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May 25, 2009

A Romance of the North Country
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 03:59 PM * 51 comments

Colebrook wasn’t always the sleepy home of provincial French bakeries where the biggest excitement is Bobo the Clown making balloon animals at Moose Festival. Cast back your mind to those thrilling days of yesteryear when the streets of Colebrook resounded to the cries of roving bands of Armed Canadian Lumberjacks! Desperate car chases! Hair-breadth escapes! Sex! Violence! Insanity! Ripped from Yesterday’s Headlines, as found in the pages of the New York Times. This is the event that put Colebrook (along with Coaticook and Sherbrooke) “on the map.

Dramatis Personae:
Mr. William Travers Jerome, Deputy Attorney General of New York State
Mr. Harry Kendall Thaw, scion of wealth, keen student of showgirls, and close-range marksman
Mr. Stanford White, an architect, connoisseur of the feminine form, tragically dead
Ms. Florence Evelyn “The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing” Nesbit, a young lady worth killing (or dying) for

Our story so far: Having shot Stanford White in the face (three times) on the roof of Madison Square Garden in some kind of dispute over the affections of his wife (Evelyn Nesbit Thaw, age 21), Harry Thaw was twice tried: The first trial ended with a hung jury; the second time he was found not guilty by reason of insanity and incarcerated in Matteawan State Hospital for the Criminally Insane in Fishkill, New York. He drove away from Matteawan in a motor car on 17 August 1913 and went to Canada. Three weeks later, without warning to him or the state of New York, Canadian authorities dumped him in Norton Mills, Vermont, unshaved, and with just ten dollars in his pocket. We join our players as the curtain rises on Act Two:

ACTION ANGERS CARMODY.;
Says Immigration Authorities Violated Their Agreement.
September 11, 1913, Thursday

ALBANY, Sept. 10. — There was much indignation and not a little excitement in the Attorney General’s office to-day during the flight of Harry K. Thaw from Coaticook to Colebrook. Over the telephone from Manchester, Vt., William Travers Jerome told Attorney General Carmody that the immigration authorities of Canada had broken their agreement, and that it was “the most contemptible trick in the history of civilized government.”

Immigration Officers Act Without Warning to Jerome.;
PRISONER’S FRANTIC FIGHT
“They Are Kidnapping Me!” He Shrieks, and Hurls a Bottle at His Liberators.
MAKES LONG DASH BY AUTO
Captured Near Colebrook, N.H., Despite Aid of Sympathetic Country Folk.
JEROME RUSHES TO SCENE
Orders Thaw Held and Hopes Soon to Have Him Back in Matteawan.
THAW SEEKS A NEW WRIT
New Hampshire Judge to Pass Upon His Application This Morning.
September 11, 1913, Thursday

COLEBROOK, N.H., Sept. 10. — Harry Kendall Thaw was thrown bodily out of the Dominion of Canada to-day on the order of the Minister of Justice and in utter disregard of the highest courts of the Province of Quebec. To-night he is under arrest here, and the indications are that a few days more will see him back in Matteawan.

May Dispense with Extradition.

Fights to Remain a Prisoner.

Thaw Pushed Into Vermont.

Abandoned By His Chauffeur.

Womenfolk Express Sympathy.

A Motherly Reception.

Thaw Engages Several Lawyers.

Nothing Frenzied About Colebrook.

Thaw Issues a Statement.

FEAR CANADIAN MOB WILL RESCUE THAW;
Colebrook Chief Swears in 20 Deputies When Armed Lumberjacks Invade Town.
ALL ARE FUGITIVE’S FRIENDS
Hearing on To-day and Fight for Extradition on Conspiracy Charges Will Begin
September 12, 1913, Friday

Colebrook, N.H., Sept. 11.—Twenty special deputies were sworn in late to-day by Chief of Police Charles Kelly following persistent reports that a plot had been hatched to kidnap Harry Thaw and carry him off in an automobile. This precaution was taken after Kelly and Sheriff Holman Drew noticed a score or more of lumberjacks from over the Canadian border congregated about the Colebrook Bank building this afternoon while Thaw was there in consultation with his attorneys. Kelly also called the attention of the Sheriff to two automobiles which were slowly driven up and down the main street.

