Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Main

Ripper Letters
Police Officials
Official Documents
Press Reports
Victorian London
Message Boards
Ripper Media
Games & Diversions
Photo Archive
Ripper Wiki
Casebook Examiner
Ripper Podcast
About the Casebook

Most Recent Posts:
General Suspect Discussion: Favorite suspect/s? - by drstrange169 24 minutes ago.
Motive, Method and Madness: What was occuring in 1888? - by DJA 5 hours ago.
Mary Jane Kelly: Mary Kellys Inquest - by Joshua Rogan 7 hours ago.
Witnesses: Our Charles Cross - by Busy Beaver 7 hours ago.
Witnesses: Our Charles Cross - by Herlock Sholmes 7 hours ago.
Motive, Method and Madness: What was occuring in 1888? - by Joshua Rogan 8 hours ago.

Most Popular Threads:
Witnesses: Our Charles Cross - (21 posts)
Witnesses: Caroline Maxwell Alibi ? - (9 posts)
A6 Murders: A6 Rebooted - (8 posts)
Motive, Method and Madness: What was occuring in 1888? - (6 posts)
Mary Jane Kelly: Mary Kellys Inquest - (3 posts)
General Suspect Discussion: Favorite suspect/s? - (2 posts)

Wiki Updates:
Robert Sagar
Edit: Chris
May 9, 2015, 12:32 am
Online newspaper archives
Edit: Chris
Nov 26, 2014, 10:25 am
Joseph Lawende
Edit: Chris
Mar 9, 2014, 10:12 am
Miscellaneous research resources
Edit: Chris
Feb 13, 2014, 9:28 am
Charles Cross
Edit: John Bennett
Sep 4, 2013, 8:20 pm

Most Recent Blogs:
February 19, 2016, 11:12 am.
Chris George: RipperCon in Baltimore, April 8-10, 2016
February 10, 2016, 2:55 pm.
Mike Covell: Hull Prison Visit
October 10, 2015, 8:04 am.
August 9, 2015, 3:10 am.
November 14, 2014, 10:02 am.
Mike Covell: Mike’s Book Releases
March 17, 2014, 3:18 am.

Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Suspects > General Suspect Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-18-2011, 09:24 PM
TradeName TradeName is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 589
Default Kansas Physician Confirms Howard Report

The attachment is from the Qunicy (Illinois) Daily Journal of May 1, 1895, page 4. It's from here.

It looks like Dr. D Russell Phillips might be an actual person.

The Journal of the Kansas Medical Society, Vol. XX, TOPEKA, KANSAS, APRIL, 1920 No. 4 P113
By Kansas Medical Society

Daniel Russell Phillips, Leavenworth, aged 56, died in Topeka March 5, from myocarditis. He graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the city of New York in 1887. He was a member of the Leavenworth County Society.


An Account of Bellevue Hospital (1893) P268

Internes, 1850 To 1894

Phillips, Daniel Russell, 4th Surgical Division, 1889,I.
A. B., University of Michigan, 1884; M. D., Columbia, 1887.
General Medicine and Surgery: Care Dr. Sam. Phillips, cor. Delaware & Fifth streets, Leavenworth, Kan.


The Medical standard, Volume 6, August 1889, P65

Kansas —Dr. Ed. Blair, of Atchison, has declined the position of assistant in the Soldiers' Home Hospital at Leavenworth. Dr. Blair returns soon to New York to take a post-graduate course in medicine.—Dr. Charles A. Skene died at Westmoreland June 8 —Dr. D. F. Rodgers, of Wamego, will remove to Topeka.—Dr. J. C. Ryan, of Washington county, has permanently relocated at Palmer. —Dr May, Jr., has removed to Kansas City — Small-pox is reported at Piqua.—Dr. Harry Betts, of El Dorado, died of small-pox at Topeka.—Dr. P. [sic] Russell Phillips sailed for Europe July 11. Dr. Phillips will study at Vienna —Dr. J P. Stewart, of Clay Center, intentionally shot and killed a libertine a few weeks ago. Dr. Stewart is admired for his courage.—Topeka has a "medicine" college with a capital of $100,000.

