Naughty behavior and sordid happenings in the Gilded Age

Arun Vajpey

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Apr 21, 2009
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George, see what I mean?

>>>> Holbourn strikes me as the Lusitania's answer to Titanic's Col. Gracie! <<<<

I wasn't comparing Gracie's blowharding with HOLBOURN. Just wait for "The Truth about The Laird of Foula" (European title: "The Lusitanian Lupus") to come out. Judging by the ranting going on, it could approach 500 pages!
 
May 27, 2007
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Arun,

I wasn't comparing Gracie's blowharding with HOLBOURN.
I apologize for mistaking what you were saying then!

I agree the ranting/Arguing needs to stop! All we are doing is filling page after page rants with out getting anything accomplished discussion wise! Folks are just going to have to agree to disagree!

Judging by the ranting going on, it could approach 500 pages!
God, I hope not!!!!
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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>Judging by the ranting going on, it could approach 500 pages!

Says the blowhard. Arun, you still have not answered my question. Of course you won't, because you can't, but since the onset of this discussion what I have seen is a vast array of diversionary tangents, some of them rather personal observations made by someone who is QUITE aware of what I could say about HIM if I wasn't actually tactful.

I repeat; from the outset I never said that there WAS anything improper between Holborn and Avis, just that it has an unwholesome cast to it that has made me uncomfortable for over 30 years. And that by the standards of both today and 1915, it would have raised eyebrows. I can thoroughly back up what I am saying from my 20+ year study of sexual practices and attitudes in the pre-1960s United States. I am asking you, again, to thoroughly explain to me upon what you base your presumption of innocence, and your spirited defense. You seem to be caught in the "Because I want it to be so" and "Because I say so" rut. That doesn't cut it.

>Just wait for "The Truth about The Laird of Foula"

Don't tempt me; I just might.

Or, a better idea. Why don't YOU do it?

Here is the cast list of our new article. All original, all dating to 1915, and still guaranteed 99% less Vanderbilt, Frohman, Hubbard, Bernard and Holborn content than other leading brands.

