No. 542
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
January 28, 2022

"He Loves Me; He Loves Me Not."

How Marie Played a Romantic Trick on Her Lover and Brought Him to Time.
April 9, 2019
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Via Newspapers.comThe following little meteorological oddity was reported in the “Ogden Standard,” January 7, 1909:Santa Cruz, Cal. Jan 6.--A remarkable phenomenon that has caused wonder and consternation in the neighborhood of the Santa Cruz Beach was reported by Mrs. W.H. Burns of 240 Riverside avenue this city this morning and when investigated was fully corroborated by residents of the
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Strange Company - 1/26/2022
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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
Soapy Smith leading the packArtifact #96-Front Page, Part 1National PopulistMarch 24, 1894Jeff Smith collection(Click image to enlarge)  amblers, Thugs, Murders and Rogues."The alliance of the gamblers and bunco men with the old Fire and Police Board is not a pleasant thing to contemplate. It has come to a pretty pass if the interests of the city and the lives and property of citizens can't
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 1/21/2022
Artist's rendition of the Pearl Bryan murder from The Mysterious Murder of Pearl Bryan, Or, The Headless Horror. Cincinnati: Barclay & Co., 1896. Read Pearl Bryan's story in the new book,So Far from Home: The Pearl Bryan Murder.Now available at Amazon.
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Murder By Gaslight - 1/27/2022
An article I recently wrote for the British online magazine, New Politic, is now available online. The article, “The Criminal Origins of the United States of America,” is about British convict transportation to America, which took place between the years 1718 and 1775, and is the subject of my book, Bound with an Iron Chain: […]
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Early American Crime - 12/17/2021
Rbohwg lemhsh | Rip Roaring Fun.

"He Loves Me; He Loves Me Not."

How Marie Played a Romantic Trick on Her Lover and Brought Him to Time.

Here's a young girl of romantic temperament who yet would not sit like Patience on a monument smiling at grief or pine in a green and yellow melancholy until her lover made up his mind to declare his ear­nest Intentions. Oh, no; she was one of your right sort who didn't believe in picking a rose to pieces leaf by leaf in a garden while interrogating blind luck whether he loved her or loved her not. She was a New Orleans girl and her name was Marie Ravineau. He was a house painter and a good hearted fellow with everything admirable about him except that he would not talk right out. His name was Henry L. Jackson.

Well, On the 29th ult.. Henry was sitting on a swinging scaffold made by a horizontally placed ladder hung from the roof by ropes attached to either end. He was painting the front of a four story house. Marie went me up to that roof, swing herself down the rope to the ladder and with a knife began to hack at the ropes.

"Does he love me?" said she, "Oh, say you do."           

But Henry didn't cackle worth a cent. Then she cut a strand of the rope, saying, "He loves Me," then another strand, “He loves me not,” and thus alternating her assertions until there remained but one little strand. Then the painter eagerly protested his love and she fell in his arms. The last strand broke and the pair clutching the rounds of the now vertical ladder were suspended in mid-air ten minutes before they could be rescued.

The painter’s mind seems quite unbalanced by the shock but Marie vows they shall not commit him to the lunatic asylum until she is married. That’s what she started out to do and she’s going to accomplish it. That’s a woman that trifles will not throw off, you bet.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, June 10, 1882.