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What was occuring in 1888?

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  • What was occuring in 1888?

    This topic has been discussed to some extent (or in some forms) elsewhere, but I was considering it today again. Years ago I though of doing an essay about the subject of the world around Whitechapel in 1888, but I never finished working on it. Too much information more or less.

    Among other things, it was the year of a U.S. Presidential election that ended giving the victory to the candidate with less popular votes due to advantages in votes he (Benjamin Harrison) had over incumbent Grover Cleveland in several states, giving Harrison the electoral college victory [this may sound all to familiar to us from 2000 and more currently in 2016 where Trump trumped Clinton that way]. It was also the year of the three emperors in Germany, where Kaiser Wilhelm I died at 91, his son Friedrich III reigned for three months before succumbing to throat cancer, and his grandson Wilhelm II took the throne. It was the year of the great "Blizzard of '88" that hit the northeastern U.S. On a personal note my great-grandfather Isaac married his wife Rebecca.

    There were some notables who died that year: Bronson Alcott of Concord, Massachusetts (notable "transcendentalist" figure), and his more famous daughter the novelist Louisa May Alcott; Ex-Senator (and New York State Republican Party Boss) Roscoe Conkling (a victim of the great blizzard); Matthew Arnold, philosopher, writer, critic, and poet; American Civil War and Indian War figure, and General-in-Chief of the Armies, Philip Sheridan; U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Morrison Waite; German novelist ("Effie Brest") Theodore Fontane; Edward Lear; and (posthumously due to the notoriety of their demises), Mary Ann Nichol, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, and Mary Jane Kelly. I could also have added Emma Smith and Martha Turner. Also Montague John Druitt.

    Ordinarily I wouldn't have brought it up but I find there was a name that cropped in my reading yesterday - I'll throw it out.

    Field Marshall Lord Lucan.

    This is Richard Bingham, Third Earl Lucan, the co-creator (with Lords Raglan, Airey, and Cardigan, and Lt. Nolan) of that masterpiece of military idiocy, the 1854 "Charge of the Light Brigade". Actually Lucan and Cardigan were at the tail end of the blame (Cardigan in charge of the actual Light Brigade, while Lucan was his superior officer - a relationship that their mutual dislike did not help - and they did not create the stupid orders: Raglan did). Lucan is better known today, outside of this blunder, as the ancestor of the more notorious Earl of Lucan who disappeared in 1974 after killing his children's nanny and who was only recently legally declared dead.

    It comes as of some interest. Lucan's last actions in his career was to get his Field Marshal's baton in 1887 (as he approached his ninetieth year). And then he kept it until the day of his death - which was November 10, 1888!

    The old soldier survived Mary Kelly by two days!!

    It comes as a bit of a surprise also that (like his odd descendant) the 3rd Earl was involved in a murder case - but as a background figure, not a suspect. In 1872 his mistress, Madam Riel, was bludgeoned to death in her home (which the Earl paid for) on Park Lane, West End of London, by her servant Marguerite Dixblanc or Disblanc, who fled to Paris after the killing. Marguerite was brought back (by the later notoriously corrupt Detective Nathaniel Druscovitch) from Paris, stood trial, and was convicted but only got a heavy prison sentence. Milord the 3rd Earl was needed as a material witness for the Prosecution about the set-up of the household of his mistress, which was an embarrassment to him at the time but one that he could not avoid.

    Interesting little slice of the history of the age, but it was the closeness of the death of milord to that of poor Mary that made me think a bit. Marguerite was still in prison in 1888, and she came from Belgium originally, not France, but Mary (if her stories were true at all) claimed she worked in Paris for awhile. Still she was there way after the events of 1872 were an unpleasant memory.

    Hopefully this thread will engage some discussion.

