Special Collections and Archives

Crime-related Postcards

Borowitz Crime Ephemera: Crime-Related Postcards, [190?-199?]

Finding Aid

Prepared by Cara Gilgenbach, September 2005
1 half-size record storage box, .5 cubic foot, 11th floor


Scope and Content

This collection contains miscellaneous postcards related to crime. Items are arranged alphabetically by subject matter. Publication dates of the postcards are given when available, but most are undated. Captions are taken from the postcards with additional supplied notes in brackets. See also the Borowitz collection of prison postcards.


Box 1

Folder -- Contents
  1. Armstrong, Herbert Rowse: "The Hay-on-Wye home of Herbert Rowse Armstrong...the last solicitor in the British Isles to be hanged," 1990.

  2. Billy the Kid: "Billy the Kid About to Escape; artist's conception of the legendary card game between Billy the Kid and Deputy Bell; Painting by Mark Storm."

  3. Billy the Kid: "Billy the Kid [photograph]; This is believed to be a previously unpublished photograph of Henry McCarty, alias Henry Antrim...," 1983.

  4. Billy the Kid: "Billy the Kid; The Elusive Tombstone."

  5. Billy the Kid: "Billy the Kid Museum, Fort Sumner, New Mexico."

  6. Billy the Kid: "De Baca County Court House, Ft. Sumner, New Mexico...where the trial was held to try to remove 'Billy the Kid's' body from the old Ft. Sumner graveyard."

  7. Billy the Kid: "Lincoln, NM," [shown is courthouse where Billy the Kid made his famous escape; also included is a newsletter with an article on preserving the courthouse].

  8. Billy the Kid: "Pat F. Garrett 1850-1908. Called the most famous Westerner of his time...he killed the notorious outlaw Billy the Kid."

  9. Billy the Kid: "Patrick Floyd Garrett (1850-1908). This is the only known photograph of Sheriff Pat Garrett that was made in 1881, the year in which he killed Billy the Kid at Fort Sumner, New Mexico, July 14," 1985.

  10. Billy the Kid: "Shooting of Billy the Kid," [painting by C. C. Clancey].

  11. Billy the Kid: "Torreon, Lincoln, New Mexico," [Billy the Kid worked on a ranch nearby.]

  12. Billy the Kid: "Wortley Hotel, Lincoln, NM."

  13. Borden, Lizzie: "Central Police Station, Fall River, Mass."

  14. Brown, John: "Courthouse, Charlestown, [WV]," [location where John Brown was tried and convicted], 1909.

  15. Brown, John: "Harpers Ferry, [WV]," 1909.

  16. Brown, John: "Home of John Brown, North Elba, NY," 1909.

  17. Brown, John: "John Brown," [portrait, from a well-known photograph], 1909.

  18. Brown, John: "John Brown Homestead, Akron, Ohio."

  19. Brown, John: "John Brown's Birthplace (Born May 9th, 1800), Torrington, Conn."

  20. Brown, John: "John Brown's Fort [fire engine house in Harpers Ferry], 1909.

  21. Brown, John: "John Brown's Grave, North Elba, NY," 1902.

  22. Brown, John: "John Brown's Monument, Adirondacks, NY."

  23. Brown, John: "John Brown's Tannery, Built 1826," 1909.

  24. Brown, John: "Kennedy Farmhouse, Brown's Headquarters," 1909.

  25. Brown, John: "Old John Brown's Monument as Protected from Relic Fiends, Adirondack Mountains, NY."

  26. Brown, John: "Rock on Which J. H. Kagi was Killed," 1909.

  27. [Capital punishment]: "Last Dying Speech." Watercolor by Thomas Rowlandson. Caption: "At the end of the 18th century, death by hanging was the punishment for many crimes, even those as petty as the pocket-picking shown in the background of this watercolour. Executions attracted large crowds, and street sellers sold souvenirs: cheaply printed broadsheets recounting in detail the crime, the prisoner's confession, and the manner of his death."
    [For examples of such broadsheets, see the Criminal Broadsides of 19th-Century England collection.]

  28. Château de Chillon: Three postcards of the Château de Chillon in Montreux, Switzerland: exterior view, "The Great Kitchen," and "Bonivard's Prison." [From possibly as early as the 11th century up to the 18th century, the Château de Chillon, located on the shore of Lake Geneva near Montreux, served as a center of military and legal power. In 1530, François Bonivard (sometimes spelled "Bonnivard"), prior of St. Victor, Genevois scholar, and supporter of the Reformation, was imprisoned for six years in the castle by the Savoyard leaders. After visiting the site in 1816, Lord Byron wrote a long narrative poem entitled "The Prisoner of Chillon" about Bonivard's imprisonment. For more information on the Château de Chillon, see Auguste Guignard's The Castle of Chillon which also includes the text of Byron's poem.]

  29. [Cleveland, Ohio]: "Kingsbury Run, Cleveland, Ohio." [Site where some of the "Torso Murder" victims were found. Eliot Ness served as Cleveland's Director of Safety during the time of these famous serial murders.]

  30. [Cleveland, Ohio]: "Residence of Cassie L. Chadwick, Cleveland."

