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

An Adventure with a Sea-Lion.

With open mouths and protruding tusks, they warn the intruder agents too near an approach.
March 26, 2018
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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
Her Wheel Was Her Ruin. | His Wife Danced the Coochee-Coochee.

An Adventure with a Sea-Lion.

Adventure with a Sea-Lion On the rocky islands off the coast of California, thousands of sea-lions may often be seen reposing in easy indifference, and forming an immense menagerie. At the approach of a stranger they generally take to the water, unless they are watching over their young, when with open mouths and protruding tusks, they warn the intruder agents too near an approach.

A recent visitor to the haunts of these animals thus relates his experience: “My companion and myself had spend some time watching the young seals at play with each other, and listening to the low moaning of the older ones, that sounded very like the braying of a mule. Occasionally, as we threw a stone among them, the majority hastened off to the water and disappeared beneath the surface. Desirous of bringing away a trophy, my friend caught a young calf, and was carrying it off in triumph, when an old warrior, evidently patriarch of the tribe, suddenly advanced upon him, seized the skirt of his coat, and with one angry shake and a loud and fearful roar, tore it from his body. This part of the programme had not been anticipated and we gladly relinquished our booty and made good our escape, not deeming a reputation of the experience in the least desirable.”


Reprinted from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, May 26, 1866.