Refuge in Lumber Camps.

Immigration Men Trail Him.

Jerome Denounces a Canadian.

Thaw Has Detectives, Too.

THAW IN HANDS OF U.S. MARSHAL;
He Will Be Taken Before a Federal Judge To-day and Jerome Will Contest Writ.
ECHO OF THE POKER GAME
Canadian Constable Who Arrested Jerome Crosses Line and Is Locked Up on Old Charge.
September 16, 1913, Tuesday

COLEBROOK, N.H., Sept. 15. — Harry K. Thaw has passed into the hands of the Federal authorities, and what may be the last leg of his fight for liberty will begin to-morrow morning. United States Marshal E.P. Nute arrived in Colebrook during the afternoon, armed with an order of the United States District Court, directing that he take charge of Thaw with Sheriff Drew.

Jerome’s Foe Arrested.

Strays Into Trap.

THAW’S MOTHER TO BUILD
Work Starts on $100,000 House in Southampton Colony.

VICTORY FOR THAW IN FEDERAL COURT;
Habeas Corpus Held in Reserve for the Prisoner’s Protection — Jerome Rebuked.
ISSUE OF SANITY RAISED
Judge Aldrich Finds No Precedent for Extradition of a Lunatic for Crime.
MAY OPEN CASE ANEW
Hearing to Await Proceedings Before Gov. Felker—Case May Reach Unites States Supreme Court.
September 17, 1913, Wednesday

LITTLETON, N.H., Sept. 16. — Harry K. Thaw won an important victory in the United States District Court here to-day when the matter of his writ of habeas corpus came up before Judge Edgar Aldrich.

Jerome Retires Defeated.

Thaw in Federal Custody.

Jerome’s First Setback.

Judge Aldrich’s Decision.

Raises Insanity Issue.

Questions Not Entirely Clear.

THAW SAYS STATE IS READY TO GIVE IN;
In Statement Issued at Trial He Calls Latest Move a Sign of “Surrender.”
WANT HIS HARVARD RECORD
Commission to Examine Ellot Is Sought — Fifteen Witnesses Testify That Prisoner Is Sane.
THAW SAYS STATE IS READY TO GIVE IN
June 25, 1915, Friday

Fifteen witnesses, one of them a woman, who have seen much of Harry K. Thaw at various times since he killed Stanford White in June, 1906, testified yesterday at the Jury trial of the prisoner’s sanity before Supreme Court Justice Hendrick that they believed Thaw was rational and should be given his liberty.

Three Hours to Leave Harvard.

To Rend Mother’s Testimony.

Federal Custodian a Witness.

Canadians Call Thaw Sane.

Fishing and Camping Friends.

Mrs. Drew is Sympathetic.

Crank Letter to Juror.

14 THAW WITNESSES SAY HE IS SANE NOW;
New Hampshire Men and Women Tell of Entertaining Him in Their Homes.
STATE SEEKS EVELYN THAW
Moving Pictures of Defendant Taken in Canada May Be Shown in Court to Prove He Was Eccentric.
June 26, 1915, Saturday

Counsel for Harry K. Thaw practically completed their case yesterday at the jury trial of Thaw’s sanity before Supreme Court Justice Peter A. Hendrick by calling to the stand fourteen more witnesses, eleven men and three women, all residents of New Hampshire, who testified that in their opinion Thaw was sane.

Lawyers to Visit Dr. Eliot.

Alienist Watches Thaw.

Talked “New England Style.”

Played Bridge with Thaw.


Thaw was eventually found sane, and so, rather than being returned to Matteawan, he walked free.

Allegations about Mr. Thaw had included that he was fond of striking young ladies with a silver-capped dog whip. Now his prediliction for whipping once more exerted itself.

For months Thaw had been corresponding with a teenager named Fred Gump. At last, Thaw lured him to New York with promises of a fine job. On Christmas Eve, 1916, Thaw took Gump to the theater, then back to his hotel room, where he whipped the lad to near senselessness. Thaw was arrested for assault as soon as the facts became known early the following year.

