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  • Cutbush : "Canvassed For A Directory"

    Does anyone know exactly what this means in the Macnaghten Memoranda ?

    In the opening section :


    . He had been employed as a clerk and traveller in the Tea trade at the Minories, and subsequently canvassed for a Directory in the East End, during which time he bore a good character.


    My guess would be that he went out in a sales capacity....not sure.

    Any idea ?
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    Howard@jtrforums.com

  • #2
    Originally posted by Howard Brown View Post
    Does anyone know exactly what this means in the Macnaghten Memoranda ?

    In the opening section :


    . He had been employed as a clerk and traveller in the Tea trade at the Minories, and subsequently canvassed for a Directory in the East End, during which time he bore a good character.


    My guess would be that he went out in a sales capacity....not sure.

    Any idea ?
    Could be getting advertising for something like Kelly's street directory, which seems more likely than trying to get people to purchase the directory itself, but only a guess.

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    • #3
      Would businesses or tradesmen pay a small sum to have their names included in a directory?

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      • #4
        Thanks a lot for the replies, Paul & Bob.
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        Howard@jtrforums.com

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
          Would businesses or tradesmen pay a small sum to have their names included in a directory?
          They did pay, didn't they?

          Otherwise I can only suppose Cutbush was gathering material for the content of the directory. Canvassing in the sense of gathering information about or gethering the support of...

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          • #6
            Yes Paul, I meant he would simply knock on doors and ask "Would you like your business to be included for a fee of...?"

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Howard Brown View Post
              Does anyone know exactly what this means in the Macnaghten Memoranda ?

              In the opening section :


              . He had been employed as a clerk and traveller in the Tea trade at the Minories, and subsequently canvassed for a Directory in the East End, during which time he bore a good character.


              My guess would be that he went out in a sales capacity....not sure.

              Any idea ?
              Hi How,

              He would have been going from door-to-door, selling advertising space, with the hope of enticing businesses to place their advertisements in the directory and, on every successful sale, would have received a small commission.

              My best wishes,

              Sean.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks Sean...much appreciated.

                Seems Cutbush was either able to control himself at that time or this job occurred before his mental issues surfaced.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Howard Brown View Post
                  Thanks Sean...much appreciated.

                  Seems Cutbush was either able to control himself at that time or this job occurred before his mental issues surfaced.
                  Hi How,

                  I'd certainly think so given he'd have had to interact with potential clients.

                  Such an occupation was likely a thankless one and involved a lot of leg work for meagre gains.

                  It does seem unlikely that any such company would have employed a visibly disturbed man.

                  My best wishes,

                  Sean.

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                  • #10
                    It does seem unlikely that any such company would have employed a visibly disturbed man.
                    -Sean Crundall-

                    That was my original thought when I was asked about that this morning, Sean....anyone hired to a representative position where money and a firm's success and reputation are involved is a step above the norm.

                    So...it also brings up another issue. After this stint as a canvasser....it seems he descended into his subsequent madness awfully fast, doesn't it ?
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Howard Brown View Post
                      It does seem unlikely that any such company would have employed a visibly disturbed man.
                      -Sean Crundall-

                      That was my original thought when I was asked about that this morning, Sean....anyone hired to a representative position where money and a firm's success and reputation are involved is a step above the norm.

                      So...it also brings up another issue. After this stint as a canvasser....it seems he descended into his subsequent madness awfully fast, doesn't it ?
                      How,

                      I think you're spot on! Money and reputation would surely have been uppermost in the company's mind when it came to selecting their canvassers, especially if the directory was a long-established one such as Kelly's.

                      Mental illness can be rapid in its onslaught.

                      Was Cutbush mentally ill when he was canvassing? It's possible, but unlikely. If he was he was able to conceal it, at least in the short term.

                      My very best wishes,

                      Sean.

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                      • #12
                        Mental illnesses take many different forms and they can come and go. I don't know a lot about Cutbush but he was in trouble for stabbing women's backsides. Maybe he was obsessive-compulsive, seemingly normal except when he could not control his impulses. (I do not mean the Jeckyll and Hyde transformations that some suggested for JtR.)

                        I would suppose if a job required meeting people and getting them to subscribe, the employers would have looked for a person with a good personality who could persuade people to buy. If a prospective employee was not noticeably mental I would suppose his positive qualities would be most of what was considered.

                        If we look at actual serial killers, some of them had jobs or activities that involved dealing with the public. Consider the picture of John Wayne Gacy with First Lady Rosalyn Carter.
                        The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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                        • #13
                          Don't forget that Thomas was born in 1865. He was listed as a commercial clerk in the 1881 census. Plenty of time for him to have done normal work before mental illness set in.

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                          • #14
                            Anna:

                            That's true.

                            However, its my impression and I could be wrong that Cutbush's antics began after this stint as canvasser...and not during. Gacy had a career of crime going back before settling in Chicago.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Anna Morris View Post
                              Mental illnesses take many different forms and they can come and go. I don't know a lot about Cutbush but he was in trouble for stabbing women's backsides. Maybe he was obsessive-compulsive, seemingly normal except when he could not control his impulses. (I do not mean the Jeckyll and Hyde transformations that some suggested for JtR.)

                              I would suppose if a job required meeting people and getting them to subscribe, the employers would have looked for a person with a good personality who could persuade people to buy. If a prospective employee was not noticeably mental I would suppose his positive qualities would be most of what was considered.

                              If we look at actual serial killers, some of them had jobs or activities that involved dealing with the public. Consider the picture of John Wayne Gacy with First Lady Rosalyn Carter.
                              Hi Anna,

                              Psychopathology is a very complex area of discussion: even the professionals' can't agree! And I'm no expert in this field!

                              Society contains, and always has contained, deranged individuals bent on committing (for a multitude of motives) murder(s) who are, we're often told, more a danger to themselves than to others, but who may or may not (potentially) also be a danger to others! Sometimes they may appear to be obviously ill, at other times not.

                              I've always felt that the M'Naghten Rules (1843) are deeply flawed as they don't take into account the psychcopath/sociopath pathology. Such people are generally described as having personality disorders and usually end up in prison instead of a secure hospital.

                              If an individual plans and commits a murder, and has the presence of mind to cover his/her tracks, and is aware that what they've done is morally wrong, are they sane or mad? I certainly don't know the answer to that. Does the concept of pure evil exist? Perhaps it does. It's a conundrum I've wrestled with for years and I still don't have a defining answer.

                              My best wishes,

                              Sean.

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