No. 540
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
October 27, 2021

Burning of Steamers at Cincinnati.

Burning of Steamers on the Ohio River at Cincinnati May 17, 1869.
September 17, 2018
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This Halloween ghost story with a twist appeared in the “Caledonian Mercury,” November 8, 1828.  (Via Newspapers.com)A spiritual visitant, as was supposed, for some days lately afforded subject of wonderment to the natives of the port of Leith. In a house in the Kirkgate, there was heard the  most appalling and unearthly noises, succeeded by the tumbling-about of articles of furniture, after
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Strange Company - 10/27/2021
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[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
Artifact #87Letter side AJeff Smith collection(Click image to enlarge)    t is quite interesting to know you are living in a haunted house." Artifact #87 is a response letter from aunt Emmie Lu Gardner, (Soapy Smith's sister), age 45 to Jefferson Randolph Smith III, (Soapy's son), age 25. It's a typical "keeping up with the family" type letter. Below is the transcribed text.  Waco TexasDec
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 10/26/2021
Despite the judge’s admonitions, Henrietta Robinson covered her face with a black veil as she stood trial for murder. Everything about the defendant was a mystery—her motive for murder, her behavior before and after the crime, and even her true identity. It was well known that “Henrietta Robinson” was an assumed name, but who she really was has never been determined.Read the full story here: The
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Murder By Gaslight - 10/23/2021
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
Up the Hudson. | A Velocipede Riding-School.

Burning of Steamers at Cincinnati.

Burning Steamers

Burning of Steamers on the Ohio River at Cincinnati May 17, 1869. [more]

We illustrate the disastrous conflagration which took place on the Ohio River, at Cincinnati, on the morning of May 12. A little before two o’clock a fire broke out on the Clifton, caused, it is supposed, by the upsetting of a lamp. Five steamers were lying in close proximity and above these six others. In less than half an hour the six steamers below were destroyed, nearly all of them being burned to the water’s edge. Those on board the Clifton were just able to escape with their lives, so r paid was the conflagration. Before the earliest engine could reach the scene four of the boats were already inflames. The heat was so intense that they could only approach the boats with the greatest difficulty. Buy their daring was equal to the emergency, and the fought her fierce foe at close quarters. Some of the bots had on board a large quantity of oil, and as the barrels caught fire they floated out into the river, and then down the stream, making it a stream of burning fire. The Kentucky shore was lighted up, and the flames showed its banks filled with spectators drown from their beds by the magnificent spectacle. A dec-hand was burned to death on the Clifton, and it is reported that five hands on the Cheyenne suffered a similar fate. Three or four men from the Darling were drowns in their attempt to get ashore. The loss of property amounted to nearly $1,00,000, exclusive of cargo.


Reprinted from Harper's Weekly, May 29, 1869.