Mr. Jerome, who followed his earlier part in the Thaw case by directing the efforts of New York State to bring Thaw back into custody from Canada, declined last night to comment on the present charges except to grin and exclaim: “Extraordinary!”
Again found insane, Thaw was placed in an asylum where he remained until 1924. He moved to Virgina and became a volunteer firefighter.

What does this sordid tale of love and obsession, the Crime of the Century and the Trial of the Century, have to do with us today? The bank building where Harry K. Thaw holed up to consult with his attorneys and his detectives, while howling mobs of armed Canadians roamed the streets outside, still stands, and today houses the French Bakery of which we have recently written.


Looks like it was more entertainment for the locals than going to The Balsams to watch New Yorkers drink doubles.

We make our own fun up here….

Comments on A Romance of the North Country:
#1 ::: Daniel Klein ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2009, 05:30 PM:

I was going to say that you can't make this stuff up, but you CAN... only it would be very, very hard to get it this good. Also faking old newsprint this well might be time-consuming ;)

Yay for seriously weird local history.

#2 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2009, 05:45 PM:

the cries of roving bands of Canadian Lumberjacks

I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay.

#3 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2009, 05:48 PM:

(he's a lumberjack and he's OK)

#4 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2009, 05:54 PM:

Canadian Lumberjacks tried to kidnap the thaw? I mean, I know it comes to Canada a little later than to New Hampshire, but...

What? Oh.

Never mind.

#5 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2009, 06:23 PM:

On Wednesdays I go shoppin'
And have buttered scones for tea.

#6 ::: BSD ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2009, 06:55 PM:

Every single thing about the whole affair was about as bizarre as could be. A giant TNH-post about the Thaw-Stanford-Nesbit-Velvet Swing events would be a perfect window to New York, 100 years ago.

#7 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2009, 07:31 PM:

The tale of Harry Thaw, Stanford White, and The Girl on the Velvet Swing has been written up in detail, available new or used from Amazon, Alibris, Abebooks, and (I expect) your local Barnes & Noble.

Now, what I find remarkable is the number of desperate criminals who've wound up in the almost-bordertown of Colebrook.

#8 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2009, 07:39 PM:

Teresa (7): Libraries, too. And there's at least a couple of movies: The Girl in the Velvet Swing and Murder of the Century. No, wait that second one is an episode of The American Experience. But it's available on DVD.

#9 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2009, 08:21 PM:

#7 Teresa: Now, what I find remarkable is the number of desperate criminals who've wound up in the almost-bordertown of Colebrook.

You mean like Christopher "The Beauty Queen Killer" Wilder in 1984? (Elizabeth Teague doesn't count because she was caught in Pittsburg.)

I think it's because it's real easy to recognize the folks who aren't from around here.

#10 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2009, 08:49 PM:

(chorus) On Wednesdays he goes shopping/ And has buttered scones for tea.

#11 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2009, 09:02 PM:

Serge, you wear high heels, suspenders, and a bra?

#12 ::: paul ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2009, 09:19 PM:

One of the quirks of american jurisprudence that has always fascinated me: if you get found not guilty of a crime by reason of insanity and locked up indefinitely, then as soon as you "recover" and are determined to be sane, you're free to go. I know the arguments for this are good on the face of them, but it's weirded me out since I was a kid.

#13 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2009, 09:39 PM:

Fragano @ 11... Nah. I wear only sensible shoes. I do have suspenders, but only for my Victorian time traveller's outfit.

#14 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2009, 09:41 PM:

Serge #13: What you are referring to, mon ami, Lumberjack Palin would call "braces". What he would call "suspenders" you would call a "garter belt".

#15 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2009, 09:42 PM:

Serge @ 13 ...
I do have suspenders, but only for my Victorian time traveller's outfit.

Egads! You'd mentioned time travelling, but I clearly missed the part where you mentioned cross-dressing! Not only that, but the sheer scandal of wearing garments short enough to display your suspenders!!! Egads! Not merely ankles, but knees and ... -thighs-!

#16 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2009, 09:45 PM:

And Now you Know. The Remainder. Of the Narrative.

Good DAY.

(How was-- ...what? Again?)

