Bluestocking Journal

Real history, through the eyes of a fictional person

Tag: cats

Friday, November 15, 1912

The Pastime Club, a colored organization, held a public dance last night, but no one attended. “That mingling of the races in such a manner is held in disfavor both by whites and blacks is shown by the fact that members of neither race attended. Today the committee is trying to figure up the club’s deficit. Colonel Williams will have to shine a good many shoes, and Commodore Anderson will have to make a lot of trips with the hod to square the account.”

Margaret Lowry, who was attacked with a hammer here Wednesday evening, will recover. Physicians say there is no injury to her brain.

Weird surgical feats are being performed at the clinical congress of surgeons in session in New York. A man whose nose had been destroyed by an accident had it replaced with one of his fingers. A cat was made to live without its head, “as if the cat were only asleep with all its personality intact.” Dogs were killed and brought back to life. I am uncertain of the value of any of these experiments, to be honest.


Saturday, October 5, 1912

Woodie Mathews, “well known colored shoe shiner,” is building a $10,000 three-story building at 502 East Green street in Champaign. “Woodie is the magnate of the shining art in Champaign, having conducted two establishments for the past eight years.”

Theater ushers are able to procure many free bonbons and chocolates. “At an interesting climax the emotional matinee girl forgets her candy box and lets it slide to the floor with several pieces sticking in the corners. Immediately after the performance all enterprising ushers search the house for discarded sweets.”

In Chicago, a kitten went to sleep on top of a baby and suffocated the child “by sucking the breath from its mouth.” The mother “had feared this accident would happen to her child.” This sounds like bunkum to me. After all, the newspaper did say last week that Roosevelt would visit town, when no such thing was even planned.

Wednesday, September 18, 1912

An oddly dressed new university student named Hiram Perkins caused a stir. “Clad in short, tight fitting, black pants and a high cut gray suit and wearing seven league plough shoes, and a yiddisher hat, he furnished a spectacle fit for the homesick eye of the freshmen and supercilious glance of the upperclassmen. Around his neck he wore a waterproof collar bedecked with a red bow tie, which well matched the blue shade of his eyeglasses.” He also carried a red telescope somehow laden with many quarts of canned fruits, and his Galesburg high school diploma kept falling from his coat pocket. He was trailed by a crowd as he inquired for rooms at several fraternity houses.

A Chinese graduate of the university returned home and now, eighteen months later, is the director and manager of the biggest railroad in China. Another Illinois graduate has won first prize in an international competition for the design of the Australian federal capital. Strangely, Australia has not ever had a capital; the proposed site is at Yass-Canberra, about two hundred miles from Sidney.

The May term of county court has ended, and a large number of criminal cases were stricken. Almost all of the cases continued have to do with liquor, and of those, the majority are for selling liquor in anti-saloon territory.

James Watkins, a Nevada miner, was jailed for stealing a pair of lace curtains, and he asked the jailer to see that his pet cats were fed. He was laughed at, and that night he broke out of jail and walked forty miles across the desert to feed his cats. “The charge against Watkins probably will be dismissed, his accuser having been impressed by the miner’s affection for his pets.”

Period Lolcat

A bit of silliness, made with Quickmeme

Fun fact: The hamburger was invented sometime between 1885 and 1904 and gained national recognition during the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis; the cheeseburger did not appear until at least 1924.

I Just Like This Picture


Sunday, September 1, 1912

It was with great delight that I received a package from my dear cousin Elsie in London. She has made me a present of a book entitled Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia. I have decided to begin at its beginning and peruse the articles, but I confess that I have diminished hopes for it upon learning that the first portion seems to be all about needlework, an activity I have always loathed, much to the disappointment of my darling mother, from whose hands issues the most delicate and beautiful embroidery. I am perfectly capable of darning a sock, and of stitching up a dress’s minor tear, which I certainly never acquired climbing a tree in order to rescue any cat. (Why my sweet kitten Benjamin can go up a tree in a flash and yet sits there mewling plaintively, unable to descend, is a true mystery.)

Since the Encyclopaedia may not be as informative as I should like, I intend to read the newspaper every day and write down interesting tidbits in this journal, as I feel that it will be improving. As today is Sunday, there is no newspaper, so I suppose I must engage myself in some other task.

Papa found me with my nose in the Encyclopaedia, and he laughed and called me Bluestocking. I asked him what he meant by that, since I certainly wasn’t wearing blue stockings at the time. He told me it was an old name for ladies who read books. I still don’t understand about the stockings or why he would laugh, but the name fits me well enough, if that’s what it means.