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

Aboriginal Footprints.

November 17, 2014
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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
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Aboriginal Footprints.

Aboriginal Footprints

How a party of learned antiquarians were led astray in their prehistoric searches by a bad boy of Madison, Ohio.

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A ripple of excitement has been caused in Northeastern Ohio by a party of learned scientists who have been searching for evidences of the prehistoric race that dwelt on the borders of Lake Erie. They, in their own minds, have made some valuable discoveries, none more important than the finding of footprints of a colossal being, whose pedal extremities must have been enlarged and extended specimens of what is known to modern students as the Chicago girl’s foot. Tommy Opper, a bad boy, who lives near Madison, Ohio, where the wonderful footprints were discovered, could probably tell more about them than the astonished antiquarians. He says it took him two days to make the wooden model for “them air hoof-prints.” He feels quite elated at his success in aiding scientific investigation.


Reprinted from The National Police Gazette, October 27, 1883.