William Uno Meriheina
Nellie Huston
Henry Needham
Barbara and Emily Anderson
Cecilia Owens; Reginald and Ronald Owens
Helen Smith; Alfred and Elizabeth Smith
Frederick Warren Pearl; Amy Pearl and children
Paul and Gladys Crompton, and children
Dorothy Allan
Charlotte and Marjorie Pye
Gertrude and Joan Adams
Rose Lohden
Emily, Albert and Edgar Palmer
Minnie Smith
William and Sarah Hodges; Dean and William Hodges
Norah Bretherton; Paul and Elizabeth Bretherton
Ruth and Robert Logan
Thomas and Annie Marsh; Thomas Marsh Junior.
William Docherty; Mabel Docherty.
Margaret Hastings
Ronald Greenwood
Jane and Grace Macfarquhar
James Haldane
Matron S. Leitch.
Inez Wilson
Virginia Bruce Loney, Allan and Catharine Loney
Alfred and Elizabeth Mainman; Mainman family
Annie and Edith Williams; Rose Howley
Lydia and Eva Grandidge
Alice and Arthur Scott
Walter and Howard Tijou
Elizabeth, Duncan and Mary MacCorkindale
Samuel, Mary Jane and George Sharpe
Terence and Stuart Grey
Francis Luker; Cyril, Phyllis, and Nancy Wickings-Smith
Edward Lander; Sarah Fish; Fish family; Elizabeth Rogers
Thomas and Margaret Brownlie
John Moore; Walter and Jeanette Mitchell
James Brooks
Albert Bestic
John Idwal Lewis
James Sidney Arter
Maitland Kempson
Charles Bowring
Harold and Lucy Taylor
Dora and John Wolfenden
Walter Dawson, Albert and Agnes Veals, Frederick Isherwood
Thomas Sandells
Anna Ruane; Delia Stenson; Catherine Gleason
Emmie Hill; Willie Inch
Reverend Cowley Clarke
C.T. Hill
Marion Bird; Fannie Morecroft
Laura Martin
Hugh Donald Whitcombe
George Smith
Mary Beatrice Popham Lobb
Robert Leith; David McCormick
Norman and Hilda Stones
Sarah and Charles Lund; William Mounsey; Eunice Kinch
Joseph Myers; Francis Kellett
Mary Maycock
Robert Dyer
Frederick Gauntlett; Albert Hopkins; Samuel Knox
Ogden and Mary Hammond
Andrew and Margaret Faulds
Annie Sharp
James Leary; Thomas Boyce King
Boat 14 Essay
Norman Ratcliff
George Kessler; Mr. and Mrs. Henry Bruno
C.T. Jeffrey
Isaac Trumbull
Albert Norris Perry; Frederick Perry
Edwin Twinning
Anne Shymer
Henry Pollard
Albert and Gladys Bilicke
Dorothy Connor; Walter Fisher
D.A. Thomas
Robert Rankin
James Tilley Houghton
Fullerton Riemer Boyd
Josephine Brandell; Mabel Crichton
Maude and Elbridge Thompson; Charlotte Luck and children
Rita Jolivet
Lest We Forget film essay
Edgar Hounsell; Edward Barry
Dwight Carlton Harris
Herbert Light
Royal Gwent Singers
Harwood and Elaine Knight
Amelia Baker; Charles Williamson
Henry Sonneborn and Leo Schwabacher
Thomas Snowden and Eva Finch
Aino, Carl and Jan Antila
Rose Ellen Murray and Patrick McGinley
George Harrison
Carl Elmer Foss
Alfred Russell Clarke
Katherine Hickson and Caroline Hickson Kennedy
Albert Lloyd Hopkins
Maurice Medbury
James Williams
John Napier Fulton
James Longmuir Ward
Sarah Helena Wiggins
Michael Byrne
Belle and Theodore Naish
May Barrett and Miss Macdonald
F.W. Schwarte
Sister Isabelle Wise
John and Mary Macky
Carlos Gauthier
Allan and Evelyn Dredge
Amelia Macdona
Annie MacHardy
Carlton Thayer Brodrick
Evan Jones
Jane Worden
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Agnew
Lamond Proudfoot
Florence, Clifford, and Lillian Lockwood; Edith Robshaw; Beatrice Goodall and children
Emily Shaw
Charles Waring
Ella Mae Lawrence
Florence Armitage
George Sidwell
Luigi Brilly
Diego Olivar
James and Kate Barr
Elizabeth Seccombe, Percy Seccombe
Anne Davis
Elbert and Alice Hubbard; Charles Lauriat; William Harkness
Sarah Wilson
Alfred Wheelhouse
Rose Bird
Donald and May Barrow
Catherine Willey
David and Alice Loynd
Henry Garnet Bullen
Jane Travers
Catherine Dougall
Frank and Alice Tesson
Henrietta Pirrie
Richard Preston Prichard
Martha King
Katherine Dingley
Gerda Neilson and John Welch
Constance Stroud
Daniel Virgil Moore
Allan Beattie
Jessie Taft Smith
Angela Pappadopoulo; James Baker
Albert Jackson Byington
Beatrice Witherbee
Inez Jolivet Butler; George Butler
Francis Bertram Jenkins
Frederick Milford
Percy Rogers
Edwin Friend
James and Annie Gardner; Willie Gardner; Eric Gardner
Phoebe Amory; Mary Higganbottom; Martha Whyatt
Arthur Burdon
Cyril and Mary Anita Pells; John Pells
Cyril Wallace; Jeannie Fyfe
Barty and Ruth Wordsworth
 
May 27, 2007
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some of them rather personal observations made by someone who is QUITE aware of what I could say about HIM if I wasn't actually tactful.
As for any personal observations I have made about you, Jim in the heat of anger I apologize for them! That was rude and inconsiderate of me. Although I will not threatened or blackmailed or have my character impeached for stating my opinion!! Further more you would be really no better then I was when I made such personal observations!

I think that Arun is also getting tired of the arguing as I am and wants to move on.