Attached Images
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2011, 04:56 PM
TradeName TradeName is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 589

An article transcribed on this site:

Decatur Daily Despatch
Illinois, U.S.A.
12 September 1889

Connecting Jack the Ripper With a Prominent Surgeon

Special to Decatur Despatch

London, Sept. 11.
The inquest today in the case of the woman whose headless body was discovered in Whitechapel district yesterday morning was conducted with closed doors, and extraordinary precautions are taken to prevent the medical testimony in the case being made public. A rumor is afloat, but cannot be traced to an authoritative source, that one of the doctors has pointed out that the surgical work of the fiend bears a remarkable resemblance in certain features to the peculiarities which have frequently been noted by the profession in the work of a well known London surgeon, a man of the highest standing in his profession, but exceedingly eccentric. The police maintain discreet silence and refuse to either deny or verify the rumor. They appear to be active, however, and their conduct indicates that they have a clue of some sort.
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2011, 04:12 AM
TradeName TradeName is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 589

Here's a link to page 14 of The San Francisco Call for April 24, 1895, which has the "Dr. Howard" story.

A quote from a story in the Fort Wayne Weekly Gazette for May 2, 1895, from this site:

San Francisco. April 24.
William Greer, manager of the Thames and Mersey Marine Insurance Company, playwright and club man, was seen to-day by a representative of the Associated Press in regard to the dispatch telegraphed from San Francisco, connecting a prominent London physician, whose name was not given, with the "Jack the Ripper" murders several years ago. Mr. Harrison stated that the dispatch was entirely correct in very particular so far as the matter reaching him through Dr. Howard was concerned. He stated that Dr. Howard is a well-known London physician who passed through San Francisco on a tour of the world several months ago and that while he was here he (Harrison) met Howard at the Bohemian club and the latter told him the remarkable story and vouched for its authenticity.
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2011, 04:10 AM
TradeName TradeName is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 589

Dr. Benjamin Douglas Howard indignantly denied being the source of the San Francisco story about JtR in a letter published in The People of January 26, 1896:

"In this publication my name is dishonourably associated with Jack the Ripper – and in such a way – as if true – renders me liable to shew cause to the British Medical Council why my name with three degrees attached should not be expunged from the Official Register. Unfortunately for the Parties of the other part – there is not a single item of this startling statement concerning me which has the slightest foundation in fact. Beyond what I may have read in the newspapers, I have never known anything about Jack the Ripper. I have never made any public statement about Jack the Ripper – and at the time of the alleged public statement by me I was thousands of miles distant from San Francisco where it was alleged that I made it." (taken from the Wikipedia entry on Sir William Gull).

I believe this letter was discovered by Richard Whittington-Egan and published in his 1975 book A Casebook on Jack the Ripper.

Howard professed to be something of a penologist and in 1890 traveled to the Russian island of Sakhalin (Saghalien) to observe the prisons there. I have found a discrepancy in his published accounts of that journey which may call in question his credibility. In an 1891 article in The Lancet, he claimed to have met a governor of Sakhalin when his raft reached the island after a shipwreck. In an 1893 book, Howard recounts that he meet the governor at a dinner party in Vladivostok and received an invitation to travel to Sakhalin when the governor returned there.

The Lancet, Volume 2, August 29, 1891, page 484




While travelling in the interior of Siberia, as also in Western Russia, I had always been on the alert to seize an opportunity of seeing for myself the punishment by the knout, of which so many who have not seen it have so freely published descriptions. In this one particular, however, the always affable prison officials had never found it within their power to alter previous arrangements to suit the travelling plans of one who was merely a visitor.

Several hundred miles east of the eastern coast of Siberia confronting the coast of Kamschatka is an island reserved for prisoners exiled from less distant penal colonies for additional murders, or equivalent crimes, political or otherwise, there committed. Two survivors from a ship which at midnight, in a hurricane, had gone to pieces on a reef about a hundred miles away, reached the shore of this island in a flat-bottomed boat just as the governor of the island was near the landing-place taking his evening promenade. One of these survivors was immediately made the governor's guest, and as it was impossible to find means of getting off again at present he became for many weeks his constant companion on nearly every occasion, official as well as social. This is how it happened that the present case, amongst others, came without effort under my daily observation.


