly mug-shot and criminal biography of a noted ne’er-do-well from the pages of Inspector Thomas Byrnes’s  Professional Criminals of America (aka Rogues’ Gallery.) We will also include a link Murder by Gaslight, the definitive site for 19th Century American Murder. And more often than not, the feature stories will include a bit of larceny.

Crush Collision

Eccentricity
We will bring you the big ideas that came from an era in America when anything seemed possible—not the ideas that led to progress and invention, but dangerous ideas like train wrecks as entertainment, secret societies and private armies, religious movements that failed miserably and political machines that were all too successful.

The Sporting Life
We will visit those utterly disreputable but raucously joyous institutions found in every American city: saloons, vaudeville houses, dime museums, boxing rings, gambling hells, opium dens, and brothels.

 As The Sunday Flash said in 1841:

"We follow vice and folly where a police officer dare not show his head, as the small, but intrepid weasel pursues vermin in paths which the licensed cat or dog cannot enter.”

 

Welcome to the National Night Stick!