I repeat; from the outset I never said that there WAS anything improper between Holbourn and Avis, just that it has an unwholesome cast to it that has made me uncomfortable for over 30 years.
That is understandable but perhaps but you should remember that the ship was under threat of being torpedoed and perhaps the Prof. being a decent fellow felt that there was no one to look out for Avis! This is the age when Gentlemen offered help to unprotected single ladies traveling alone! So having stated that I feel it's time for me, myself to move on!
 
Dec 5, 2008
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Hi, boys!
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At the risk of becoming a lightening rod in the middle of a thunderstorm, I can honestly say that I understand both sides of the argument and find both very possible.

I myself was in a position similar to Avis when I was 8; brand new to the country, living in a motel for over a month with basically absent parents while they searched for jobs and a place to live, and befriended very strongly by a stranger. He was in his 30's, charming, attentive and VERY curious and eager to spend as much time with me as possible, and know very intimate details of my life (including personal matters of whether I had ever had a boyfriend, had kissed a boy, which actors I had a crush on, etc). My parents put a stop to it when they finally found out about it, of course, and I was, at that time, absolutely crushed. I had found a new best friend in a strange, new place, who doted on me, caring only for MY thoughts and feelings; an incredibly tempting thing when your an 8 and your opinion counts for nothing to the rest of the world.

Looking back at it a few years later with age, experience and a hell of a lot less naivety, and I am utterly horrified. There is no doubt in my mind that his intentions were as far from innocent as they come, his once attentive gaze is now seen for the lecherousness it truly comprised of, and had my parents not stepped in and put their foot down (even changing motels to keep me away from him, such was their fear), I am terrified to think of what could (and likely WOULD) have happened.

Having said that, I agree, Jim, there is a GREAT chance that Holbourn's motives could have been something completely horrifying.

But for that one dreadful experience with one person, there has also been many very kind, older strangers in my life, with no familial relationship whatsoever, who have been very good to me, and with whom I still believe had no ill-motives.

And with that, I also say there is also just as great a chance that perhaps Holbourn was just being kind?

I make no pretense what so ever to know anything about the man save for what has been said on this forum, and am challenging no one to a battle of words; I am simply trying to point out that there are good people in the world, and there are bad.

Everything that has been said on this forum is, no matter how well researched (looking at you here, Jim!
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), is still speculative. There is no way we will ever be able to know the truth, unless some miraculous find is made.

I truly, in my heart believe that the strange man from my past had very serious, ill intentions. But that is only MY opinion. I can never be sure, so I must just soldier on, knowing that I truly believe that I am right, no matter if I was challenged on the matter, and that is enough for me.

If George and Arun think he is innocent, good for you both, hold strong to your beliefs, and don't let people try to change what you know in your heart. Jim, the same thing goes for you. If you believe he was after Avis for an entirely unwholesome reason, then don't let it bother you if people disagree. YOU know better.

Unfortunately, there is no right or wrong answer in this, and I highly doubt anyone here is going to change their minds. All arguing about it at this point will do is rip a further hole here in ET, and the relationships here in.

So I am FORMALLY begging you all, please just put this to rest with the knowledge that talking about it any longer will only cause more problems. You all have your opinions, and none of them are wrong or ignorant; no opinion is.

I personally think it is just time for everyone to say, "Fine, think what you think, I'll think what I'll think - Good Day!" (I really hold no higher expectations! :p), and we all just go on our merry ways!

I enjoy talking to you all so much, I don't want to see this all go down in flames over people who have been dead well to long too even care.

Can't we all just agree to disagree, and leave it at that???

Either way, thank you for listening to my little rant, it will be my last, I swear!

Thanks!

Kat

(PS - George, thanks for the earlier info! It sounds really interesting! I'll try and find out about those books, ASAP!
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)
 

Arun Vajpey

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Apr 21, 2009
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>>>> I am simply trying to point out that there are good people in the world, and there are bad.
<<<<

Agreed, but it is probably safe to say that there are more good people than bad. Unfortunately, it is the bad people who make the news.

But to label a man as a creep simply because he chose to show some kindness to a child is more than slightly harsh and judgemental...it is totally illogical. If research had shown evidence that Holbourn had such unhealthy tendencies, there would be some logic to the argument. But unearthing information about 100 OTHER pedophiles or other deviants of that era has absolutely no meaning as far as Holbourn is concerned. For every pedophile that people researched on, there were probably 20 perfectly normal men with whom no one bothered...simply because they WERE normal.

