America/United States

Cooping: Forced Voting in the 19th Century

Cooping involved politicians paying gangs to kidnap men and have them vote for a specific candidate. It was a common practice in the nineteenth century. To accomplish cooping victims were drugged or forced to drink alcohol and then disguised so that they could cast multiple votes for a specific candidate. In addition, many of the……...

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Harvard Professor Webster: His Execution for Murder

The execution of Harvard Professor Webster happened in 1850 on 30 August. (It occurred the same year that the famous wax sculptor Madame Tussaud died.) John W. Webster was a professor of chemistry and geology at Harvard Medical College and found guilty of murdering Dr. George Parkman. To learn more about the case click here….…...

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A Panorama on Slavery and Henry “Box” Brown

Henry “Box” Brown was a Virginia slave who mailed himself to freedom in 1849. Afterwards he made a living lecturing on slavery. His tours occurred in America and later England using a moving panorama* on slavery…. This content is for All Access members only.Login Join Now...

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Louisa Adams’ Party for Andrew Jackson

Louisa Adams’ party for Andrew Jackson happened when her husband, John Quincy Adams, was thinking of running for President in the 1820s. Hoping to avoid having the more charismatic and dashing Andrew Jackson run against him, Louisa decided to eclipse Jackson and his backwoods country wife, Rachel Stockley Donelson, by throwing a party to ostensibly……...

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Pomeranians and Their Popularity in the 19th Century

Pomeranians became popular in the 19th century because of Queen Victoria but the dogs were originally introduced in England in the late 1700s by Queen Charlotte, Queen-consort to King George III. She had two with her when she arrived and the dogs, Phoebe and Mercury, were depicted in paintings by Sir Thomas Gainsborough.* However, it……...

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Bicycling in the Victorian Era and Lady Riders

Bicycling in the Victorian Era was a popular pastime with men and women everywhere owning bicycles. However, it was women who found cycling a freeing experience and in fact, America’s devoted feminist and social reformer, Susan B. Anthony, coined the bicycle the “freedom machine.” The president of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, Frances Willard, thought……...

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Cat Superstitions in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

There are many cat superstitions, much more so than dog superstitions. In fact, superstitions surrounding cats have existed for a long time. One example is Ancient Egypt where cat sacrifices were made to the gods during the Hellenistic period and where mummified remains of cats have been discovered. Cat superstitions were also known to have……...

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Belle Starr: An American Female Outlaw

Belle Starr was an American outlaw born Myra Maybelle Shirley on her family’s farm on 5 February 1848 near Carthage, Missouri. Her father was John Shirley, and her mother was his third wife, Elizabeth Hatfield.* john Shirley was a prosperous farmer but also the “black sheep” of a well-to-do Virginia family. In 1860, he sold……...

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Rat Pits, Rat Baiting, and American Sportsman Kit Burns

Rat pits were an infamous form of entertainment that people like Christopher Keyburn promoted. Commonly known by his alias Kit Burns, he was a mid to late nineteenth century American sportsman, saloon keeper, and underworld figure in New York City. His business in the Bowery was located on Water Street in a nice-looking but plain……...

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