#17 ::: Craig R. ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2009, 09:46 PM:

"...Now, what I find remarkable is the number of desperate criminals who've wound up in the almost-bordertown of Colebrook."

Teresa -
The truly amazing numbers would astound, except we never find out about the ones who are hidden from the just minions of the law by the efforts of those akin to the notorious James MacDonald, who are obviously trying to keep the small towns of New Hampshire as obscure as possible to maintain them as a safe haven for these dangerous crininals ...

#18 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2009, 09:47 PM:

xeger, I'm shocked, shocked! Limbs, sir, limbs! Not ankles and knees and thighs!

#19 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2009, 09:51 PM:

Fragano Ledgister @ 14:

It's always so much fun to watch when the American expats in England discover that one.

#20 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2009, 09:56 PM:

Linkmeister @ 18 ...
"... breasts and thighs and ... hearts" ?

#21 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2009, 10:09 PM:

xeger @ 15... the sheer scandal of wearing garments short enough to display your suspenders!!! Egads!

Well, if you click here, you will be exposed to a photo of yours truly weearing suspenders. Sure, you can't see them, but they are definitely there. Shameless and shocking!

#22 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2009, 10:12 PM:

Serge @ 21 ...
I must say that photo leaves far too much to the florid and overwrought imagination...

#23 ::: 'As You Know' Bob ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2009, 10:21 PM:

It all ties together somehow: the Flatiron District was Stanford White's old stomping ground.

In fact, his townhouse (the one with the infamous Red Velvet Swing) was right around the corner from Tor at 22 W. 24th Street - until it fell down a year or two ago.

If ever there was midtown address that needed a historical marker....

#24 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2009, 11:14 PM:

xeger @ 22... Dare I say that time travellers swing both ways?

#25 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2009, 11:23 PM:

Having perused the photos of the dramatis personae, I feel convinced that the real motive was Thaw's jealousy... of Stanford White's moustache. That's a moustache that would place well in the current World Championships.

#26 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2009, 11:34 PM:

ISTR reading that the title character of "Anne of Green Gables" was inspired by a random magazine photo LM Montgomery had clipped out... showing the face of Evelyn Nesbit. (I don't know if LMM ever realized the model's scandalous identity.)

#27 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2009, 11:38 PM:

Serge @ 24 ...
Dare I say that time travellers swing both ways?

Mais oui! I hear that they also come before and after themselves...

#28 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2009, 11:54 PM:

Xopher @4, it would make more sense if they were big fans of the late John Thaw, except for that pesky date thing. Time-travelling lumberjacks?

#29 ::: Dr. Psycho ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2009, 01:10 AM:

When you are time-travelling to the late 19th/early 20th Centuries, you may wear garters, suspenders, braces or all three, if you wish -- no gentleman (or lady) is going to peek.

#30 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2009, 01:19 AM:

Dr. Psycho @ 29 ...
I, sir, am no gentleman.

#31 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2009, 01:28 AM:

AYK Bob, was that before or after the area was a red light district?

#32 ::: Wyman Cooke ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2009, 01:40 AM:

I'm surprised no one has mentioned Doctorow's Ragtime, either the book or the movie. In the movie Norman Mailer played White. I cannot recall if he wore a white mustache or not at this late date.

#33 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2009, 02:20 AM:

Ah, the days of informal immigration/emigration procedures...

The Canadians used to tie ropes to 'planes and drag them over the border, I hear.

#34 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2009, 03:02 AM:

Both Harry Thaw and Evelyn Nesbit were originally from Pittsburgh -- my Pittsburgh, that is, the one in Pennsylvania, the one that kept its H when burghs all around the U.S. were losing theirs, like the Pittsburg near Colebrook. (Simplified spelling be danged.) So everything about this whole sordid story is local to me.

Here's a series of facts tying these things -- my tenuous ties to the Thaws and Jim's narrative -- together, with some science (though not science fiction) being part of it:

My alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh, has a building called Thaw Hall, named for Benjamin Thaw, Sr., who was Harry's grandfather. When I was an undergrad, it was home to the Engineering Dept., but now it's the home of the Physics and Astronomy departments. This is fitting since Benjamin Thaw was an alumnus of the Western University of Pennsylvania, and in his memory his son William (Harry's father) gave the Allegheny Observatory, owned by the University -- by then renamed the University of Pittsburgh -- money for improved instruments including, in 1914, a then-huge 30-inch telescope, still "the third largest refractor in the United States".

