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

An Easy Winner.

Architect John M. Merrick of New York triumphantly finishes his thirtieth canvas-back duck on the th
May 1, 2017
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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
The Graces in a High Wind. | Chicago’s Latest Craze.

An Easy Winner.

An Easy Winner

Architect John M. Merrick of New York triumphantly finishes his thirtieth canvas-back duck on the thirtieth consecutive day. [more]

One of the best known gourmets of New York is Mr. John M. Merrick, a famous architect. He is considered the greatest authority in the metropolis on luxurious living, and his views were quoted with respect, even by such an apostle of the cousine as the late Wm. Stuart. In a recent conversation Mr. Merrick declared that to eat thirty quail in thirty days was a treat which owed its difficultly, not to the monotony of the dish, but the natural dryness and insipidity of the bird. This opinion be offered to back practically by undertaking to eat a very different kind of wild. fowl—the canvas-back duck—at the rate of one a day for a month. The canvas-back is a very large and rich bird, and considerable doubt was expressed by epicures as to the possibility of the feat. But with true Galway pluck, Mr. Merrick demolished his thirtieth consecutive bird on New Year's day amid the applause of all beholders at Cable's restaurant on Broadway.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette January 15, 1887.