-- end of quote --

Life with Trans-Siberian Savages , 1893
By Benjamin Douglas Howard

Pages 3-7

The night before my intended departure from Vladivostock I had the honour and pleasure of being one of a dinner party, consisting mostly of local administrative officials and members of the various imperial services stationed at Vladivostock.

It was my good fortune on this occasion to be seated next to a Russian prince who spoke capital French, knew everybody present, and was withal as affable and as communicative as could be desired. The chief of police and several other of the local officials present I already knew, and respecting the name and rank of several others the gallant prince did not allow me to be in ignorance.

Towards the middle of dessert, the conviviality became so general and so enthusiastic, that the little differences of nationality soon disappeared, and all of us were as brothers.

While the fraternal flood was at its height, it occurred to me I should never have a better opportunity, and so at once in a brotherly way I ventured some interrogatory references to the mysterious place, the name of which even here, I haye not yet mentioned. Without any perceptible change in his manner, but slightly perhaps lowering his voice, 'Oh, Sakhalin, you mean! Just so. Ah! let me see,' replied the prince, now falling into a rather dreamy tone and manner, 'just so, ah !—Sakhalin— let me see!'

It is time perhaps that I should here say in explanation, that though scarcely ever—indeed almost never—heard of in Europe, Sakhalin the unmentionable, is an island far beyond Siberia proper in the Okotsk Sea, which, though much narrower, has a length just about equal to that of England.

As is well known, notwithstanding the awful distances and the painful precautions, scarcely a year passes but various prison officials of Siberia become disgraced by the escape of exiles for whose whereabouts they are held strictly responsible.

As the simplest and completest remedy against this, Russia many years ago secured the possession of this distant island of Saghalien, or Sakhalin, and converted the entire island into one vast prison.

This island has not a single port worthy of that name, and the two or three anchorages thus used, are so guarded by troops, that ingress and egress, except by exceptional permission, are considered alike impossible. Hence this island has been reserved chiefly as the final destination of the unshot, the unhanged, the convicts and the exiles who by frequent escapes or repeated murders have graduated perhaps from other prison stations throughout the vast territory of Russia and Siberia. It will hence be easy to imagine the vague terror which all through Russia, and even in the mines throughout Siberia, is inspired by the appalling and almost prohibited mention of Sakhalin.

Thanks to the discovery of two or three mutual Parisian friendships, and the exhilarating combination of other influences so conspicuous towards the end of a Russian dinner, the relations between myself and the prince became increasingly cordial and apparently confidential. Appearing to wake up from a moment's contemplation to a happy thought, he called my attention to a military officer at another part of the table, an officer who was altogether the handsomest and most magnificently caparisoned of any of the party.

Having excused himself for a few minutes, he was quickly by this officer's side in lively conversation; then just as quickly, both of them were seated by my side, with myself in the centre. Imagine my surprise, when on being introduced. I found this officer was none other than the deputy-governor of all the southern part of Sakhalin.

Having taken the cue from what the prince had told him, he quickly elicited from me my regrets and my wishes. That as I had no assurance of being allowed to land in Sakhalin, nor of being able to get any place to sleep nor anything to eat if I did land there, like everybody else before me, I would be compelled to share in the general interdiction. Imagine my pleasure, when turning the tables on me completely, the governor insisted upon himself having what he called the honour and pleasure of my being his guest there.

He had been on a leave of absence which in a few days terminated, and nothing would please him so much he said, as to have me accompany him on his return home, and help to break the monotony of the life of himself and friends in that distant penal colony.

The cordiality and empressement with which this invitation was given, made it easier to accept it, than to refuse it, and, almost as quickly as I am recounting it, the compact was sealed on his part by repeated kisses and embraces in regular Siberian after-dinner fashion.

Thus suddenly, my plans and course were all changed, and after a stormy voyage of some days, I found myself enjoying the distinction of being the only English-speaking individual ever known to have passed a night on any part of that entire island. Two or three days after my arrival, while quietly sauntering about alone according to my inclination, I entered what I found to be the exile or civil hospital.

--- end of quote---

Howard wrote another book, Prisoners of Russia: a Personal Study of Convict Life in Sakhalin and Siberia, which was published posthumously in 1902 and which opens with an interesting biographical essay.

The Lancet of November 22, 1890, page 1129, has a news article about Howard's shipwreck after leaving Sakhalin which indicates that he intended to return to England via America.