    Jeff

  • #2
    The 1888 US Presidential election is traditionally said to have been decided by something called the Murchison Letter

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murchison_letter

    Essentially, it was a fabricated letter, purporting to prove that the British government would prefer for Grover Cleveland to win the election over Benjamin Harrison. It was published in American newspapers two weeks before the election. The British preference for Cleveland was in fact probably true: Grover Cleveland was a champion of free trade, while Benjamin Harrison campaigned on enacting (and indeed enacted) one of the highest US tariffs of all time, largely designed to protect US industry against British competition. However the letter was a fraud drafted by a Harrison supporter.

    It is said that the letter most importantly swung the vote in the state of New York, which at the time was one of the key swing states in US presidential elections. Irish immigrants - a huge voting block comparable perhaps to Latino immigrants today - were said to have abandoned Cleveland in droves, despite usually voting for the Democratic Party whose nominee Cleveland was.

    I believe the modern view among historians is that the Murchison Letter did not in fact change the electoral outcome that had already been determined by other factors. But some say historians set out to disprove the theses of the past to ensure that they still have jobs, not because they are wrong.

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    • #3
      I'll throw in one of my Great Grandmothers was born.
      G U T

      There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

      Comment


      • #4
        The first wax straw (for drinking) was patented

        Hail storm in India kills about 250 (now I'm not sure but there may have been two similar events I think, seeing almost 500 dead)

        Van Gogh cuts off his ear

        California gets its first seismograph

        Bundy clock patented (how many were tied to them at work)

        Edison patents what was in reality the first movie machine

        Pneumatic tyre patented by John Dunlop


        Burroughs patented his adding machine
        G U T

        There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

        Comment


        • #5
          Blizzard of 1888.



          West 10th Street, Manhattan, New York City



          Leland Opera House, Albany, New York State



          Brooklyn Bridge, New York City
          Christopher T. George
          Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conference
          just held in Baltimore, April 7-8, 2018.
          For information about RipperCon, go to http://rippercon.com/
          RipperCon 2018 talks can now be heard at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/

          Comment


          • #6
            Forgot one Australia celebrated 100 years of European Settlement.
            G U T

            There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Damaso Marte View Post
              The 1888 US Presidential election is traditionally said to have been decided by something called the Murchison Letter

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murchison_letter

              Essentially, it was a fabricated letter, purporting to prove that the British government would prefer for Grover Cleveland to win the election over Benjamin Harrison. It was published in American newspapers two weeks before the election. The British preference for Cleveland was in fact probably true: Grover Cleveland was a champion of free trade, while Benjamin Harrison campaigned on enacting (and indeed enacted) one of the highest US tariffs of all time, largely designed to protect US industry against British competition. However the letter was a fraud drafted by a Harrison supporter.

              It is said that the letter most importantly swung the vote in the state of New York, which at the time was one of the key swing states in US presidential elections. Irish immigrants - a huge voting block comparable perhaps to Latino immigrants today - were said to have abandoned Cleveland in droves, despite usually voting for the Democratic Party whose nominee Cleveland was.

              I believe the modern view among historians is that the Murchison Letter did not in fact change the electoral outcome that had already been determined by other factors. But some say historians set out to disprove the theses of the past to ensure that they still have jobs, not because they are wrong.
              The letter did cause a strain on Anglo-American relationships. The ambassador of Great Britain to the U.S. in 1888 was Sir Lionel Sackville-West. Sir Lionel had been on the scene for most of the decade in the U.S. capital (his daughter Victoria had been a close friend to Cleveland's predecessor Chester Arthur - so that some thought Arthur, a widower, would marry Victoria), and when he got the letter, instead of checking it out or being non-committal, he wrote that Cleveland was the more pro-British of the two candidates (this did not sit well, supposedly, with the Irish-American community in New York City and the country). Cleveland was so angry at this faux-pas of Sir Lionel he gave the diplomat his papers and sent him back home. Lord Salisbury was furious at this high-handedness by Cleveland, and refused to appoint any ambassador to the U.S. until after the results of the national election. So it was Benjamin Harrison who received the next British ambassador in 1889.

