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  • Ripperologist: September 2009 Issue # 106

    The new one is here...and a photo shot of the cover will follow. I'm sure Woody has his hands full with other things at the moment...so I will place the cover up.

    Jon Rees & Simon Wood are featured in this issue along with a story by Mr. B and Chris George on Harry Dam.....

    Ain't it about time to subscribe?

    To Join JTR Forums :
    Contact Howard@jtrforums.com

  • #2
    A Footnote On Stoneman

    I have an interesting little historical footnote to Chris and Paul's story on the journalist Harry Dam.

    As their article states, the Governor Stoneman who was closely associated with Harry Dam and who came to such a sad end is the same Stoneman who was a Union commander during the Civil War.

    Stoneman was immortalized in the opening lines of the song 'The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down' by The Band:

    "Virgil Caine is the name
    I served on the Danville train
    Til Stoneman's Cavalry came
    And tore up the tracks again"

    During the course of the war, Stoneman was captured by the Confederates along with one of his best officers... this officer was Myles Keough, a dashing Irishman who fought with distinction in the Civil War and died with Custer and the 7th Cavalry at the Battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876.

    Keough's horse, 'Comanche', was very badly wounded but survived the battle. Comanche was hailed by the nation as the "sole survivor" and a military hero. The US Army actually promoted him to Officer's Rank, which may be the first and only time this ever happened to a horse! Comanche lived to a ripe old age; when he passed away in 1890 he was preserved, mounted & put on display; he can still be seen today at the University of Kansas Museum.

    See, everything is connected.

    I enjoyed the article & am looking forward to reading the rest of the issue.
    Best regards, Archaic

    Comment


    • #3
      Hey good find Arc!!!

      A great article though Chris and Paul - just settled down in bed to read it this morning......up now and will finish it later!!! Great stuff boys!! x

      LOVE the Comanche story there Archy amazing how many horses are stuffed or whatever or have memorials that should be front page stuff! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Archaic View Post
        I have an interesting little historical footnote to Chris and Paul's story on the journalist Harry Dam.

        As their article states, the Governor Stoneman who was closely associated with Harry Dam and who came to such a sad end is the same Stoneman who was a Union commander during the Civil War.

        Stoneman was immortalized in the opening lines of the song 'The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down' by The Band:

        "Virgil Caine is the name
        I served on the Danville train
        Til Stoneman's Cavalry came
        And tore up the tracks again"

        During the course of the war, Stoneman was captured by the Confederates along with one of his best officers... this officer was Myles Keough, a dashing Irishman who fought with distinction in the Civil War and died with Custer and the 7th Cavalry at the Battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876.

        Keough's horse, 'Comanche', was very badly wounded but survived the battle. Comanche was hailed by the nation as the "sole survivor" and a military hero. The US Army actually promoted him to Officer's Rank, which may be the first and only time this ever happened to a horse! Comanche lived to a ripe old age; when he passed away in 1890 he was preserved, mounted & put on display; he can still be seen today at the University of Kansas Museum.

        See, everything is connected.

        I enjoyed the article & am looking forward to reading the rest of the issue.
        Best regards, Archaic
        Hello Archaic

        Very interesting information!!! As you probably know I am also a military historian as well as a Ripperologist, although of the War of 1812 and not especially the American Civil War. I am of course interested in the Civil War and have written about various aspects of it but it's not my main interest.

        Curiously, a fellow authority on the War of 1812, Anthony Pitch, previously a journalist in England and now a D.C. tour guide and historian, who wrote, The Burning of Washington, has a written a book about Lincoln's assassination, They Have Killed Papa Dead, supplied information to me about Tumblety's incarceration in 1865 at the Old Capitol Prison when he was apparently wrongly accused of being the Dr. Blackburn who was intent on introducing yellow fever into the northern states.

        All the best

        Chris
        Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
        https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

        Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
        Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

        Comment


        • #5
          History Nut

          Hi, Chris.

          I have been a history nut since I was about 5 years old, and my 3 biggest interests as a little kid were American Indians, the Civil War, and Horses! Comanche was a big hero of mine... but when it came to the Indian Wars, I always sympathized with the Indians.