The problem with such research is that the researcher would only be interested in those who conform to his/her research framework and those who do not get passed by. But that does not mean that they do not exist.
 

Arun Vajpey

Member
Apr 21, 2009
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>>>>>> But for that one dreadful experience with one person, there has also been many very kind, older strangers in my life, with no familial relationship whatsoever, who have been very good to me, and with whom I still believe had no ill-motives. <<<<<<

You see Kat, you have actually had experience of what I am trying to say. I agree with you totally that the 30-something stranger you mentioned must have had very sinister motives and it is good that you came out unscathed. Quite naturally, that man had made a far bigger impression on your mind than all those other normal, kind gentlemen that you also mention.

Since being and behaving normally is the accepted and expected way of life, all of us take it for granted to some extent and don't necessarily remember all such people that we come across. But the odd one with the ulterior motive always make deep and lasting impression. If that same man had behaved completely appropriately with you as an 8-year old, you probably would not even have recalled him now - or at least not as vividly.
 
Jul 9, 2004
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As Jim said earlier, I do have a book from the "Parents, watch your daughters" movement of the 1910s


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It's this book Fighting the White Slave Trade from 1911, in which Chicago figures VERY heavily:


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May 27, 2007
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Hope you like the books! I thought the Pompeii one particularly interesting.

What a horrible thing to happen to you! Hopefully the guy was being kind but I don't blame your Parents for putting a stop to it. I believe Holbourn had innocent intentions but that doesn't mean every stranger does!

As I said I believe with hindsight that the Dolphin\Holbourn relationship was because Avis was traveling alone during Wartime on a ship that was under threat of being torpedoed and Holbourn felt there was no one looking out for her!

Yes, let there be peace! I'm done stating my case for Holbourn's innocence!!
 
Jul 9, 2004
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George:


Where did I get it? I got it at a library book sale for something like $2 about four or five years ago. I was... pleased... to say the least.


I'm not pleased that I got the title wrong right above the scan of the cover. DUH.
 
May 27, 2007
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Brandon-
These things happen! We all have Duh moments! Nice looking book though.

I once had a Word Dictionary from 1919 at a Library Sale which I got in the late 80's! Don't remember what happened to it??

Anyways treasure your book! I know you will though! Seems like a great piece of history! Probably has some useful hints as true today as they were back then about avoiding predators!
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Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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>But to label a man as a creep simply because he chose to show some kindness to a child is more than slightly harsh and judgemental...it is totally illogical.

Arun... Arun...Arun... your own lack of logic, not to mention apparent difficulty with reading comprehension is beginning to grate.

I now want you to read back thru this thread, and isolate ANY instance in which I have called Holborn a creep. I have said, repeatedly, that the account is creepy, and I have repeatedly said that his behavior would have struck people in 1915 as creepy as well. But, I also have specified, repeatedly, that I am not making any accusations about Holborn or Avis since I have done no primary research upon which to base it.

Totally illoghical to be distrustful about someone who is showing not just one trait but EVERY trait of a child molester? My God, that is bizarre, on your part, to be blunt. "Hi, little girl, are you alone?" Ugh.

This reminds m of the "Uncle Roy" skit on the 1970s Saturday Night Live, in which buck henry played "Uncle Roy" the jolly baby sitter the little girls loved. He'd have them reach into his "special pocket" to get candy, play lots of games that involved tickling or bouncing, and always had his Polaroid onhand. The kids (Laraine Newman and Gilda Radner) were unaware that they weere being exploited, so too were the parents. Mom, (Jane Curtin) would always comment "The girls just LOVE their 'Uncle Roy.'" The skits were creepy, but dead on the money accurate in showing how children can be molested with litle, if any, physical contact. I made the connection betwee Uncle Roy and this account early on.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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>But to label a man as a creep simply because he chose to show some kindness to a child is more than slightly harsh and judgemental

When a complete stranger approaches your unaccompanied minor on public transport and strikes up a conversation, there is this concept called 'good parenting' that kicks in. Harsh; yes. Judgmental; yes. HELL YES. It is not the parents' role to determine whether or not this fellow is up to any good, and it is certainly NOT in the best interest of anyone other than the strange adult to give him the benefit of the doubt. Holborn's behavior was as atypical then as it is now. It follows the m.o. of a predator quite closely... far more closely than it does the behavior of a concerned adult. You have yet to explain why, based on the available evidence (the most easily accessible of which was written by HIM, in 1938) he should be given the benefit of the doubt.