              Jeff

              Comment


              • #8
                There was a lot of political stuff going on at the time, but don't forget the great Oxfordshire Sheep Panic;

                The details of the sheep-panic of Nov. 3, 1888, are extraordinary. The region affected was much greater than was supposed by the writer whom we quoted in an earlier chapter. It is said in another account in Symons’ Meteorological Magazine, that, in a tract of land twenty-five miles long and eight miles wide, thousands of sheep had, by a simultaneous impulse, burst from their bounds; and had been found the next morning, widely scattered, some of them still panting with terror under hedges, and many crowded into corners of fields. See London Times, Nov. 20, 1888. An idea of the great number of flocks affected is given by one correspondent who says that malicious mischief was out of the question, because a thousand men could not have frightened and released all these sheep. Someone else tries to explain that, given an alarm in one flock, it might spread to the others. But all the sheep so burst from their folds at about eight o’clock in the evening, and one supposes that many folds were far from contiguous, and one thinks of such contagion requiring considerable time to spread over 200 square miles. Something of an alarming nature and of a pronounced degree occurred somewhere near Reading, Berkshire, upon this evening. Also there seems to be something of special localization: the next year another panic occurred in Berkshire not far from Reading (Fort, 1941, p489-490).

                Comment


                • #9
                  What a great story, Joshua. I've never about it before.
                  dustymiller
                  aka drstrange

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What was happening on a more local level in 1888 London, to bring out a serial killer that was never going to be caught and whose trade name was still going to be uttered 130 years in the future? Do serial killers or potential serial killers just get up one morning and decide that they are gong to kill and see how far they can get before they get caught? Is there something that triggers them?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      "Van Gogh cuts off his ear" And we all know why now, don't we?
                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKsF_Zilp8U&t=3s


                      Originally posted by GUT View Post
                      The first wax straw (for drinking) was patented

                      Hail storm in India kills about 250 (now I'm not sure but there may have been two similar events I think, seeing almost 500 dead)

                      Van Gogh cuts off his ear

                      California gets its first seismograph

                      Bundy clock patented (how many were tied to them at work)

                      Edison patents what was in reality the first movie machine

                      Pneumatic tyre patented by John Dunlop


                      Burroughs patented his adding machine
                      Last edited by richardh; 06-15-2018, 08:53 AM.
                      ---------------------------------------------------
                      JtR3D.com JtR 3D Blog
                      ---------------------------------------------------
                      HHAP

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        England beat the Aussies 2-1 in a test series.

                        Sorry GUT
                        Regards

                        Herlock






                        "Crime is common. Logic is rare. Therefore it is upon the logic rather than upon the crime that you should dwell.”

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The premiere of what in my opinion is the best of the Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, The Yeomen Of The Guard. Sadly the works of G&S are largely forgotten these days...I spent years of my life memorising and rehearsing them.

                          Also mustn't forget the 'Match Girls Strike', and Annie Besant, the campaigning journalist who first brought to public notice the conditions in match factories. She should have been sainted IMHO.

                          The Eastman-Kodak camera patented.

                          Birth of aircraft pioneers and designers Thomas Sopwith and Ernst Heinkel. Those names would echo loudly in later years.

                          Graham
                          We are suffering from a plethora of surmise, conjecture and hypothesis. - Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure Of Silver Blaze

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            November 27 – The sorority Delta Delta Delta is founded at Boston University.
                            "Is all that we see or seem
                            but a dream within a dream?"

                            -Edgar Allan Poe


                            "...the man and the peaked cap he is said to have worn
                            quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."

                            -Frederick G. Abberline

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post
                              November 27 – The sorority Delta Delta Delta is founded at Boston University.
                              So what?

                              Graham
                              We are suffering from a plethora of surmise, conjecture and hypothesis. - Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure Of Silver Blaze

                              Comment

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