  31. [Corday, Charlotte]: "La Mort du patriote, assassinat de Marat par Charlotte Corday le 13 juillet 1793. Gravure anonyme." Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, 1989.

  32. Corder, William: "Relics of the Red Barn Murder" [shows Corder's pistols, scalp and ear, and a book bound in his skin]. Moyse's Hall Museum.

  33. Corder, William: "Relics of William Corder, executed at Bury in 1828 for the murder of Maria Marten" [shows items as in entry above].

  34. [Crippen, Hawley Harvey]: "Crippen's House, 39 Hilldrop Crescent, London, N. with Sandy McNab, the new owner, standing at gate."

  35. Hale, Nathan: "Nathan Hale 1756-1776. Revolutionary hero, about to be hanged as a spy by the British..."

  36. "La Justice et la Vengeance divine poursuivant le Crime" ["Justice and Divine Vengeance Pursuing Crime"], 1997. [Postcard reproduction of an 1808 painting by Pierre Paul Prud'hon, a French painter whose career was successful, but whose personal life was tragically marked by the suicide of his longtime pupil and lover, Constance Mayer, in 1821.]

  37. [McKinley, William, assassination]: "Nearer My God to Thee; Last words of McKinley; Born Jan. 29, 1843. Died Sept. 14, 1901," 1908.

  38. [McKinley, William, assassination]: "Temple of Music (where President McKinley was shot), Buffalo, NY."

  39. McPherson, Aimee Semple: "Sister Aimee Semple McPherson, Angelus Temple, Los Angeles, Calif."
    [Aimee Semple McPherson, a California-based evangelist who built the huge Angelus Temple funded by donations of her followers, disappeared while swimming near Venice Beach in 1926. She showed up, after having been missing for 32 days, at the edge of a desert in Arizona claiming that she had been kidnapped and escaped her captors. Her alleged kidnapping was believed by some to be fabricated in order to hide secret or ilicit activity.]

  40. [Mayerling suicides]: Crown Prince Rudolph [portrait postcard]. [On January 30, 1889, Crown Prince Rudolph of Austria-Hungary and his pregnant seventeen-year-old mistress were found shot to death at the Mayerling hunting lodge in the Vienna Woods, their deaths the result of an apparent murder/suicide. See Blood & Ink entry H.8 for more information.]

  41. [Mayerling suicides]: Photographic postcard showing Mary Vetsera, graves of Vetsera and Crown Prince Rudolph, and the Mayerling lodge along with other sites of relevance to the case.

  42. Metropolitan Police: "Thames Division...the Brig 'Royalist' was used as a floating police station during the period 1856-94."

  43. Metropolitan Police: "The Three Scotland Yards. The Metropolitan Police Headquarters has always been close to Whitehall."

  44. Metropolitan Police: "Uniforms Through the Ages."

  45. [Natchez Trace]: "Natchez Trace Parkway ... Yowani Overlook and picnic area, near the historical town of French Camp, Mississippi." [Notorious highwaymen, including the Harpe brothers and Samuel Mason's gang, robbed and murdered travelers along the Natchez Trace in the late 18th-century. For more information, see Blood & Ink, entry W.12 and The Outlaws of Cave-in-Rock by Otto A. Rothert (1924).]

  46. Normand, Mabel [actress]: Portrait postcard. [Following the 1922 murder of director Willaim Desmond Taylor, Normand, along with other actresses with whom Taylor had relationships, was thrust into the national spotlight.]

  47. Packer, Alfred: "The Colorado Maneater," Wax Museum of Denver Colorado.

  48. [The Peyreville Inn]: Caption: "L'Auberge sanglante de Peyrebeilhe -- Ardeche -- Alt 1265 m. 2 octobre 1833 furent guillotines Jean Rochette le domestique, les patrons Pierre Martin et Marie Breysse apres 26 ans d'assassinats." [The proprietors of The Red Inn of Peyrebeille, Pierre Martin and Marie Breysse, along with their servant Jean Rochette were accused of robbing and murdering dozens of their guests. In 1833, the three were tried and executed. See Blood & Ink, entry B.41 for more information.]

  49. [Rasputin, Grigori]: The Yusupov's Palace. Set of 12 postcards showing interiors and part of an exhibition there called "Grigory Rasputin: pages of life and death." [Rasputin was murdered at the palace.]

  50. Riel, Louis: "Louis Riel the day before he was executed in 1885." Musée Royal, Ste. Anne de Beaupré.

  51. Thaw, Evelyn Nesbit: Set of nine postcards in which Thaw depicts a character type/role or a certain mood or activity including: "The Bride," "The Coquette," "The Dawn of Hope," "A Day Dream," "In a Reverie," "Little Red Riding Hood," "Pensiveness," "The Village Belle." Two versions of "The Village Belle" are present, [190?].
    [Evelyn Nesbit's jealous husband, Harry K. Thaw, murdered prominent New York City architect, Stanford White in 1906. White had been a former lover of Evelyn Nesbit.]

  52. [Wild West]: "Graves of Dowd, Samples, Howard, Delaney & Kelly, Boothill Graveyard, Tombstone Arizona. These five men were found guilty of killing several people in a store robbery in Bisbee and all hanged on one scaffold in the Court House yard on March 8, 1884."