          Myles Keough led a fascinating life, you might want to read a bit more about him. He fought so courageously at the Battle of the Little Bighorn that the Indians were impressed, and as a sign of respect they did not mutilate his body. Keough wore a Catholic Agnus Dei medal around his neck (= 'Lamb of God'; it depicts a Lamb with a Cross), and the Sioux and Cheyenne interpreted it as a very powerful spiritual talisman.

          I just wrote that Stoneman post off the top of my head, because I love how History
          always seems to dovetail back into more History!

          Best regards, Archaic

          Comment


          • #6
            Harry J.W. Dam

            A very interesting part one of a two parter on Harry Dam.

            The purpose of this very good article is to examine the possibility that Dam was the author of the name Leather Apron ....

            Anyone up for discussion ?

            Let me start with this...

            Dam was no dummy...if he entered college ( U-Cal,Berkley) at the age of 15. ( Page 4).

            On to the article...because I have a question for the authors or those who have read this article:

            I notice that the authors ( Mr. B and CG) state on page 12 that

            " We can't be certain that the name Leather Apron had a currency on the street prior to its first appearance in print......but scattered references in various newspapers suggest that the name may have had a currency on the streets prior to Sept.4th ( the day the name appeared for the first time in The Star---HB)..suggesting that Dam may not have invented it.".....

            Up until now, I had been under the impression that Sgt. William Thicke knew Pizer by that nickname...and that would naturally mean that Thicke knew Pizer as Leather Apron sometime prior to the Sept. 4th mention in the Star.

            One will find mention of Thicke's confrontation with Pizer on pages 93 and 94 of Mr. Begg's "The Facts" as well as the reference to Thicke's claim of having known Pizer, a British born Jew, not a recent immigrant, for 18 years and that when people in the neighborhood spoke of Leather Apron, they spoke of John Pizer.

            Content within the paragraph above came back to me as I was reading Mr. Begg's & Chris George's article...because what is in The Facts seems a little at odds with what either Mr. Begg or CG or both men are commenting on in the article.

            In the article excerpt above from Mr. B and CG, while the authors query whether or not the name Leather Apron had currency in the street prior to the Star reference on the 4th of Sept., there is no mention of the claim that Thicke provided about Leather Apron being a name associated with Pizer undoubtedly on the same streets... at some point in time..... within the 18 years that Thicke claimed to have known Pizer.

            It would seem to me that Thicke's remarks would have to be taken into consideration at this point in a discussion of this excellent article on Dam.

            Hopefully either of the two gentlemen will address this question.

            Thank you.
            To Join JTR Forums :
            Contact Howard@jtrforums.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Interesting

              Originally posted by How Brown View Post
              A very interesting part one of a two parter on Harry Dam.
              The purpose of this very good article is to examine the possibility that Dam was the author of the name Leather Apron ....
              Anyone up for discussion ?
              ...
              An interesting article indeed, How, pulling together, as it does, all the different press pieces into one easy reference.

              There is an allusion to De Quincey in the essay which, I believe, I have the answer to. It's an obscure reference which is not easy to find, but I think that what De Quincey wrote contains enough to identify it against the obviously gilded press piece concerned.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by SPE View Post
                An interesting article indeed, How, pulling together, as it does, all the different press pieces into one easy reference.

                There is an allusion to De Quincey in the essay which, I believe, I have the answer to. It's an obscure reference which is not easy to find, but I think that what De Quincey wrote contains enough to identify it against the obviously gilded press piece concerned.
                Hi SPE and Howard

                SPE, we will look forward to whatever information you have on this question of the obscure reference that De Quincey wrote that might provide a description of Leather Apron.

                Howard, thanks for your input. Sergeant Thick arrested Pizer and said he knew Pizer by sight and knew him by that nickname (The Times, 12 September 1888). On the other hand, does this mean that Pizer was the only East End Jew who went by that name? A leather apron would not be unusual attire for Jewish artisans of the day. Also does it mean that Pizer was the man accosting women (not necessarily the Ripper) or was that another man who went by the name Leather Apron? The question is a thorny and complex one and in any case we know Pizer had an alibi for the night Mary Ann Nichols was murdered which cleared him of implication in the crimes.

