No. 474
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
June 06, 2020

"He Loves Me; He Loves Me Not."

How Marie Played a Romantic Trick on Her Lover and Brought Him to Time.
April 9, 2019

Chapter 2
"The Witches' Cove," Follower of Jan Mandijn This week's Link Dump is ready to take flight! Photo: Nancy Hendrickson, via State Historical Society of North Dakota An eerily prescient science-fiction story from a century ago. How Nathaniel Bentley became Dirty Dick.  And just keep your X-rated punchlines to yourself. "Be careful for what you wish for," Byzantine style. Until just
Strange Company - 6/5/2020

The most interesting manhole covers are the ones that tell us who made it and when it was put in place: the name of an ironworks company, the initials of a city department, a date. This cover, on Central Park West south of 86th Street, doesn’t offer much in the way of clues. The two […]
Ephemeral New York - 5/31/2020
Sardinian scholar Sigismondo Arquer was burned at the stake in Toledo, Spain, on this date in 1571. Born in the capital of Spanish-governed Sardinia, this gentleman had a hereditary imperial knighthood but also an interest in humanism and religious heterodoxy well-calculated to annoy in Counter-Reformation Spain. Arquer’s map of his native city of Cagliari, for […]
More... - 6/4/2020

Beginning on January 1st, W&W will begin featuring fascinating short clippings from the Fall River papers and other newspapers from …

Continue reading

Lizzie Borden : Warps & Wefts - 12/29/2019
Emil Lowenstein was a barber in Brooklyn, NY who had persuaded his neighbor, John Weston, a one-armed Civil War veteran, to withdraw his life savings and travel upstate with him. The body of John Weston was found in a ravine in Watervliet, NY, soon after Lowenstein returned to Brooklyn, flush with cash. Lowenstein denied being in Watervliet with Weston and professed innocence to the end.
Murder by Gaslight - 6/6/2020
"The soap fakir" Saint Paul Daily Globe June 3, 1892 (Click image to enlarge) oapy" Smith, the soap fakir, is in the city" Just short of two months after leaving Creede, Colorado, Soapy Smith ended up in Saint Paul Minnesota. The Saint Paul Daily Globe of Saint Paul, Minnesota announces that bunco artist Soapy Smith is in the city. "Soapy" Smith, the soap fakir, is in the city,
Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 6/4/2020
[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 […]
Early American Crime - 2/7/2019
Two New Features! | 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.