History Bizarre

Strange, weird, wonderful history

michaelaross:

Consulting Madame Ferris:  Detective Jourdain Turns to a Psychic for Help in the Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case of 1870 
Pursuing all possible leads, Afro-Creole Detective John Baptiste Jourdain convinced Thomas Digby (the father of kidnapped Mollie Digby) to join him at the City Hotel for a consultation with Madame Ferris, a famed clairvoyant who was in New Orleans for a July performance. Although Police Chief Algernon Badger placed little faith in the power of psychics, Jourdain and many New Orleanians believed in them.  The city had a flourishing “Magnetic Society,” which published its own journal, Le Spiritualiste, and elite Creole families hosted séances and spirit circles in their French Quarter townhomes. White people who criticized adherents of Voodoo for their purportedly heathenish practices nevertheless offered their own credulous accounts of communications from dead relatives, Catholic saints, and other spirit guides. On the eve of the Civil War, New Orleans had an estimated 20,000 Spiritualist believers and the movement was still flourishing during Reconstruction. 

Some skeptics mocked the police for turning to a medium. The editor of the Commercial Bulletin, having caught wind of Jourdain’s mission, needled the “over-credulous” police for employing an “astrologer, clairvoyant, and table-rapper.” “If she proves to be a prophet,” the paper joked, “it is hoped she will next gratify the curiosity of the worshippers of Dickens by solving the ‘Mystery of Edwin Drood.’” Others applauded Jourdain for pursuing all possibilities. Madame Ferris, a correspondent to the New Orleans Times maintained, had “done so many extraordinary things” that she could “certainly find the child.” “Let it be tried,” he urged.

michaelaross:

Consulting Madame Ferris:  Detective Jourdain Turns to a Psychic for Help in the Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case of 1870 

Pursuing all possible leads, Afro-Creole Detective John Baptiste Jourdain convinced Thomas Digby (the father of kidnapped Mollie Digby) to join him at the City Hotel for a consultation with Madame Ferris, a famed clairvoyant who was in New Orleans for a July performance. Although Police Chief Algernon Badger placed little faith in the power of psychics, Jourdain and many New Orleanians believed in them.  The city had a flourishing “Magnetic Society,” which published its own journal, Le Spiritualiste, and elite Creole families hosted séances and spirit circles in their French Quarter townhomes. White people who criticized adherents of Voodoo for their purportedly heathenish practices nevertheless offered their own credulous accounts of communications from dead relatives, Catholic saints, and other spirit guides. On the eve of the Civil War, New Orleans had an estimated 20,000 Spiritualist believers and the movement was still flourishing during Reconstruction.

Some skeptics mocked the police for turning to a medium. The editor of the Commercial Bulletin, having caught wind of Jourdain’s mission, needled the “over-credulous” police for employing an “astrologer, clairvoyant, and table-rapper.” “If she proves to be a prophet,” the paper joked, “it is hoped she will next gratify the curiosity of the worshippers of Dickens by solving the ‘Mystery of Edwin Drood.’” Others applauded Jourdain for pursuing all possibilities. Madame Ferris, a correspondent to the New Orleans Times maintained, had “done so many extraordinary things” that she could “certainly find the child.” “Let it be tried,” he urged.



Revealed: the bloody world of Georgian female boxing

Female boxing fell into this category – a bloody novelty act, as opposed to a serious sport. Often, in the records I found, there was no mention of which woman won, although there would be a description of what they had been wearing – or not wearing, as they sometimes fought stripped to the waist. The winner was often irrelevant, except to those with money on the outcome.

Great Mistakes in English Medieval architecture

Just a bit of settlement abbot, nothing to worry about”

mallhistories:


This political cartoon was printed in New York in 1885. Complaining about all of the monuments being erected to honor our nation’s history in the wake of the turmoil of the Civil War, the captions proclaims “No more of those hideous monuments!” Monuments from the National Mall are featured prominently in the cartoon, including the Washington Monument which appears as a smokestack. This shows the contested nature of the Mall and its many memorials, which were not universally popular in their own times.

Learn more at Histories of the National Mall.

mallhistories:

This political cartoon was printed in New York in 1885. Complaining about all of the monuments being erected to honor our nation’s history in the wake of the turmoil of the Civil War, the captions proclaims “No more of those hideous monuments!” Monuments from the National Mall are featured prominently in the cartoon, including the Washington Monument which appears as a smokestack. This shows the contested nature of the Mall and its many memorials, which were not universally popular in their own times.

Learn more at Histories of the National Mall.

Fantastically Wrong: Ridiculous Mythical Critters Dreamed Up by 19th Century Lumberjacks | Science | WIRED

“We might have loaded our Boats with young Boobies and Penguins in an Hour, and took as many as we thought convenient, before we return’d Aboard, which our Men eat. The Booby has already been describ’d…The Penguin is a Bird near as big as a Goose, having two Fins, instead of Wings, and Scales under the Belly, and on the Thighs, Duck-footed, cannot fly, but runs very fast, fluttering along with the Fins, lives on Fish, and eats fishy, the Flesh black, and looks like Bull Beef, yet we eat them, for Want of better Food.”

—   Edward Cooke, A Voyage to the South Sea, and Round the World, Perform’d in the Years 1708, 1709, 1710, and 1711. Containing A JOURNAL of all memorable Transactions during the said VOYAGE; the Winds, Currents, and Variation of the Compass; the taking of the Towns of Puna and Guayaquil, and several PRIZES, one of which a rich Acapulco Ship. A DESCRIPTION of the American Coasts, from Tierra del Fuego in the South, to California in the North, (from the Coasting-Pilot, a Spanish Manuscript.) An HISTORICAL ACCOUNT of all those Countries from the best AUTHORS. With a new MAP and DESCRIPTION of the mighty River of the AMAZONS. Wherein an ACCOUNT is given of Mr. Alexander Selkirk, his Manner of living and taming some wild Beasts during the four Years and four Months he liv’d upon the uninhabited Island of Juan Fernandes. Illustrated with Cuts and Maps, 2 vols.(London: Printed by H. M. for B. Lintot and R. Gosling in fleet-Street, A. Bettesworth on London-Bridge, and W. Innys in St. Paul’s Church-Yard, 1712), 127. (via raherrmann)

10 dangers of Georgian London - from smallpox to gin consumption | History Extra

What was life like on the streets of 18th-century London? As part of our new series of guest blogs, Lucy Inglis, historian and creator of the award-winning Georgian London blog, reveals 10 everyday hazards faced by Londoners in the 1700s – from disease and cesspits to gin consumption…

Fish Custard

Should women wear trousers?

Ten things you never knew about Ophelia - Telegraph