No. 543
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
October 18, 2021

Being Initiated.

March 13, 2012
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The "Memoirs" of Sir John Reresby (1634-1689) contain a reference to a minor witch trial which somehow morphed into one of the oddest "ghost" sightings on record: Leaving the public affairs for a while, at this untoward pass, I would venture to take notice of a private occurrence which made some noise at York. The assizes being there held on the 7th of March, 1686-7, an old woman was
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Strange Company - 10/18/2021
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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
Sometimes a painting has so much rich detail, it just knocks you out. That was my reaction to this magnificent scene of the Third Avenue Railroad Depot between 65th and 66th Streets, painted two years after the depot opened in 1857. Amazingly, the painter of this “precise representation” of the depot, William H. Schenck, was […]
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Ephemeral New York - 10/18/2021
[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
A very anxious and excited man arrived at the jail in Ann Arbor, Michigan, around midnight, October 22, 1871. He told the jailer he was unwell and wanted to sleep in the jail that night. The jailor decided it was in everyone’s best interest to give him what he wanted. As he locked the cell door, the man burst out crying but would not say why. The following morning the jailor released him. The man
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Murder By Gaslight - 10/16/2021
First response from the Sourdough Associationto Jefferson R. Smith from Clara JohnsonJeff Smith collection(Click image to enlarge)     lease try to attend and thus forward the spirit of the Sourdough." Soapy Smith's son contacts the Sourdough Reunion, 1951      Seventy years ago, at some date previous to February 15, 1951, Soapy Smith's son, sixty-five year old Jefferson Randolph Smith III
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 9/17/2021
Hospital Horrors. | Inspector Thomas F. Byrnes.

Being Initiated.

Freemason girls

New York, NY, Oct 1880 - A couple of inquisitive damsels, anxious to learn the secrets of free masonry are given a dose of an initiation which cools their curiosity. [more]

A Ceremony Which Proved Disastrous to Bustles

A couple of very inquisitive young ladies were secretly initiated (in a horn) into the mysteries of free masonry in this city. Their beaux were both members of  a lodge, and were tormented on every occasion to tell their sweethearts the secrets of the order. At last the young men resolved to play a practical joke to cure the girls of their curiosity. So on a certain evening they took the pair to the lodge-room, hired a small boy in the neighborhood to bring in a fractious billy goat and started the initiatory services. One of the girls was made to climb one of the supporting beams, while the other was told to ride the goat. Billy was not in the bargain and dodged away, and left his would-be rider sprawling, whereupon he open up an attack. He prosecuted it so vigorously that interference became necessary. Meanwhile, both of the girls had lost their curiosity.


Reprinted from The National Police Gazette, October 23, 1880