Some malcontents of 1870 Providence, Rhode Island

+4 votes

From the Jan 19 1870 issue of the Providence Morning Star:

James D. Rafferty on trial for assaulting Daniel Harris with a pistol on the night of the 15th. It doesn't say he shot Harris, did he pistol-whip him like Ray Liotta in Goodfellas?

"Oliver Johnson, colored, charged with fornication, pleaded guilty and was fined $10 and costs. Johnson was one of the parties arrested by the officers in the house of George W. Johnson, on 'Cat Alley' last night. He was in the company of Annie Saunders, a woman of miscellaneous affections."

Frederick Owens, charged with being a common drunkard.

"Annie Saunders, colored, and the Portuguese girl who goes by the 'fancy' name of Laura Goodenough, both pleaded guilty to the charge of being common prostitutes and were sentenced to six months confinement at the state workhouse and House of Correction. They were both arrested last night on Johnson's brothel on 'Cat Alley' and Johnson is now alone in the world with no one to love."

"Edward McCarty, a rough-looking specimen of humanity, charged with a violent assault upon Edward Halay, an elderly man, who's locks have been whitened by the snows of many winters.."

Mary Wilcox and George W. Johnson both charged with "reveling" on West Hoyle Street in the Sixth Ward, an area known as 'Cat Alley', where both keep brothels. Wilcox, having "drank freely of her favorite beverage", entered Johnson's home and "pitched into him in a lively manner" because Johnson, who had formerly been "her man" had left Wilcox for a young Portuguese prostitute known by the 'fancy name' of Laura Goodenough.

in The Tree House by Jessica Key G2G6 Pilot (245k points)

I feel so sorry for Johnson  who "is now alone in the world with no one to love."

Pretty sure I found George W. Johnson a few months later on the 1870 census:

"United States Census, 1870," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 12 April 2016), George W Johnson, Rhode Island, United States; citing p. 5, family 40, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 552,978.

Living next door is... Mary Wilcox! In George's household are two mademoiselles named Julia Morgan and Martha Anderson, so one presumes that if George had been lonely, he did not stay so for long.

Why can't modern journalism be so well-written??

1 Answer

+3 votes
Classic material. These would really spice up a profile, wouldn’t it?
by Pip Sheppard G2G Astronaut (2.4m points)
PS: if Annie Saunders and Laura Goodenough (what a name!) were charged as common prostitutes, what is an uncommon prostitute? Never see that one on a charge sheet!

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