                All the best

                Chris
                Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
                https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

                Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
                Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

                Comment


                • #9
                  De Quincey

                  Originally posted by Chris G. View Post
                  Hi SPE and Howard
                  SPE, we will look forward to whatever information you have on this question of the obscure reference that De Quincey wrote that might provide a description of Leather Apron.
                  ...
                  All the best
                  Chris
                  Chris, as you obviously know De Quincey died in Edinburgh on 8 December 1859 after a few weeks' illness, many years before the Whitechapel murders.

                  He was highly regarded in literary and press circles (indeed he was a journalist himself) and his prose was often quoted in the press. I have located what I believe to be the piece upon which Vance Thompson based the De Quincey reference upon.

                  The De Quincey piece, however, does not mention either 'Leathern Apron' or 'Leather Apron' by name but the content (and context) leads me to believe that this must be the reference.

                  All in all, it appears to me to be another example of the press making up stories and using partly factual references to do so. This indeed seems very likely in view of source.

                  It pays to closely read and analyse Thompson's wording.

                  Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859) -

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Chris G. View Post

                    On the other hand, does this mean that Pizer was the only East End Jew who went by that name? A leather apron would not be unusual attire for Jewish artisans of the day.
                    All the best

                    Chris
                    Hi Chris,

                    Can I ask, what are your thoughts on the other nickname of "mad snob" that Leather Apron was also supposed to be known as on the streets? As reported in Lloyd's weekly of sept. 9, and another newspaper.
                    Do you that particular nickname could possibly relate the character of leather apron more closely with the slippermaker Pizer?

                    Thanks
                    Debs

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post
                      Hi Chris,

                      Can I ask, what are your thoughts on the other nickname of "mad snob" that Leather Apron was also supposed to be known as on the streets? As reported in Lloyd's weekly of sept. 9, and another newspaper.
                      Do you that particular nickname could possibly relate the character of leather apron more closely with the slippermaker Pizer?

                      Thanks
                      Debs
                      Hi Debs

                      As per the definition previously supplied by SPE on these boards, snob is an old term for shoemaker, so I think that is consistent with Pizer's trade of slippermaker -- that it refers to his occupation rather than being a reflection of his character as an uppity or snobby person, i.e., they were saying mad shoemaker or slippermaker.

                      Chris
                      Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
                      https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

                      Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
                      Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Philip Sugden

                        It is worth bearing in mind the words of Philip Sugden regarding the introduction of 'Leather Apron' into the Whitechapel murders inquiry -

                        "During the hunt for Polly Nichols' killer police inquiries amongst prostitutes revealed that the Whitechapel whores walked in fear of a man they knew as 'Leather Apron'. His real name was Jack Pizer and in various parts of the metropolis he had for some time been levying tribute from prostitutes and beating those who resisted his demands...But then, whether from street gossip or from the unguarded remarks of some policeman, the press learned of 'Leather Apron'.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Dear C.G.:

                          Thank you very much for the response you provided on this issue. I wasn't insinuating anything was out of order on the part of you or Mr. B here...I was only trying to determine whether there was another explanation available and you've done that. As you know, I have been eager to read what you and Mr. B had been working on in regard to Dam.

                          One quick trivia...on the same day that the Times mentioned Thicke's story, the Star mentioned Pizer in a positive light, remarking on his command of English, something the Star found commendable considering his "class'...Pizer,of course, was not a recently arrived, immigrant Jew.. I thought I would toss this in here since the Star is prominent in this story.

                          Back to the story:

                          Let me just ask you and Mr. E something here...since I know Mr. E has read a few more newspapers from those times ( Understatement of the day...) than I have and probably has considered this in conversations with historians like Mr. Fishman...and maybe Mr. Begg has as well:

                          If Thicke knew Pizer by that name...and if it was not uncommon for other East Enders...and not just Jewish snobs or cobblers but all sorts of men regardless of ethnic origin and who would use such an apron in their work....I get the feeling...a feeling,mind you...that if this was so...then the icon of a Leather Apron was probably a prevalent one in the area...

