Archive for June, 2011

In The Good Old Days Of Harrigan And Hart

From June 11, 1911


IN THE GOOD OLD DAYS OF HARRIGAN AND HART: The Death of Edward Harrigan Brings Back to the Older Theatregoers Recollections of the Most Famous Comedians of Their Time in New York. (PDF)

Around the same time that Gilbert and Sullivan were working together in Britain, Edward Harrigan and Tony Hart formed America’s first musical theater team. Harrigan died on June 6, 1911, prompting the Magazine to take a wistful look at Harrigan and Hart’s era in theater.

The passing of Edward Harrigan is more than the death of a good man and a capable actor. It marks the end of an epoch. With his death the fact is emphasized again that the New York which saw the birth of those who are to-day hardly more than beginning to turn gray is forever past. With it has gone a set of social conditions, a cycle of old jokes, and an era of good fellowship. Compared with the 70’s and 80’s when Harrigan and Hart were in their prime, New York to-day is almost as foreign as Hongkong. New times, new people, new ideas — even a new conception of humor.

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Written by David

June 7th, 2011 at 10:30 am

George B. Boynton, “The War Maker,” Tells His Adventures

From June 11, 1911


GEORGE B. BOYNTON, “THE WAR MAKER,” TELLS HIS ADVENTURES: Memoirs of the Mysterious New Yorker Who Made Fighting His Profession Read Like a Dumas Romance. (PDF)

Here’s a bit of good summer reading for you. The book The War Maker tells the supposedly true story of George B. Boynton, whose unlikely adventures sound like a 19th century Forrest Gump.

You can download the book in a variety of ebook formats here at Google Books.

The article gives a historic context for the book. But here is the book’s own introduction:

The hero of this book was a real man, though he has carried to his grave the secret of his true name. It was not Boynton, although it is known that he was born in Fifth Avenue, near Fourteenth Street, New York, May 1, 1842, and that his father was a distinguished surgeon, with an estate on Lake Champlain. He rarely talked of his remarkable life, and recounted in detail to the author of this volume the facts of his career of adventure, only in the closing months of his life.

Captain Boynton was of the type of filibuster that is read of so often, but rarely met with in life. He was a tall, bronzed, athletic, broad-shouldered man, one of the most picturesque and daring of the many soldiers of fortune who have sought adventures over the world. From Hongkong to Valparaiso fighters of all races knew the name of Boynton. From Cape Horn to New York he did not permit himself to be forgotten. Whether exploring the sources of the Orinoco, or hunting elusive supporters for a deserted American President, or battling in the Haytian army, or spying out court secrets in Venezuela, or running a distillery in Brooklyn with Jim Fisk as partner, he was invariably master of himself and continually a personality to be reckoned with. Captain Boynton was the original of the ” Soldier of Fortune” in Richard Harding Davis’s story of that name, and gave to Guy Boothby the facts of his novel “The Beautiful White Devil,” with which dashing heroine Captain Boynton was on terms of intimacy. In the account of his life given in this volume fictitious names have in two or three instances been used for persons still living who figured in business deals with him. Otherwise the story is told almost identically as Captain Boynton narrated it to the author.

After escaping death in scores of forms, including a Chinese pirate’s cutlass, an assassin’s dagger, the fire of a file of soldiers at sunrise, and war’s guns, this utterly fearless, cheerfully arrogant retired blockade runner, revolutionist, and hunter of pirates died peacefully in his bed, at a ripe age, on January 19, 1911, in New York City, where he had led a quiet life since 1905, when he voluntarily left Venezuela, after withstanding repeated efforts by President Castro to drive him from the country.

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Written by David

June 6th, 2011 at 11:00 am

Posted in Adventure,Literature

Two New Medicines Discovered In The Tropic Toad

From June 4, 1911


TWO NEW MEDICINES DISCOVERED IN THE TROPIC TOAD: Science Upholds the Ancients in Therapeutic Use o the Toadskin and Powdered Toad, Thus Turning the Laugh on Modern Doctors (PDF)

For more recent information on toads, and the hallucinogenic properties of smoked toads, see the wikipedia entry on psychoactive toads,

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Written by David

June 3rd, 2011 at 10:00 am

Posted in Recreation,Science

Religious Forward Movement Will Girdle the World

From June 4, 1911


RELIGIOUS FORWARD MOVEMENT WILL GIRDLE THE WORLD: Comprehensive Plan to Vitalize the Moral and Religious Forces, Backed by Leading Men of the Country, Will Be Inaugurated Here This Wek. (PDF)

I don’t have time to write more comments on this article because I’m a brand new dad and need to focus on that for a bit. But please feel free to read the article and make your own comments.

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Written by David

June 2nd, 2011 at 9:55 am

Posted in Religion