The Thaw family made a lot of its fortune from the Pennsylvania Railroad ("William Thaw was the majority stockholder in the Pennsylvania"), for which at the time my Great-grandfather Fundis worked. (Later *his* son William [my grandfather], and still later my dad and my aunt, also worked for the Pennsy.) But -- appropriately for the last bit in Jim's story -- the Thaws were also involved in banking!

No evidence I can find that they had anything to do with baked goods, though, except presumably eating them.

#35 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2009, 05:00 AM:

FIRST IRATE LUMBERJACK: Come on, fellows! Going to New Hampshire!
SECOND IRATE LUMBERJACK: Why?
FIRST IRATE LUMBERJACK! Get Thaw back!
SECOND IRATE LUMBERJACK: What, thomeone thtole it?

#36 ::: Connie H. ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2009, 06:29 AM:

As long as we're going for tenuous connections, I found out several years ago through genealogical research that I'm related to one of the doctors who testified as to Thaw's insanity.

The more I've read about Thaw, the more I'm convinced that, technically, my g'g'g'-whatever-uncle may have been completely right. That was one seriously disturbed man who needed to be locked up.

#37 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2009, 09:16 AM:

Harry Thaw's brother, Benjamin, was a member of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club, the group that maintained (or, rather, failed to maintain) the dam that gave us the Johnstown Flood.

Speaking of wealthy New Yorkers shot for the love of pretty actresses, there's always "The Tragedy That Startled the Continent" (6th of January, 1872) when Jubilee Jim Fisk (of 313 West 23rd Street), was gunned down by Edward S. Stokes on the stairs of the Grand Central Hotel over the affections of Josie Mansfield.

Jubilee Jim was best known (aside from his scandalous personal life) for the Erie War in which he, Daniel Drew, and Jay Gould took on Cornelius Vanderbilt, and for his later attempt to corner the gold market. But he is also remembered for the fast and unstinting aid he sent to the victims of the Great Chicago Fire.

The Grand Central Hotel (opened 1870, and at that time the largest hotel in America), was located at 673 Broadway. A century later, the Grand Central Hotel, renamed the Broadway Central Hotel and sunk by degrees to a welfare hotel, collapsed (03 August 1973), killing four residents.

So far as I am aware at this time, neither James Fisk, Jay Gould, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Boss Tweed, Daniel Drew, nor Edward Stokes ever visited Colebrook, though any of them might have passed through if they ever visited The Balsams.

#38 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2009, 10:52 AM:

Cornelius Vanderbilt appears as a character in our novel, Land of Mist and Snow.

The life of Jim Fisk was fictionalized in the film The Toast of New York.

The murder of Stanford White is an incident in E. L. Doctorow's Ragtime.

E. L. Doctorow is related to our own Cory Doctorow.

#39 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2009, 11:19 AM:

I am more and more under the impression that Colebrook, NH is the nexus of Secret History of the U.S. Am I wrong?

#40 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2009, 11:41 AM:

The events Jim describes are clearly an important part of American history. I think they deserve to be recorded in a mural on the walls of Le Rendevous, the place around which so much of that action revolved. Perhaps the artist might also be persuaded to save a small patch of the wall for a celebration of Mme. Daeron's victory over the INS.

Does anyone out there know a mural artist who would be inspired by this subject matter?

#41 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2009, 11:47 AM:

So far as I am aware at this time, neither James Fisk, Jay Gould, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Boss Tweed, Daniel Drew, nor Edward Stokes ever visited Colebrook

That, in itself, is highly suspicious.

#42 ::: "As You Know" Bob ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2009, 07:07 PM:

TNH at #31: (W)as that before or after the area was a red light district?

I'd sort of assume "during". The city's red light district spent a century or so following the "White Light" district as it shifted uptown; given how fashionable Madison Square was at the time (what with White's new Madison Square Garden, and Delmonico's restaurant just down the block, etc.), I'd assume that the red light district was nearby. I'd don't know specifically about 24th Street in 1900-1905, though.