                          If it was prevalent...again assuming that my comment above is correct before anyone responds ...then why did Pizer get selected out of a potential pack of Leather Aprons ? I know this isn't germane to the Harry Dam issue ( Its a real education reading what you gents along with Simon Wood have put together here), but maybe someone could offer a speculative reason for Pizer, above any other potential "Leather Apron" being selected by Thicke ? Off the top of my head I seem to recall someone mentioning Pizer having a run in or possibly more than one with the police and it occurred to me that maybe Thicke was present during some phase of this run in that I cannot remember entirely.

                          Thank you in advance...
                          To Join JTR Forums :
                          Contact Howard@jtrforums.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            snob. a shoemaker (Brit. Dial.)
                            Webster's Twentieth Century Dictionary, Unabridged

                            "Even an approximate age of the noun snob is beyond reconstruction, for no citation of it predates 1776. Judging by the records, it originated in the north of England, which neither means that it is a loan from Scandinavian into Middle English nor makes such a conjecture improbable. Some Scandinavian words that had been current in the north since the Vikings’ raids reached the Standard unexpectedly late. One of them is slang, whose history, contrary to the history of snob, has been traced in detail. The attested meanings of snob are as following (the dates in parentheses refer to their first known appearance in print); 'shoemaker; cobbler’s apprentice' (1781); 'a townsman, anyone not a gownsman (that is, a student) in Cambridge' (1796); 'a person belonging to the ordinary or lower classes of society; one having no pretensions to rank or gentility; one who has little or no breeding or good taste, a vulgar or ostentatious person' (1838, 1859); 'one whose ideas and conduct are prompted by a vulgar admiration for wealth or social position' (1846-1848). Snob 'cobbler' is still a living word in some dialects, but most English-speakers remember only the last-mentioned meaning."

                            "Snob Before and After Thackeray" by Anatoly Liberman at Oxford Etymologist on Oxford University Press Blog
                            Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
                            https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

                            Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
                            Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by How Brown View Post
                              Dear C.G.:

                              Thank you very much for the response you provided on this issue. I wasn't insinuating anything was out of order on the part of you or Mr. B here...I was only trying to determine whether there was another explanation available and you've done that. As you know, I have been eager to read what you and Mr. B had been working on in regard to Dam.

                              One quick trivia...on the same day that the Times mentioned Thicke's story, the Star mentioned Pizer in a positive light, remarking on his command of English, something the Star found commendable considering his "class'...Pizer,of course, was not a recently arrived, immigrant Jew.. I thought I would toss this in here since the Star is prominent in this story.

                              Back to the story:

                              Let me just ask you and Mr. E something here...since I know Mr. E has read a few more newspapers from those times ( Understatement of the day...) than I have and probably has considered this in conversations with historians like Mr. Fishman...and maybe Mr. Begg has as well:

                              If Thicke knew Pizer by that name...and if it was not uncommon for other East Enders...and not just Jewish snobs or cobblers but all sorts of men regardless of ethnic origin and who would use such an apron in their work....I get the feeling...a feeling,mind you...that if this was so...then the icon of a Leather Apron was probably a prevalent one in the area...

                              If it was prevalent...again assuming that my comment above is correct before anyone responds ...then why did Pizer get selected out of a potential pack of Leather Aprons ? I know this isn't germane to the Harry Dam issue ( Its a real education reading what you gents along with Simon Wood have put together here), but maybe someone could offer a speculative reason for Pizer, above any other potential "Leather Apron" being selected by Thicke ? Off the top of my head I seem to recall someone mentioning Pizer having a run in or possibly more than one with the police and it occurred to me that maybe Thicke was present during some phase of this run in that I cannot remember entirely.

                              Thank you in advance...

                              Hi Howard

                              You yourself may give the answer to this in you last paragraph. Thick knew Pizer by sight, and he knew Pizer was known as Leather Apron, so he thought he might be the Leather Apron that some people were saying could have been the killer. I do think leather aprons were worn by a number of artisans in the district, and Pizer was probably not the only man known by this name, if indeed that was his nickname... which he of course denied. Still somebody living in a neighborhood can be known by a nickname even if they themselves don't call themselves by that name. "Oh there goes Bandy," you might say about someone who has bandy legs. "Oh, look there's Old Toffee Nose," and so on.

                              Chris
                              Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
                              https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

                              Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
                              Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

                              Comment

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