No. 478
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
July 02, 2020

Packed Away in a Trunk.

James Lavender of Irwinton, Georgia, tries to elude his bondsmen but is found and dragged out.
November 13, 2017
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Chapter 2
Christian reformer Martin Luther composed his hymn “Ein neues Lied wir heben an” (literally “A new song we raise” but commonly titled in English “Flung to the Heedless Winds”) in response to a major milestone for his movement: the first evangelicals executed for the faith, namely defrocked Augustinian monks Jan van Essen and Hendrik Vos […]
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ExecutedToday.com - 7/1/2020


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(Click image to enlarge) HE SHOOTING OF HARRY "SHOTGUN" SMITH. Denver's unsolved murder: Number #10 On June 23, 1893, Harry "Shotgun" Smith (no relation) went on a drinking binge and made the deadly mistake of visiting the Tivoli Club and provoking a fight with Bascomb Smith, the younger brother of bad man "Soapy" Smith. Bascomb walked away unscathed. Harry Smith was not
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 6/23/2020
Via Newspapers.com Yes, indeed, it’s time for the annual post celebrating the holiday in which America becomes the land of the free, and the home of blowing yourself up with homemade fireworks. Appropriately enough for this blog, the following story combines both the usual red-white-and-blue carnage with an atypical Fortean element. Elyria Independent Democrat, July 12, 1871 St. Paul
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Strange Company - 7/1/2020

It was a perfect weekend to journey out to Tyngsborough to get a glimpse of what was left of the …

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Lizzie Borden : Warps & Wefts - 6/13/2020
On Sunday, May 23, 1875, Thomas W. Piper, sexton of the Warren Avenue Baptist Church in Boston, lured 5-year-old Mabel Young to the church belfry on the pretext of looking at pigeons. There he crushed her skull with a cricket bat. Piper was captured after he was seen leaping from the belfry. In custody he confessed to a series of murders and violent sexual assaults. Read the full story here: 
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The New York City of the moment is bringing many people down. Luckily, we can escape with a little time traveling thanks to these old-school store signs. Matles Florist has been in Manhattan since 1962, and the vintage sign with the very 1960s typeface shows it. The store is on 57th Street between Eighth and […]
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Ephemeral New York - 6/29/2020
[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 […]
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Early American Crime - 2/7/2019
Turkey Shooting. | Thrilling Railroad Accident.

Packed Away in a Trunk.

Packed in a Trunk

James Lavender of Irwinton, Georgia, tries to elude his bondsmen but is found and dragged out. [more]

A special from Irwinton, Ga., September 12, says: At the April term of Wilkinson Superior Court James Lavender was indicted for shooting at another. Three gentlemen became bondsmen for him. About two months ago it was found he had disappeared. His bondsmen offered a reward for him, and detectives were soon upon his trail, and soon succeeded in settling the fact that he lodged at home, as he was seen to enter the house. The bondsmen were notified of this fact, and they secreted themselves near the house, saw him enter, followed close upon him and demanded admittance. After some delay, were admitted, and a thorough search was instituted, but no Lavender could be found. This was repeated two or three times, when at last on Saturday night last, they again saw him enter the house, and knew he was surely there. They resolved to find him if the ashes had to be sifted. In moving the furniture around, a small trunk was found to be very heavy, and suspicion fell upon this as being the hiding place of the prisoner, but how a man six feet tall could pack himself in so small a trunk was the question. The key was demanded, but Mrs. Lavender said the trunk belonged to her sister who lived three miles away. The party decided to send for the key and investigate contents. A messenger was dispatched for the key and the party sat down to await his return. Something could be heard inside the trunk as a man breathing. In due time the messenger arrived, the trunk was opened, and the imping six-foot Lavender was found coiled up the small trunk. He was brought here yesterday and lodged in jail to await trial in October.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, October 1, 1887.