The Lancet of May 9, 1891, page 1037 has a piece by Howard about cholera in Asia with more details about his travels.
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2011, 01:13 AM
TradeName TradeName is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 589

Here's another version of how Dr. Howard got to Sakhalin. In this one the Marine Club of Vladivostok hosts a dinner in Howard's honor and Howard meets an officer who invites him to come to Sakhalin. There's no mention of a "gallant prince."

Bulletin of the American Geographical Society of New York, Volume 30, 1898, No. 2 page 135




from page 140:

In Vladivostock I talked of nothing but the exploration of Yezo, and it got about in the Marine Club that I was some sort of a wonderful explorer. I could not help that. I did not call myself an explorer, but as an explorer they gave me a dinner at the Club, and there sitting nearly opposite me was a magnificent looking officer in full regimentals. I told him what I wished to do. He said: "But do you think you dare try?" I said, "I don't know; I have crossed the English Channel in an open rowboat, and I think I can visit La Perouse Strait."

He said nobody was allowed to go to Sakhalin. In the first place, there is no means of getting there, and then nobody would be allowed to land if he did get there, because the sentinels would stop him, and he must have a special passport from the Governor, and then if I did get ashore there is no such thing as a tavern or a bed or a store on the entire island. "What would you do?" I said, "I don't know what I would do, except that I had always found the Russians a very hospitable people," etc. Well, the dinner went on and he became wonderfully amiable, and insisted, as he had only finished his holiday (he had been away for a month), and was going back to-morrow or the next day, that I must go with him and stay with him all summer—as long as I liked. "To tell the truth, we are as badly off as the exiles themselves," said he. "There is very little difference between us, and if you will only come it will be a benefaction to us all. We shall all thank you for it."

If I had hesitated a moment the door would have been completely shut against me. The best things that come to the traveller are the unexpected, and if you wish to be successful as a traveller you must seize any opportunity which happens to turn up.

With true Russian punctuality, instead of starting to-morrow morning, he started the day after to-morrow morning.

It took us about three days and a half to reach Sakhalin.

---end of quote---

The Lancet, Volume 158, July 21, 1900, page 226


Benjamin Howard, M.A., M.D. NEW YORK

New York Times, June 23, 1900

DEATH LIST OF A DAY: Dr. Benjamin Douglas Howard.

Don't know if this is particularly germane here, but I'll throw it in. An article with allegations that Scotland Yard suspected a prominent resident of Grosvenor Square and that armed medical students were patrolling Whitechapel dresses as women.

The Daily Argus News (Crawfordsville, Indiana), Oct 11, 1888, Page 1

Looking For The Fiend
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2011, 01:11 AM
TradeName TradeName is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 589

Russian playwright Anton Chekhov visited Sakhalin island in 1890 and mentioned Dr. Howard in his book.

Sakhalin Island
Anton Chekhov ; translated by Brian Reeve.
Author: Chekhov, Anton Pavlovich, 1860-1904.
Published: Oxford : Oneworld Classics, 2007.

note on pages 370-1

"Major Sh., to do him justice, treated my literary profession with the fullest respect, and the entire time I lived at Korsakovsk he tried in every way to prevent life being tedious for me. Previously, several weeks before my arrival in the south [of Sakhalin on September 12, 1890 (see page 174)], he had taken a lot of trouble with the Englishman Howard, an adventure seeker and a literary man, too, who had been shipwrecked in the Aniva on a Japanese junk and who later on wrote some fairly considerable nonsense about the Ainos in his book Life with Trans-Siberian Savages."

description of Major Sh. from page 177

"I also became acquainted here with Major Sh., Governor of the Korsakovsk Convict-Exile Prison, who had served previously under General Gresser in the St. Petersburg Police. He was a tall, plump man, with that solid carriage, commanding of respect, which till the present time I have chanced to observe only in urban and rural district police inspectors."

Howard's Trans-Siberian Savages book inspired such incredulity in one reader that he doubted that Howard even existed.

The Academy, Volume 44, September 2, 1893, page 195, column 3

This is Howard's response, which places him in London in 1893.

The Academy, Volume 44, Nov 25, 1893, page 44, column 1
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 08:07 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.