Compare him to Herbert Ehrhardt. Ehrhardt was a 21 year old who seems to have been adopted by the Mainman children. In THAT case, it is easier to assume innocence, since there were parents involved, plus 19 and 21 year old siblings. One MIGHT assume he may have had interest in 16 year old Molly, who survived, but the presense of two parents and two older brothers, not to mention a pair of 7 year old twins, would have made pursuing that interest difficult. And there was a world of difference, in 1915, between 16/21 and 12/43.
 
May 27, 2007
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Now Gents-
But to label a man as a creep simply because he chose to show some kindness to a child is more than slightly harsh and judgemental!
I don't think Jim labeled Holbourn a creep as much as he was of the opinion that Holbourn's actions were creepy!

I would also be leary if a stranger came up and struck up a conversation with my daughter at the bus station I would listen in and intervene! If he or she can be friendly with my kid then they can be friendly with me! I've noticed a lot of people follow this rule automatically and while some people make idle chitchat with my daughter because she is very friendly and out most people keep their distance and/or strike up a conversation with me and her both!
 

Bruce Harwood

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Sep 2, 2008
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Interesting set of posts, this. Let me ask a question: at what age could a gentleman (and there WERE men of principle who prided themselves on being gentlemen) offer his protection to an unescorted girl or woman without incurring our suspicions both then and now? At 14? 16? 19? 27? 70?

And another question with reference to Jack Thayer: In a public setting, such as a lounge on the Titanic, and without having been previously introduced, how could a thirty-year-old strike up a conversation with a very attractive younger person without incurring the the disapprobation of today's readers? I note in passing that no respectable man of our own days would dream of entertaining libidinous thoughts about a person who is twelve or thirteen years their junior. Or come up with a pick up line so cheesy that one could only laugh. And no one of either sex would ever brag about how they looked and could dress twelve years younger than they actually are.

With tongue firmly planted in cheek,

Bruce
 
May 27, 2007
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Hi Bruce,
Interesting set of posts, this.
Yes they really are something!

Let me ask a question: at what age could a gentleman (and there WERE men of principle who prided themselves on being gentlemen) offer his protection to an unescorted girl or woman without incurring our suspicions both then and now? At 14? 16? 19? 27? 70?
I would like to know that one myself!!! I, myself would say it would depends on the situation and people's reaction to it then and now! Emily Post would know!
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And no one of either sex would ever brag about how they looked and could dress twelve years younger than they actually are.
True!!
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K

Kyle Johnstone

Guest
>Let me ask a question: at what age could a gentleman (and there WERE men of principle who prided themselves on being gentlemen) offer his protection to an unescorted girl or woman without incurring our suspicions both then and now? At 14? 16? 19? 27? 70?<

Without incurring suspicions?
Probably never.

A teenage boy offering his "protection" to a teenage girl would just be seen as cute puppy love. As would a teenage boy offering his protection to a "woman".

A teenage or older male offering the same to a young girl looks strange.
Why would a teen or adult male even want to seek the company of an unrelated, unfamiliar young girl?

Why would a young girl or boy be anywhere, ever, 1915 or 2009, without a parent, adult blood relative, or other responsible adult guardian?

Let's not forget that this subject isn't just male-to-female.
There are plenty of instances of adult women taking lascivious advantage of young men or boys.

When Cunard Line had bellboys, teenagers, one of their responsibilities was to draw the baths of first class passengers. May be true on other lines as well.
This practise was ended in the 1930s when, on the Queen Mary anyways, the bellboys repeatedly reported being "propositioned" by female, and male, passengers. One bellboy said that regardless of how large the tip, after being dragged into the bathtub by a woman passenger he was never going to draw any baths again.