(Where's Luc Sante when you need him?)

#43 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2009, 07:29 PM:
In their reports, many investigators used the terms "brothel" and "call flats" interchangeably. Ruth Rosen noted this shift in Lost Sisterhood. She took the introduction of the term "call flat" to indicate a new system, considerably different from the elaborate red-light district brothels that existed at the turn of the century. Because many cites had clearly identified red-light districts where police and city officials tolerated segregated prostitution, Rosen's assumption is probably correct when viewed on the national level. However, since New York's brothels had been located throughout the entertainment districts of the city in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and were never segregated into a single identifiable district, the scattering of call flats throughout the city in the 1920s does not indicate a radical chance in the organization of prostitution. Rosen, Lost Sisterhood, 69-85

-- Love For Sale, Elizabeth Alice Clement, page 294

Emphasis mine.

#44 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2009, 07:55 PM:

A similar but less violent incident up around Pittsburg — citizens crossing the border to spring a comrade out of jail — caused an international incident among all three countries.

That would be the United States, Canada, and the Indian Stream Republic.

#45 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2009, 08:32 PM:

From City of Eros by Timothy J. Gilfoyle, page 384:

After plotting over 5,000 individual addresses with prostitution, I found the following neighborhoods breakdowns from 1870 to 1919. The figures below are percentages found in each neighborhood.

Neighborhood 1870-1879 1880-1889 1900-1909 1910-1919

Total number 434 619 426 [1,196 (Man.) 1,251 (all)] [2,196 (Man.) 2,423 (all)]

Wall Street 6 .6 0 0 .1

East R. Docks 9 10 4 4 .7

(Old) West Side 1 .2 0 0 .1

Five Points 4 6 3 2 1

Lower E. Side 10 15 27 12 6

SoHo 10 7 2 5 .7

East Village 16 11 7 5 2

West Village 16 11 7 5 2

Tenderloin 23 28 35 42 32

Lexington 4 8 1 7 7

Above 59th and other .2 3 1 4 50


After 1900, uptown neighborhoods like Morningside Heights (the new home of Columbia University after 1897), Manhattanville, Hamilton Heights (near the City College of New York), and Washington Heights reported significant amounts of commercial sex.

Gilfoyle goes on to say that the apparent decrease of houses of prostitution in the period 1890-1899 was probably due to incomplete reporting, since New York was a "wide open" town at the time.

(I regret that I am unable to format this info as a table in this post.)

So, to break that out, in 1900:

Wall Street 0% n=0

East R. Docks 4% n=48

(Old) West Side 0% n=0

Five Points 2% n=24

Lower E. Side 12% n=144

SoHo 5% n=60

East Village 5% n=60

West Village 5% n=60

Tenderloin 42% n=502

Lexington 7% n=84

Above 59th and other 4% n=50

#46 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2009, 08:46 AM:
"After ten years during which a crew of moneyed libertines had made life almost as unsafe for virgins as did the Minotaur, a revolver made New York safer for other girls. They are safe."
--Harry Kendall Thaw
#47 ::: Wyman Cooke ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2009, 06:05 PM:

Jim @ 38

I guess you missed my comment @ 32. I didn't know that Cory Doctorow is related to EL Doctorow, but I might have guessed if I had considered it.

#48 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2009, 09:10 PM:

Jim, E.L. isn't nearly as sure.

#49 ::: Wyman Cooke ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2009, 02:29 AM:

Re 48: Jiiiiiimmmmmmm!

#50 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2009, 05:54 AM:

All the connections here are tenuous. What's one more?

Ms. Nesbit was a Gibson Girl.

Charles Dana Gibson and Robert W. Chambers were art students together. Robert W. Chambers wrote The King in Yellow. I transcribed The King in Yellow (now public domain) while living in Colebrook.

#51 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2010, 05:48 PM:

Colebrook, in 1915. The white building on the left is the bank building mentioned in the story. Behind it, the green building with the cupola, is town hall. To the right, across the street from town hall, the statue is the Civil War memorial.

All three are still here.

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