No. 556
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
January 22, 2022

Scenes from “In the Tenderloin.”

June 16, 2014
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Soapy Smith leading the packArtifact #96-Front Page, Part 1National PopulistMarch 24, 1894Jeff Smith collection(Click image to enlarge)  amblers, Thugs, Murders and Rogues."The alliance of the gamblers and bunco men with the old Fire and Police Board is not a pleasant thing to contemplate. It has come to a pretty pass if the interests of the city and the lives and property of citizens can't
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 1/21/2022

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Youth With Executioner by Nuremberg native Albrecht Dürer … although it’s dated to 1493, which was during a period of several years when Dürer worked abroad. November 13 [1617]. Burnt alive here a miller of Manberna, who however was lately engaged as a carrier of wine, because he and his brother, with the help of […]
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Executed Today - 11/13/2020

 "The Witches' Cove," Follower of Jan MandijnWinter has been here for one month now.And this is the current mood here at Strange Company HQ.A professor has an interesting side job.A board game from 4,000 years ago.Exploring the possibility that John Keats was a grave-robber.This week in Russian Weird looks at a vampire Baroness and her cursed tomb.In which we are confronted with way too much
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Strange Company - 1/21/2022
The Nicholsons of San Francisco owned some farmland near Watsonville in Monterey County, California. In 1873, Mrs. Sarah Nicholson spent all of her time there, working the farm while her husband traveled back and forth from San Francisco, where he had a carriage business.Two years earlier, they bought the land from Matt Tarpey, a wealthy landowner and a big man in Monterey County politics. Tarpey
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Murder By Gaslight - 1/22/2022

An article I recently wrote for the British online magazine, New Politic, is now available online. The article, “The Criminal Origins of the United States of America,” is about British convict transportation to America, which took place between the years 1718 and 1775, and is the subject of my book, Bound with an Iron Chain: […]
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Early American Crime - 12/17/2021
Photographed as he Died. | Venus Caught by the “Cops.”

Scenes from “In the Tenderloin.”

Scenes from 'In the Tenderloin'

Scenes from “In the Tenderloin.”

1. Tom Gould at home in the notorious resort “San Souci.” 2. “This one is on me.”
3. A Rowdydowdy Climax. 4. The “Green Goods” Game.
5. “Will some one please oblige?”

[more]

The production in New York of such as play as “In the Tenderloin” has an importance out of all proportion to the merits of the performance. Considered artistically, the production had no merits. The melodrama was bad, the actors were bad, and the audience was such a one as might be expected at the People’s Theatre on the Bowery. It is significant, however, that shrewd managers who know what their public demands should invest money in putting on the boards what is avowedly and attempt to depict the lowest forms of vice to be found in New York. And more significant still is the probability that these far-seeing gentlemen will make handsome earnings!

What is the substance of “In the Tenderloin” ? A succession of living pictures of metropolitan infamy. Throughout the four acts there pass before the audience, in shameless review, ugly specimens of the dregs and slums that taint Manhattan Island. There are thieves, thugs, assassins, fallen women and the brutes who exploit them, gambles, painted men, dive-keepers and the low company the harbor—cunning scoundrels whose trade is to lure men into their dens and despoil them; infamous creatures who traffic in the dishonor of young girls, “green goods” men, confidence men –all the foul brood of carrion birds that gorge themselves in the moral cesspools of a sinful city. Such is the “play” this high-minded “playwright,” Mr. E. E. Price, has “constructed” ! Such is the play that will possibly make a “barrel of money” for the philanthropists who have mounted it !


Reprinted from The Illustrated American, January 5, 1895.