No. 521
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
May 10, 2021

She Had a High Old Time.

August 13, 2013
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Margery WrenUnder normal circumstances, one would expect that anyone who knew they were about to die as the result of a brutal attack would spend every bit of their remaining strength towards bring their murderer to justice.  However, the following case proved to be very far from normal.  An old woman’s murder, which, at first, seemed fairly simple and straightforward, soon took a puzzling turn
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Strange Company - 5/10/2021

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"Your Aunt Emmie Lu died"Artifact #84-LetterJeff Smith Collection     mma Lu "Emmie" Smith(Abt. 1867 - May 3, 1915)   My great-grandaunt, Emma Lu Smith, the oldest sister of Jefferson Randolph "Soapy" Smith, was born in Coweta County, Georgia around 1867. She was ten years old when her mother passed away in Round Rock, Texas in 1877.(l to r) Emma Lu, Maurice Gregory Moriarty, Eva
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 5/4/2021

A few weeks ago, Ephemeral New York put together a post about the former Czech neighborhood once centered around 72nd Street between First and Second Avenues on the Upper East Side. The post generated many comments, with readers either reminiscing about a vanished enclave they remember well or wishing Manhattan still had pockets of ethnic […]
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Ephemeral New York - 5/9/2021
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
8-year-old Alice Sterling disappeared from the steps in front of her father’s Boston barbershop the afternoon of April 10, 1895. The three-day search for Alice ended at a shallow grave in the floor of a nearby barn. Angus Gilbert, a friend of the Sterling family especially fond of little Alice, lived in a room above the barn. Gilbert was charged with her
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Murder By Gaslight - 5/8/2021

With the advent of AI imaging now found on My Heritage and elsewhere, and free programs which will colorize old photographs, clearer details are being revealed every day. In this famous crime scene photograph of Abby Borden, the bed was removed so that Mr. Walsh, the hired photographer, could get a full body view of Abby Borden. With new techniques in cleaning up old photos, colorizing them and sharpening the details, now the sewing machine in the northwest corner of the room comes into sharper view as well as the tapestry folding camp chair. The two perfume bottles on the dresser, a vase and a framed photo can be readily seen as well as Mr. Walsh’s camera in the mirror as it stands in the doorway. The colorizing method also tinted the carpet maroon, which indeed was the color of the carpet in the guest room. But most astonishing is the dark pool of bloodstain around the head of Abby Borden which, with amplifying the contrast, shows very plainly. The bureau wood tone and burled wood panels appear clearly as well as the drawer pulls. The pattern on the carpet is somewhat distorted and elongated but the pattern is very plain to see. You can even see where the carpet has been patched in against the right wall. The sewing machine still has its cover in place which would hint at Abby never living long enough to run up those pillowcases and you can see her sewing basket on the bureau opened up. The folding camp chair has been moved from above her head, leaning against the wall to its position in this photo. Abby Borden herself was moved at least once before this photo was taken, Dr. Bowen having turned her over after the body was found around 11:35 a.m. This is a sample of a 1890 Singer machine with the cover which closely matches the one we see in this photo.
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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 5/6/2021
[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
Unsupported Transit. | First Automobile in Manhattan.

She Had a High Old Time.

She had a high old time.

Josephine Miller, a well-known actress, enjoys the saintly quarters of the Rev. Julian Smyth, Boston Highlands. [more]

An Actress Accused of Stealing.

Josephine Miller, an amateur actress and public reader of high reputation, was arrested the afternoon of Oct. 4 on the charge of stealing property from the residence of the Rev. Julian Smyth, pastor of the Church of the New Jerusalem, at Boston Highlands. When Mr. Smyth made preparations to start on his summer vacation in June, he let his residence, at 26 Montrose street, to Miss Miller. On Sept. 1 Mr. Smyth and his family returned home and found their house vacated and over $200 worth of bric-a-brac, house furnishings, etc., missing. There were dozens of empty wine bottles left behind, and soon bills came in for several cases of champagne, which had been charged to the clergyman. He made inquiries of his neighbors and the police and learned that the house had been every night the scene of the wildest revelry, which lasted usually until sunrise.

The police hadn’t interfered because the place had been the resort of the best known bloods about town. Mr. Smyth was scandalized and caused the arrest of his former tenant.

Inspectors Burke and Robbinson tried every means to ascertain where Miss Miller was stopping, but not until this morning did they learn that she was living in the Hotel Albemarle, on Columbus avenue. They went to her apartments, and there found a considerable part of the stolen property. More of the property was found stored away in the cellar of the hotel and at the Boston Storage company’s building on the Back Bay. When questioned at police headquarters, Miss Miller said that she did not intend to steal the property, but that it was packed up by mistake.

Miss Miller is a strikingly handsome young woman of about twenty-five years with dark hair and eyes. When taken to police headquarters she was attired in an elegant costume. She has appeared in many of the entertainments given throughout New England as a reader, and in “Pygmalion and Galatea” and “Love a Rainstorm.”


Reprinted from: The National Police Gazette, Oct. 22, 1887.