No. 522
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
May 14, 2021

Getting Above his Business.

How a too presumptuous shoe dealer’s attention to a female customer was resented by her male escort.
August 31, 2015
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"The Witches' Cove," Follower of Jan MandijnYes, it's time for yet another Link Dump.Let's get the show started!The murder of Alice Sterling.The Los Angeles alley that made film history.The theft of the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London.The last WWII German holdouts...were by the North Pole.Before the Wright brothers, there was Aerodrome No. 5.Murders that were allegedly carried out by a
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Strange Company - 5/14/2021

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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

Along with Bertie Whitehead, Abby’s half-sister, May 13th was also the birthday of Helen Craig, famous stage actress best-remembered for Johnny Belinda. Helen Craig, who played Abby in The Legend of Lizzie Borden was born May 13, 1912, a month after Titanic sank. Helen Craig was not a great beauty by Hollywood standards, but a very fine actress. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0185871/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1 Her portrayal of Abby Borden as a mean, greedy glutton, more than any other thing, has affected the way most people think of Abby Borden. Sadly it was not an accurate portrayal. Helen did some television in her later career, most notably The Waltons. She died in New York City in 1986. She was married to stage and film actor John Beal who played Dr. Bowen in Legend of Lizzie Borden. They are seen together in the publicity photo below.
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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 5/13/2021
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

LOOK OUT FOR "SOAPY" SMITHSt. Louis DispatchSeptember 23, 1897(Click image to enlarge) e reported himself in good health and money."   New information showing that Soapy Smith did go to St. Louis to check up on his ailing wife, Mary, after leaving Skagway.  Below is the transcription of the article from the St. Louis Dispatch, September 23, 1897. LOOK OUT FOR “SOAPY” SMITH ― The Smooth Man
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 5/11/2021
[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
Life on a Mississippi Steamboat. | She Liked Her Lager Beer.

Getting Above his Business.

Above His Business

How a too presumptuous shoe dealer’s attention to a female customer was resented by her male escort. [more]

What Happened to a Clerk who Tried a Pair of Shoes on a Girl.

A young man and a very pretty girl entered a shoe store in Chicago one afternoon last week. She was lately from a New England seacoast town, noted for its institutions of learning and intolerance of anything like impropriety. Her cheeks had still the color peculiar to Eastern girls. The clerk advanced briskly, and with his sweetest smile inquired her wants. She wanted a pair of high-button boots, and, having selected a pair to her liking, seated herself in a little place partitioned off for the purpose, to try them on. Her escort stood at a little distance, looking through the window into the street. The clerk was all attention. He sat down beside the girl, and proceeded to put on one of the boots. She looked a little astonished when he sat down beside her, and a moment later she uttered an exclamation of such unmistakable indignation that her escort sprang forward, and, seizing the clerk by the collar, kicked him clear across het room into a case of rubber shoes, which stood half empty.

“Take that you scoundrel,” cried the exasperated student from Yale, tossing a box of shoes on top of the clerk, “and see if you can’t wait on a lady without insulting her.”

The clerk, too much scared to move, lay doubled up in the box, when the proprietor came quickly forward.

“Call the patrol and have that man arrested,” cried the clerk feebly, as he saw his employer approaching. “He assaulted me; he’s a dangerous man.”

“Yes,” retorted the student, as he piled two more shoe boxes on the whimpering clerk, “call the patrol and have this bundle of garbage dumped into some vacant lot.”

The proprietor apologized to the young couple and assisting the humiliated clerk out of the shoebox, told him to put on his hat and leave the store.


Reprinted from the National Police Gazette, December 29, 1883.