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Vice

This category contains 7 posts

“Home-made wines made of dandelions”: Prohibition in Maryland

This Saturday night, the Young Defenders of the Maryland Historical Society will be hosting its second annual Bootlegger’s Bash party at the 1840s Plaza at 29 S. Front Street, the site of the old Peale Museum. In anticipation of this popular fundraiser we have decided to share a selection of photographs, documents, and ephemera of [...]

A Safe Harbor: The Port Mission in Fells Point

The Southeastern Baltimore neighborhood of Fells Point was, until recent years, a rough and tumble sort of place – a sharp contrast to what is today an upscale and historically charming part of the city. Sailors, arriving from all corners of the world, crowded into rowdy saloons and bawdy boarding houses while awaiting the next [...]

“Only the Instrument of the Law”: Baltimore’s Whipping Post

On a cold March day, three blue-clad guards strapped Baltimore printer Clyde Miller to a cross-shaped wooden post in the Baltimore City Jail, arms outstretched and naked to the waist. As 50 witnesses looked on, Miller was brutally flogged 20 times with a cat o’ nine tails—a whip with multiple knotted thongs—at a rate of [...]

“As for me, I like him”: H.L. Mencken, Judge Morris Soper, and the Vice Squad

A recent find in the Morris Soper Papers brings to light a fascinating series of correspondence between Judge Morris A. Soper and famed Baltimore journalist Henry Louis Mencken (who was featured in last week’s birthday post). This correspondence between the two men gives unique insight into their personalities,  reveals their professionalism and ethics, and hints [...]

King Alcohol: Temperance and the 4th of July

The anti-alcohol crusade of the nineteenth century lives on as one of the most notable and far reaching reforms of the era. The temperance movement brought about Prohibition, and its shadow still affects liquor laws today. The proponents of temperance, as the shapers of a new nation, sought to perpetuate the Founding Fathers’ lofty ideals, [...]

“Facing the Masks”: Masked Mystery Solved

Last week we reached out for help understanding a photograph, and wow, did we get it. Our photo from the Hughes Company collection traveled far and wide. The image, known then as “Detective room, Police Department,” was not only a headscratcher, but also a Rorschach Test of sorts. Different eyes saw different things happening. Speculations, observations, [...]

From the Darkside

Busted: the Chinkapin Game Club, 1963 On March 9, 1963, Sgt. Richard T. Davis and his Baltimore County Police force exited Jervis Marshall’s barn having made two arrests, written 67 summonses, and seized 11 dead chickens. The chickens or more appropriately, gamecocks, were the unfortunate victims of the Chinkapin Game Club (CGC), an illegal gambling [...]